Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

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071816
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 071816 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:20 pm

Nuke Indiana Tech

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu May 09, 2013 4:27 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Yeah, I don't disagree that the shitty private schools are the biggest problem, but I still don't think that two wrongs make a right.

Instead of:
Wyoming has dismal employment, but NYLS is worse, so they deserve to lose their accreditation and not Wyoming."

It should be:
"Any law school unable to meet a certain standard (based mainly on outcomes but also on criteria such as LSAT / GPA medians and means) doesn't deserve to keep its accreditation, regardless of how low their tuition is."

If it were up to me, this would mean that both Wyoming and NYLS lose their accreditation. :|



Why do inputs matter so much (i.e. at all)?

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nickb285
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby nickb285 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:33 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Yeah, I don't disagree that the shitty private schools are the biggest problem, but I still don't think that two wrongs make a right.

Instead of:
Wyoming has dismal employment, but NYLS is worse, so they deserve to lose their accreditation and not Wyoming."

It should be:
"Any law school unable to meet a certain standard (based mainly on outcomes but also on criteria such as LSAT / GPA medians and means) doesn't deserve to keep its accreditation, regardless of how low their tuition is."

If it were up to me, this would mean that both Wyoming and NYLS lose their accreditation. :|


I'm not saying "don't take Wyoming's accreditation, no matter what." I'm saying "don't take Wyoming's accreditation until you've taken that of all of the craptastic for-profit schools whose students wind up in a far more dire situation than Wyoming grads, and then given the market a couple years to adjust and see if maybe those 30-35 Wyoming grads can find jobs now that there aren't thousands of desperate TTT/TTTT grads clogging the market."
Last edited by nickb285 on Thu May 09, 2013 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JXander
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby JXander » Thu May 09, 2013 4:34 pm

I really like the part of LST's letter asking the ABA to reform the student loan program. I plan to work on a brief letter asking for them to make a positive change.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby jenesaislaw » Thu May 09, 2013 4:41 pm

JXander wrote:I really like the part of LST's letter asking the ABA to reform the student loan program. I plan to work on a brief letter asking for them to make a positive change.


Just to be clear, we asked them to take a position on the student loan program. They have no power to actually make changes.

You probably knew that but I just wanted to clarify because clarity is awesome.

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JXander
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby JXander » Thu May 09, 2013 4:42 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
JXander wrote:I really like the part of LST's letter asking the ABA to reform the student loan program. I plan to work on a brief letter asking for them to make a positive change.


Just to be clear, we asked them to take a position on the student loan program. They have no power to actually make changes.

You probably knew that but I just wanted to clarify because clarity is awesome.

No worries. I appreciate the clarification.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 09, 2013 5:16 pm

nickb285 wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:Yeah, I don't disagree that the shitty private schools are the biggest problem, but I still don't think that two wrongs make a right.

Instead of:
Wyoming has dismal employment, but NYLS is worse, so they deserve to lose their accreditation and not Wyoming."

It should be:
"Any law school unable to meet a certain standard (based mainly on outcomes but also on criteria such as LSAT / GPA medians and means) doesn't deserve to keep its accreditation, regardless of how low their tuition is."

If it were up to me, this would mean that both Wyoming and NYLS lose their accreditation. :|


I'm not saying "don't take Wyoming's accreditation, no matter what." I'm saying "don't take Wyoming's accreditation until you've taken that of all of the craptastic for-profit schools whose students wind up in a far more dire situation than Wyoming grads, and then given the market a couple years to adjust and see if maybe those 30-35 Wyoming grads can find jobs now that there aren't thousands of desperate TTT/TTTT grads clogging the market."

I agree with this. I know that a lot of people on this site (who are also probably nowhere near Wyoming or considering any schools in the vicinity of Wyoming's rank) look at the employment percentage and say, "Unacceptable!" But Wyoming is so not the problem with the current situation. It might be a problem in future, but it isn't now.

