Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

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californiauser
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby californiauser » Thu May 16, 2013 12:55 pm

timbs4339 wrote:Nice analogy, but with a minimum LSAT score you're going to run up on the URM issue. I also don't see why you can't both lower the toll and turn drivers away at the same time.



155 is fair for URMs IMO, and I say this as a URM. 160 seems too high. 150-155 seems just about right. I'd like to see AT LEAST 150.

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justonemoregame
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby justonemoregame » Thu May 16, 2013 1:20 pm

Can't the URM issue be side-stepped by requiring a median LSAT as opposed to a floor?

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ph5354a
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby ph5354a » Thu May 16, 2013 1:24 pm

justonemoregame wrote:Can't the URM issue be side-stepped by requiring a median LSAT as opposed to a floor?


I tried to argue this before, and people accused me of not wanting to fix things. I still agree a median requirement is better than a floor.

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kay2016
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby kay2016 » Thu May 16, 2013 1:25 pm

ph5354a wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:Can't the URM issue be side-stepped by requiring a median LSAT as opposed to a floor?


I tried to argue this before, and people accused me of not wanting to fix things. I still agree a median requirement is better than a floor.


Agreed

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buddyt
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby buddyt » Thu May 16, 2013 2:55 pm

An applicant LSAT requirement could be easily enforced by LSAC at the application level, but a median is harder to control by admissions committees. What happens if a school hits the median requirement exactly, but the day before classes start an applicant with an above-median LSAT bails, bringing the median down one point? All of the bottom feeder schools would crowd around the required median, so a situation like that is not unlikely. Would a school get one freebie year, and accreditation would only be taken after two or x years of violation? Or would you strictly enforce it, sending a message to schools to not even get close?

timbs4339
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 16, 2013 3:11 pm

californiauser wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Nice analogy, but with a minimum LSAT score you're going to run up on the URM issue. I also don't see why you can't both lower the toll and turn drivers away at the same time.



155 is fair for URMs IMO, and I say this as a URM. 160 seems too high. 150-155 seems just about right. I'd like to see AT LEAST 150.


The issue is there are going to be fewer URMs allowed into law school, since average URM scores are lower than for whites/Asians (hence the "U" in URM). While I think that it does nobody, white, black, purple, orange, any good to go to most law schools that will take you with less than a 155, especially if you are poor or middle-class and finance it with debt, the limousine liberals that make up the SLE are unlikely to agree.

buddytyler wrote:An applicant LSAT requirement could be easily enforced by LSAC at the application level, but a median is harder to control by admissions committees. What happens if a school hits the median requirement exactly, but the day before classes start an applicant with an above-median LSAT bails, bringing the median down one point? All of the bottom feeder schools would crowd around the required median, so a situation like that is not unlikely. Would a school get one freebie year, and accreditation would only be taken after two or x years of violation? Or would you strictly enforce it, sending a message to schools to not even get close?


"Good faith compliance" is usually the standard.

20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 16, 2013 4:24 pm

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timbs4339
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 16, 2013 4:34 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Nice analogy, but with a minimum LSAT score you're going to run up on the URM issue. I also don't see why you can't both lower the toll and turn drivers away at the same time.

Yes, it is possible to lower the toll, but as I mentioned in my letter, that needs to be addresses separately as it doesn't really address the oversupply-of-lawyers issue.


If I had to pick one, I'd rather be 80K in debt (say 2 years of law school at 20K a pop + COL) making 40K in some other career rather than 200K in debt making 60K (or 40K) as a lawyer. From a broad policy perspective the former is certainly better than the latter.

20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 16, 2013 4:49 pm

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby JamesDean1955 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:00 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Nice analogy, but with a minimum LSAT score you're going to run up on the URM issue. I also don't see why you can't both lower the toll and turn drivers away at the same time.

Yes, it is possible to lower the toll, but as I mentioned in my letter, that needs to be addresses separately as it doesn't really address the oversupply-of-lawyers issue.


If I had to pick one, I'd rather be 80K in debt (say 2 years of law school at 20K a pop + COL) making 40K in some other career rather than 200K in debt making 60K (or 40K) as a lawyer. From a broad policy perspective the former is certainly better than the latter.

Hahaha yeah, and I get that, but what I'm saying is that the problem with the legal field right now is that there are too many lawyers and too few jobs. Lowering tuition will not help resolve this issue, which in my opinion is the real problem at hand.

Lowering tuition needs to be viewed as a separate-but-relevant matter to the task of fixing the oversupply of lawyers. As you're probably aware, simply lowering tuition without proper countermeasures in place might very well increase the number of people going to law school, and thereby drive the legal community even further down the shitter. :(


Not to mention universities have gotten used to this money, and probably have expansions in the works that depend on a continued influx of big tuition dollars. The resistance would be incredible I'd imagine, and the quality of legal education could very well deteriorate over the short term if other measures weren't put in place.

timbs4339
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby timbs4339 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:05 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Nice analogy, but with a minimum LSAT score you're going to run up on the URM issue. I also don't see why you can't both lower the toll and turn drivers away at the same time.