I guess basically I'm saying that I agree with you (kappycaft1) generally about outcomes and so on, but I disagree about where the line needs to be drawn. I think you're setting the bar too high, needlessly high (or maybe I mean arbitrarily high), at this point. In part that's because I went to a school more like Wyoming than it is like Chicago - not so much in ranking as in that it's regional, and it just serves a completely different function than the T14 serves. People don't go to this school for biglaw (though some get it), in part because what passes for biglaw where I went to school and in Wyoming would make you laugh. But that doesn't mean there isn't a legal community with roles for new grads (all? maybe not. But a number of them). These kinds of legal communities frequently don't hire until you've passed the bar, and I think that underreports employment because people get jobs after the magical 9-month-post-grad marker. (My school's employment stats on LST don't look great, but I also don't know anyone from my class [2011] who is currently unemployed.) There is no other law school remotely local to Wyoming. It's just a completely different situation from, say, attending the 6th-lowest-ranked school in NYC or DC or LA. I do generally agree with much of TLS's groupthink and its emphasis on the T14/6/HYS etc., but I think TLS has a big blind spot for a certain category of regional schools. I'm not saying they're perfect; I'm just saying they play a role and that's more than can be said for a lot of the TTT/TTTT bottomfeeding in crowded markets.

20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 09, 2013 7:39 pm

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Skye
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby Skye » Thu May 09, 2013 8:27 pm

If someone if really going to contact the ABA: the objective should be to mirror the standards used by the medical profession’s version of the ABA. Perhaps start with baby-steps like having schools adhere to a minimum 160 LSAT enrollment. To me that is workable. That way the ABA would not be accused of using a heavy hand to dictate preferential treatment to any school.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 09, 2013 10:21 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Yeah, what you guys are saying is correct. I don't expect any changes to be implemented immediately (and am honestly not confident that they will take place anytime soon), and even when the changes do take place they will likely be gradual. I totally agree that NYLS, Cooley, and all the other private money-sucking diploma mills need to go first before touching the cheaper public schools. The only problem is how do you go about doing that fairly? If you do it based on outcomes, you will likely cut a lot of the not-so-bad regional public schools too; if you do it based on LSAT/GPA, you will still probably cut a lot of the not-so-bad regional public schools; you could try doing it based on an "efficiency rate" (dollar-paid-in-tuition versus LTFT JD employment rate), but this seems kind of arbitrary and would reward schools that were dirt cheap that didn't lead to jobs. In this manner, the money-sucking TTTs have become like a cancerous growth that has taken over the gallbladder; it would almost be easier just to take the whole thing out than attempt to take out bits and pieces of it, or do chemo on it hoping that it won't spread. Unless some innovative way of removing malignant growths is developed, I think that it will be difficult to effectively save the whole without making some sacrifices.

I don't really have a huge problem with rewarding dirt cheap schools that don't lead to jobs. Let's just say that I don't think there are enough of them that rewarding them will really distort things significantly.

californiauser
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby californiauser » Fri May 10, 2013 2:02 am

The lsat minimum is never going to be a 160...that's a pipedream. 150 is more realistic. 160 would shut out an exorbitant amount of urms.

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Clearly
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby Clearly » Fri May 10, 2013 2:37 am

There has got to be a regulation that can stop the oversupply. At the least the LSAT should be treated like a minimum competency test. 160+ or no school should take you, etc. Thats the great part about medical school, people just legit can't get into them...They weren't good enough. It doesn't turn into alright well lets go to a TTT medical school, borrow 200k, and hope were in the 5% that get employment capable of paying it off. Admissions to these schools plays on peoples dreams and its going to crush the profession.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby justonemoregame » Fri May 10, 2013 7:38 am

The LSAT minimum could be a soft floor, and it doesn't even have to be very high to have a huge impact - 148/149 would wipe out several thousand people. Requiring a median from each school is a better approach, I think, because it wouldn't preclude any particular candidate from admission, while maintaining a standard. But the median wouldn't have to be anywhere near 160 to have a significant impact while addressing the problem head-on.

Reading through a few of the ABA Task Force documents, it appears that the overwhelming focus is on "innovative teaching methodologies." None of this shit is going to create a job. And it will not save someone from cliff-diving trying to get one. It's like cutting enrollment isn't even an option for these people. The first item on the Subcommittee's Working Questions should be: How do we reduce the number of graduates?

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Skye
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby Skye » Fri May 10, 2013 8:06 am

Approximating, using the available data — a 160 LSAT minimum would close the doors of nearly every school below tier-2. 160 would limit the incoming classes to roughly 25,000 every year — which is ultimately the goal.

If this had been the policy over the last decade, the “un/underemployment” rate for LS grads today would likely be under 10% (perhaps 15%). Lower the 160 LSAT standard and the unemployment stat rises accordingly. It's math.

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ph5354a
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby ph5354a » Fri May 10, 2013 8:25 am

We're talking about 160 as the minimum median right, not minimum for applicants? I think having it as the median addresses a few of the issues raised here, particularly regarding URMs. It wouldn't preclude anyone from applying, but schools would have to be very careful about accepting those below 157/158. Furthermore, schools that have no problem attracting those in the 165+ range (T20, maybe?) would have plenty of flexibility accepting sub-160 URMs.

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Skye
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby Skye » Fri May 10, 2013 8:36 am

ph5354a wrote:We're talking about 160 as the minimum median right, not minimum for applicants? I think having it as the median addresses a few of the issues raised here, particularly regarding URMs. It wouldn't preclude anyone from applying, but schools would have to be very careful about accepting those below 157/158. Furthermore, schools that have no problem attracting those in the 165+ range (T20, maybe?) would have plenty of flexibility accepting sub-160 URMs.

160 LSAT minimum for the student, or no admission. LS denial is not groundbreaking, Harvard does it all the time to applicants with 160. The medical profession isn’t shy about saying no to applicants who do not measure up (and I do believe we have doctors of all colors and nationalities). The question is, do you want to fix the problem, or just kinda fix it?

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North
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby North » Fri May 10, 2013 8:50 am

jenesaislaw wrote:
North wrote:
BlueDiamond wrote:I think we definitely need a large group of people to send in comments. My only issue at the moment is that there are so many problems that I have no idea where to start. I feel like just writing "Please refer to Law School Transparency, any blogs or books written by Paul Campos, and the legal employment thread on top-law-schools. Thanks."

Just his a couple points that are most important to you. Hate that TTT's mislead students to get them to enroll? Write about that. Think accreditation should be tied to employment numbers? Write about that.

I was actually a little disappointed with LST's letter. Dude could have suggested so much more.


Go on. I can send another if you convince me.

:lol: :lol: :lol: Knew you'd call me out on that.

You identified two action items:

    1. Identify the accreditation standards that are necessary to a sound legal education.
    2. Take a strong, public position advocating for drastic changes to the student loan program as applied to law school.

I think your second action item is spot on and I have no problem with it. It’s the first action item that I think could have offered more than just subtractions.

You suggest that the current ABA standards for accreditation and its retention are preventing law schools from innovating and evolving in a way that would reduce the costs of the legal education they’re selling. You propose that the standards for accreditation and its retention be pared down to only those necessary for ensuring a sound legal education (whatever that is). Once that is done, law schools will have the ability to act on their incentive to compete with peer schools by lowering prices. Lower prices benefit students.

That’s all well and good (though I’m far from convinced that the ABA’s requirements are the cause of skyrocketing tuition), but I don’t think it’s the most important or effective way we could use the ABA standards for accreditation to benefit the profession. The ABA needs to work more like a guild, more like the AMA. We need to more stringently regulate our self-regulated profession. The standards for accreditation is the weapon with which that can be done. The ABA standards should be used to (1) create greater barriers to entry for prospective law school matriculates and (2) tie the continuation of full accreditation to employment outcomes. Such policies would work to correct the comical oversupply of lawyers – a problem your letter did not directly address, but whose solution is necessary if we are to facilitate fair and effective entry into the legal profession, ensure the future quality of service to clients, and maintain the profession’s important role in our society.