Yes, it is possible to lower the toll, but as I mentioned in my letter, that needs to be addresses separately as it doesn't really address the oversupply-of-lawyers issue.


If I had to pick one, I'd rather be 80K in debt (say 2 years of law school at 20K a pop + COL) making 40K in some other career rather than 200K in debt making 60K (or 40K) as a lawyer. From a broad policy perspective the former is certainly better than the latter.

Hahaha yeah, and I get that, but what I'm saying is that the problem with the legal field right now is that there are too many lawyers and too few jobs. Lowering tuition will not help resolve this issue, which in my opinion is the real problem at hand.

Lowering tuition needs to be viewed as a separate-but-relevant matter to the task of fixing the oversupply of lawyers. As you're probably aware, simply lowering tuition without proper countermeasures in place might very well increase the number of people going to law school, and thereby drive the legal community even further down the shitter. :(


There really isn't an oversupply of lawyers- there are just as many lawyers as the market can bear if you define lawyer as "a person who is actually has a lawyer job" which you kind of have to when the schools claim that they make you a lawyer and the actual getting paid to do it part is not their concern. There's an oversupply of JDs to lawyer jobs. But that oversupply is built into the system, including back when most of the boomers were in law school paying like $500 a semester. Meanwhile many of the people getting lawyer jobs are still miserable because of the debt. If you assume that cutting tuition will drive demand for law school and schools would take more students, you'd also have to think cutting seats would drive prices up even higher, and demand as well, because people would see law school as a safer bet.

I guess I just don't think the value of being "a lawyer" outweighs the value of being able to make your payments on time and have a reasonably decent standard of living.

ramsdancer1
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby ramsdancer1 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:38 pm

kappycaft1 I think your letter was well written and I thought your analogy was brilliant. The only problem I have is I don't think there should be a minimum LSAT requirement per se. I don't think the root of the problem is the applicants or even the TTTT's out there, it's the ABA for accrediting the schools in the first place who are taking people who probably shouldn't be admitted to law school in the first place. I mean, students who probably shouldn't go are always going to apply and shitty schools are always going to open if they can because it's a cash cow. The root of the problem as I see it is stricter regulations on ABA accreditation so TTTTs will be closed and won't open in the future. Its schools that shouldn't be accredited that take students who shouldn't be in law school or students with really low LSAT scores. And it is these schools that leave students with horrible debt and a degree they can't use to get a good enough job to pay back there debt. Less schools, less lawyers, more jobs. And instead of a required LSAT score, if you close the TTTs higher schools don't really take people with really low LSAT scores, unless circumstances or something but that can be up to the school to decide if the student is worthy enough despite their score. Therefore, it is like a de facto minimum LSAT but schools still have the leeway to take students with lower scores that are deserving.

20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:44 pm

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kay2016
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby kay2016 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:10 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:I think you get the point that I was making, though (and also that I was using the words "lawyer" and "JD" synonymously). After all, a JD is a juris doctor, which is a doctor of jurisprudence, which is a doctor of law, which is a lawyer of sorts. :P

Again, I also think that tuition should be lowered. It is currently way too high, and will continue to rise at a rate much higher than inflation. However, if people were able to find decent employment, it wouldn't be as big of an issue. Part of the problem is that people are going into shit-tons of debt for a degree that they aren't sure if they will ever be able to use. If a JD came much closer to guaranteeing employment as a lawyer, I think that the value of the degree would be worth a lot (although still not quite as much as what they charge for it nowadays). Accordingly, I think that we need to help return a lot of the lost value of a JD while simultaneously working to lower the cost of a JD. I am just afraid that it will be difficult to successfully do both from the get-go, so that is why I think we should start by working towards fixing the oversupply issue.


If schools risked losing accreditation, and risked losing federal funding then they wouldn't be able to keep raising tuition because there aren't enough rich students to supply a class.. This won't lower tuition over night, but may help in the long run

20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:32 pm

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20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:43 pm

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Thu May 16, 2013 7:14 pm

How about a new metric: 65% of your grads must be above the poverty line 9 months after graduation after servicing debt. That seems fair.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu May 16, 2013 7:20 pm

To play some devil's advocate,

The problem for me with basing accreditation on employment statistics isn't so much that they're imprecise, though they certainly are. The problem is employment statistics measure the quality of the law school's brand, not its quality of education.

I'm aware that law schools are practical degrees, and agree that students should evaluate schools by their placement power. But the ABA should not be in that business: it is unethical for a governing body to bar entry to the market simply because schools are not established brands. Schools should not be punished simply because they are not Harvard.

From Chapter 1 of the ABA standards:

A law school approved by the Association or seeking approval by the Association shall demonstrate that its program is consistent with sound legal education principles.