Law schools (1) need to be harder to get into. Right now, the ABA leaves it almost entirely up to law schools to decide upon the barriers to entry. It offers only this: “Standard 501. Admissions: (b) A law school shall not admit applicants who do not appear capable of satisfactorily completing its educational program and being admitted to the bar.” It’s not even technically necessary to have a bachelor’s degree, so long as the law school notes in the applicant’s file why they don’t think he needs one. There are, effectively, no ABA-mandated barriers to entry into law school. There should be. For example, the ABA could stipulate as a requirement for continued accreditation that a law school must not admit any student who has not achieved a score in at least the 50th percentile on a reliable and valid admissions test (S. 503). Law schools have proven to be unworthy of our confidence in their gate keeping. The public good is not served by allowing those who cannot adequately demonstrate their aptitude to flood the market for legal professionals.

Law schools (2) need to be made responsible for the products they put on the market. Thanks in large part to your work, we are privy to an unprecedented level of transparency in the assessment of outcomes for law school graduates. That information should be used – just like physical library requirements – as a standard for continuance of a school’s accreditation. For example, if, for a period of three years, less than 50% of a law school’s graduating classes are unable to secure long term, full time, JD required employment, then that school should have its accreditation revoked. Law school is functionally the sole credentialing exercise for legal professionals. If a school’s graduates can’t find a job, it’s because the school hasn’t added enough value to them to make them marketable. It’s the school’s fault. It is quite reasonable to require that a school’s products (its graduates) hold some minimum value on the market for legal professionals, especially now that we have the information necessary to make such assessments (again, thanks to you).

This is kappycaft1' characteristically more fiery comment on what I wrote. He seems to think that cost reform is much less important and likely less effective than creating barriers to entry.

kappycaft1 wrote:Basically, even if law school becomes monetarily inexpensive, it still comes with a temporal price tag of 2~3 years. Nobody wants to spend 2~3 years studying boring shit only to end up chasing ambulances or working at Hooters. Accordingly, even if law school is super cheap, it just simply isn't worth it if it can't land you a decent job.

What Kyle is suggesting, and what the government is permitting through the creation of programs like IBR and PAYE, is establishing a way to fund poor choices for anyone who wants to make them. Instead of discouraging the ignorant masses from making poor choices to begin with, they are essentially saying that people shouldn't be punished for making poor choices. It is almost like instead of getting grounded for stealing candy from the grocery store, your parents try to tell the store manager that you didn't know any better, so you deserve forgiveness. A lot of people won't like to hear this, but this country really needs someone to step in and prevent ignorant people from making bad life choices. Even if the government does away with funding programs, private loans still exist, so I don't think that the government can have too big of an effect on the situation through fiscal policies. Accordingly, the ABA is really the only party that can have an immediate, positive impact on the situation; something that Kyle needs to do is provide specific examples of how this can be done.


That’s more or less what I was hoping to read when I opened your letter. You focus too much in your action items on correcting the exorbitant costs of law school. That’s only part of the problem. There are too many law students, too many law schools, and the market oversaturation they cause is what makes the ridiculously high tuition potentially life-ruining. You’ve built a pretty cool bully pulpit for yourself, and I was hoping you’d use it sweepingly. But then I think you’re pretty libertarian, so maybe advocating for giving more regulatory powers to the ABA just isn’t your thing.

We need that ABA paternalism. Tell them to give it to us.

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North
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby North » Fri May 10, 2013 9:15 am

justonemoregame wrote:Reading through a few of the ABA Task Force documents, it appears that the overwhelming focus is on "innovative teaching methodologies." None of this shit is going to create a job. And it will not save someone from cliff-diving trying to get one. It's like cutting enrollment isn't even an option for these people. The first item on the Subcommittee's Working Questions should be: How do we reduce the number of graduates?

Yup. That's why EVERYONE READING THIS needs to send something in. If that's the "solution" that this task force comes up with... It's going to be years before a similar opportunity for reform presents itself.

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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby rwhyAn » Fri May 10, 2013 10:12 am

I have a different take on it than many of you, and I think that some of you are missing the point. A mandatory LSAT floor is not needed nor should there be one. Doing so would hurt the underserved populations, especially in rural America, that need access to legal services but can't afford it. It's not the Wyomings, Montanas, and Nebraskas that are the problem. Even if their employment numbers aren't the greatest, you have the option to pursue other and even lower paying options outside of law because you won't be straddled with a mountain of debt. Requiring an LSAT minimum would hurt these affordable public TT, TTT, and TTTT schools that help perform a public service to the their residents by means of providing affordable legal services. Most people with the 160s and up wouldn't want to go to these schools, and it would force some of these schools in less desirable markets to go under. It's the Touros, NYLSs, TJSLs, and other private, exorbitantly expensive schools charging over $40k/year that are the problem. While requiring an LSAT floor would definitely help remove these offenders, it would also get rid of many of the cheap public schools that are actually the good guys.

What really needs to be done to help matters is that the federal student loan program needs to be drastically reformed. The feds shouldn't be loaning $200k to 22-year-olds, many of whom have never held a full-time job in their lives, without significant strings attached. The feds need to start holding these schools accountable by making them accountable for some of the loans if they are unable to be repaid. By putting the schools on the hook, it will definitely give the schools an incentive to make sure that these loans are paid, and it will help reform the law school business model, which will in turn help to stabilize tuition or even lower it. Law school costs way too much right now, and while the student loan free money pipeline remains open, there is little incentive to venture from the status quo. Only in academia can someone (i.e. professors) make between $100k and $300k for what amounts to a part-time job. I hear the argument that these schools need to attract the best and brightest professors and need to pay them private market rate, but that's baloney. If these professors were to be making that money in the private sector, they would have to work 50-60+ hour weeks. Meanwhile, many of them are teaching one or two classes a semester with maybe a couple of office hours a week thrown in, which amounts to 10-12 hours a week of actual classroom time maybe. Oh, but they need to perform scholarship too, right? Well guess what, nobody cares about your scholarship, as it doesn't get anyone jobs. Do that on your own time.

What the ABA needs to do is to enforce stricter standards with bar passage rates. I would suggest that they do the same with employment rates, but the employment rates are so easily manipulated that I don't think it would work. However, bar passage is black and white and can't be manipulated. Set the passage rates at say, 80% or so. These schools owe it to their students to be passing them at at least this rate, if not higher. This will also make the schools a little pickier with regard to their student body, as it will deter schools from enrolling students with little capability of success because it will cost the school if these kids cannot pass the bar. If these schools cannot comply, they should give them a year or two probationary period, and if they still cannot comply, there should be a ban on accreditation for at least 5 years or some other period of time. A ban would effectively kill enrollment and force some of these bottom dwellers to shut down, and at that point, it would be too costly for them to reopen.

Just my $.02

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North
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby North » Fri May 10, 2013 10:19 am

rwhyAn wrote:I have a different take on it than many of you, and I think that some of you are missing the point. A mandatory LSAT floor is not needed nor should there be one. Doing so would hurt the underserved populations, especially in rural America, that need access to legal services but can't afford it. It's not the Wyomings, Montanas, and Nebraskas that are the problem. Even if their employment numbers aren't the greatest, you have the option to pursue other and even lower paying options outside of law because you won't be straddled with a mountain of debt. Requiring an LSAT minimum would hurt these affordable public TT, TTT, and TTTT schools that help perform a public service to the their residents by means of providing affordable legal services. Most people with the 160s and up wouldn't want to go to these schools, and it would force some of these schools in less desirable markets to go under. It's the Touros, NYLSs, TJSLs, and other private, exorbitantly expensive schools charging over $40k/year that are the problem. While requiring an LSAT floor would definitely help remove these offenders, it would also get rid of many of the cheap public schools that are actually the good guys.

State flagship exception. Under-served population exception. There are all kinds of ways to prevent barrier-to-entry regulations from shutting down solid schools. If you want to go to law school without demonstrating adequate aptitude for the profession, then you'd better be committed to serving a rural town in your state.