What people are proposing w/r/t restricting accreditation on the value of the degree is a regulatory solution to what is, at its core, a market-based problem. Students get bad advice from friends and family that law degrees are a golden ticket, so they overvalue law degrees. Students have bad information on employment statistics or the legal marketplace (or believe, rightly or wrongly, that it's just as bad in every other sector of the economy), so they overvalue law degrees. The solution to this isn't for the ABA to target a certain number of graduates in expectation of a certain number of jobs via rigid accreditation standards. The solution is better information.

The market is realizing law degrees are less valuable than they once were; applications are down 20% this year and 50% in the last three years. This is enormous. Yes, tuition is still rising - there are still too many applicants and too many graduates. But the problem is working itself out. Restricting ABA standards would only serve to reduce the ability of the market to correct itself when the legal market changes (and it will; everyone seems to assume the current state of the economy will continue indefinitely no matter what that current state happens to be).

I do think there are real problems that need to be addressed here - the federal loan spigot is just too torrential. I don't really know what to do about this; making loans dischargeable would increase the risk profile of student loans and hurt social mobility. But something needs to happen.

That "something" just should not involve making it impossible for new law schools to exist. I'll mock TTTs with everyone else, but they should be given the chance to prove their worth in the marketplace. Brooklyn nabbed a SCOTUS clerkship last year, for example, and I expect they'll get some marginal boost from this; whether this reflects their worth as a law school will be shown over time. UC Irvine, despite the scorn it gets on here, is probably headed toward a mid-20s ranking given its medians. The problem isn't that TTTs exist, the problem is that students think they're worth something. Better information availability fixes that.

Add this to the list of arguments I, as a committed socialist, never thought I'd be making.

20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 16, 2013 7:31 pm

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Thu May 16, 2013 7:41 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Yes, information is essential, but when the American housing market came crashing down, was it the fault of lenders offering subprime loans, or borrowers who were going way beyond their means to partake in the "good life"? Either way, something (more than just providing information... People have shown that they can have all the information in the world yet make horrible decisions) needs to be done before since the legal market goes went the way of the housing market. :|


FTFY

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu May 16, 2013 7:42 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Yes, information is essential, but when the American housing market came crashing down, was it the fault of lenders offering subprime loans, or borrowers who were going way beyond their means to partake in the "good life"? Either way, something (more than just providing information... People have shown that they can have all the information in the world yet make horrible decisions) needs to be done before the legal market goes the way of the housing market. :|


Agreed, but I'm pretty pessimistic on this front. This is starting to get into larger issues of the education bubble, and the ABA is a very small part of that. Even if law schools fixed their shit, the writing is on the wall for our current loan-based educational system.

A crash is probably the healthiest thing for it, sadly for us.

20141023
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 16, 2013 7:51 pm

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eric922
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby eric922 » Thu May 16, 2013 7:56 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:Yes, information is essential, but when the American housing market came crashing down, was it the fault of lenders offering subprime loans, or borrowers who were going way beyond their means to partake in the "good life"? Either way, something (more than just providing information... People have shown that they can have all the information in the world yet make horrible decisions) needs to be done before the legal market goes the way of the housing market. :|


Agreed, but I'm pretty pessimistic on this front. This is starting to get into larger issues of the education bubble, and the ABA is a very small part of that. Even if law schools fixed their shit, the writing is on the wall for our current loan-based educational system.

A crash is probably the healthiest thing for it, sadly for us.

And when that bubble bursts it will probably be a lot worse than the housing bubble. Hopefully, Congress will do something about this, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Thu May 16, 2013 7:57 pm

The real problem is that the risk has no relationship to the price. (interest rates) I read that the Federal Government made something like $50 billion dollars last year on student loans. There's money to be made here. Why the fuck does a loan for a degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT have the same interest rate as a loan for Cooley? That's some dumb shit.

1) Student loans should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

2) Interest rates should be based on default risk.

3) Not all degrees should qualify for student loans.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: Tell the ABA how to fix our Profession

Postby beepboopbeep » Thu May 16, 2013 8:03 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:I just think that if there is a chance of fixing it before that, we need to stop worrying about being "fair" to everyone and their dog and start limiting something, whether it be admission, funding, accreditation, or whatever. If we don't do something soon, dis shit's gonna crash and burn.


Yea. I just wanted to argue that it shouldn't be based on placement power--which we agree on, though for different reasons--and that some of the rhetoric here has been misguided. I think people are still making a lot of assumptions that things are always going to be the way they are now, and anything the ABA does needs to be flexible enough to change with the market (or be non-infringing enough to not matter).

As a sidenote: the housing bubble is an apt comparison since overconfidence is the main reason we're in this whole mess, but they're fundamentally different problems. Renting is a viable alternative to home ownership, and there's enough of it to go around. Forgoing higher education, on the other hand, basically removes one from the economy these days; males age 18-30 without college degrees have the highest unemployment of any age/education group. But that's again getting into larger problems and getting a bit off-topic.




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