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ph5354a
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby ph5354a » Fri May 10, 2013 10:31 am

Skye wrote:
ph5354a wrote:We're talking about 160 as the minimum median right, not minimum for applicants? I think having it as the median addresses a few of the issues raised here, particularly regarding URMs. It wouldn't preclude anyone from applying, but schools would have to be very careful about accepting those below 157/158. Furthermore, schools that have no problem attracting those in the 165+ range (T20, maybe?) would have plenty of flexibility accepting sub-160 URMs.

160 LSAT minimum for the student, or no admission. LS denial is not groundbreaking, Harvard does it all the time to applicants with 160. The medical profession isn’t shy about saying no to applicants who do not measure up (and I do believe we have doctors of all colors and nationalities). The question is, do you want to fix the problem, or just kinda fix it?


I see your point, but the LSAT isn't an aptitude test. The difference between a 155 and a 165 test taker can easily be attributed to one test prep course or the ability to take time off of work to study full time and may have little correlation to their law school and lawyering abilities. If law schools want to take these socioeconomic factors into account, then I think they should be able to. Having a median floor gives them that flexibility. I think the results of median floor vs. admissions floor would be pretty similar in that schools outside of the top 100 or to 75 would have to close.

Either way, I think the prescription should focus more on outcomes (bar passage and FTLT JD required jobs) than admissions standards.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby jenesaislaw » Fri May 10, 2013 11:20 am

North, thank you for responding so thoroughly. What are you doing this summer?

In deciding which action items to suggest, we focused on what the Task Force has the power to do and what the ABA would plausibly do. It was a strategic and political decision. The Task Force was created by the Center for Professional Responsibility. Not only does this group lack accreditation power, but it is not even an ABA delegation that can speak for the ABA as a whole.

You correctly summarized our position on accreditation reform in the memo, except that I explicitly say we do not think the accreditation requirements were to blame for skyrocketing tuition. (Partly, prior standards/enforcement were. Site visit teams used to tell law schools they needed to raise faculty salaries to get to the median, which of course forced that median up.) I think the best way to measure a sound legal education (again, whatever that is) is mostly through outcome-based measures. Using mandatory LSAT minimums (whether on an individual basis or through medians or 25th percentiles) is not an outcome measure, but could be an accreditation standard using our principle. I don’t think it’s politically feasible or a smart strategic decision for us to make, but I have no problem with the suggestion that learning in and out of a classroom works more effectively with people who have a higher aptitude for the LSAT. The problem is that it’d be designed to keep people out. Anything that smells like an anti-trust violation scares people in the ABA counsel’s office and Section of Legal Education. How does the AMA get away with it? They use the “it’s a matter of life and death” argument. The ABA knows the argument and is still scared. It’s telling.

The more likely solution than a mandatory minimum LSAT is a stricter bar passage requirement for schools. The tricky part here is that the bar is curved. Alternatively, the ABA could decide to enforce Standard 501 through likelihood of success on the bar as measured by the LSAT and GPA instead of (or in addition to) actual success on the bar over time. An interpretation to Standard 501 could set a presumptive minimum. I just wouldn’t spend political capital working on it. I really think it’s a non-starter.

Anyhow, I think you are equivocating “law schools need to be harder to get into [through LSAT minimums]” with “law schools need to enroll fewer people.” They’re not too far apart, and I am on the record in countless places saying law schools need to enroll fewer people, but the jobs/debt problem isn’t because there are too many less-smart people flooding law schools. Law schools have let too many people in regardless of what they score on a test.

A legal education can be valuable for people who do not practice law, it just needs to be priced fairly. It would be weird to use the LT, FT BPR metric at nine months to decide whether a school can stay open – but I admit I would not do anything to oppose such a standard. The outcomes measure I’d use to judge whether a school does an adequate job would be through debt service measurements. That’s not something the Section of Legal Education can do through accreditation changes—that needs to come from Congress through loan reform.

I want to reiterate my first paragraph. The letter was not a missive on everything that needs to be done. It was two very specific suggestions that would help things along. I am not anti-regulation. I am for not regulating away competitors to the current broken model. I’ve been consulting with a new law school and it’s unfortunate to see the price driven up by the accreditation standards. As a first step towards a low-cost model, it is great—but I’d like to see what innovation could happen for the long-term if schools can innovate. At a certain point we have to trust educators to educate.

Lastly, kappycaft1 has completely mischaracterized my suggestions if he thinks I am happy with IBR/PAYE and its effect on taxpayers, the profession, and students/graduates. I regularly speak out against it.

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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby justonemoregame » Fri May 10, 2013 11:38 am

I think 160 is way too high of an LSAT median. Regardless of the median, schools would not have to be careful admitting people with any particular score, so long as the numbers offset on the other side of the median. (I know this is obvious to most).

So if you find somebody with a 143 and awesome WE, a good gpa, a good story or whatever, you can still admit them. Many of the public state schools in rural areas seem to have medians in the 150s, so I think that's roughly where the number should come in. TTTTs won't be able to hold that threshold and still be profitable, so the effect would be to shut them down.

As far as the student loan side of it, how effectual can the ABA Task Force recommendations be? I don't want the ABA to make recommendations to itself, only to further debate those considerations, and then recommend them to Congress -- I want them to actually do something substantive and within their obvious regulatory purview.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby jenesaislaw » Fri May 10, 2013 11:45 am

justonemoregame wrote:As far as the student loan side of it, how effectual can the ABA Task Force recommendations be? I don't want the ABA to make recommendations to itself, only to further debate those considerations, and then recommend them to Congress -- I want them to actually do something substantive and within their obvious regulatory purview.


The Task Force has no regulatory purview. I have reasons I can't share on here for why it'd possibly be effective to have a still-important group like the Task Force signal to Congress that the profession recognizes that schools do not deserve blank checks. Sorry to be like that, but know I'd prefer full transparency :D

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby timbs4339 » Fri May 10, 2013 11:57 am

justonemoregame wrote:I think 160 is way too high of an LSAT median. Regardless of the median, schools would not have to be careful admitting people with any particular score, so long as the numbers offset on the other side of the median. (I know this is obvious to most).

So if you find somebody with a 143 and awesome WE, a good gpa, a good story or whatever, you can still admit them. Many of the public state schools in rural areas seem to have medians in the 150s, so I think that's roughly where the number should come in. TTTTs won't be able to hold that threshold and still be profitable, so the effect would be to shut them down.

As far as the student loan side of it, how effectual can the ABA Task Force recommendations be? I don't want the ABA to make recommendations to itself, only to further debate those considerations, and then recommend them to Congress -- I want them to actually do something substantive and within their obvious regulatory purview.


The above post is right that the Task Force has no power. Congress has given the ABA Section on Legal Education power as the accrediting body for American law schools in terms of the qualification for federal funds. Although I have heard of unaccredited schools qualifying for federal loans under other accreditation regimes, this is rare, and the differences in tuition and the desperate attempts of unaccredited shitpiles to get accreditation bear this out.

The simple truth is that no accreditation = no federal loans = no money up for grabs. No money for the central university, no money for the deans, no money for the tenured faculty. Schools cannot survive on rich kids, donations, part-time students, and credit card debt.

The problem here is that reformers are quite split on whether debt or number of students takes priority. I think everyone agrees that the ideal system is one where the number of JDs basically parallels the number of entry-level job openings and most schools charge around 10-15K per year, with a few uber-elite schools can charge higher (although I think the 55K charged by some T14s is too much even if you assume biglaw). But realistically we can't have everything, and everyone has their own ideas about how to make those goals possible that are influenced by their political or ideological leanings.

On the other side, you have very powerful actors united around a single purpose- as little disruption to the current financial and economic structure of legal education as is possible. In order to fight this, the people on the other side need their own single minded focus. Or, you need powerful allies of your own. There has to be some groups of important people out there who think that the system is broken and want to reform it.




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