Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

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scifiguy
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Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby scifiguy » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:03 am

So, it seems there've been a lot of threads lately (about the past 3 months) asking: "Are people really this misinformed?" ...."Who in 2013 is still clueless about law school?" ...."Oh, no, my friend is going to [insert bad law school]"...etc.

In an effort to consolidate some of the content of these threads and to also provide a unique thread topic on how to successfully share the "law school scam" message with others (a common problem experienced by many TLS'ers it seems), I thought I'd make a definitive, one-stop-shop compendium thread on this for convenience and discussion.

Post here (and/or refer others here) any particularly useful/instructive tips or stories on how to successfully share the "law school scam" message with those who may be uninformed. Many of us have gone through the experience (some having been on both ends) of encountering someone either in real life or online who has seemed inordinately misinformed about the realities of law school and seemingly setting out on a path that could lead to tremendous financial and/or career danger. Yet, we may not always know what to say to that person or how to say it in an attempt to help them have an accurate understanding of the realities of law school. In fact, from reading posts here online by others, it seems these discussions frequently even turn ugly, as one or both sides may end up highly upset or offended.

This is a thread intended to serve as a guide and discussion of how to best share the "law school scam" message with others in a successful and effective way that avoids some of the aforementioned pitfalls. Please share with us some of your experiences - both good and bad - and advice on talking to others about the realities of law school. What has worked? What hasn't? What tips/advise would you give to others in a similar situation?

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you'rethemannowdawg
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby you'rethemannowdawg » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:12 am

I think any attempt to share the LSS with others has to start with telling them about lawschooltransparency.com. It's impossible to have a discussion about it with someone if the two of you are going off of different assumptions about job placement, COA, etc. Having the first discussion be "Most schools outside the T14 are a huge waste of money, and even inside the T14 is a coin flip at a good outcome" has greater potential to be a conversation stopper rather than a conversation starter. But once people at least know how insanely expensive law school is and how bad the job market is, they may be more willing to listen.

Also, if it's someone you don't know very well, don't push too hard. Give them the info if you want and step away. Their life isn't your business.

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scifiguy
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby scifiguy » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:20 am

you'rethemannowdawg wrote:I think any attempt to share the LSS with others has to start with telling them about lawschooltransparency.com. It's impossible to have a discussion about it with someone if the two of you are going off of different assumptions about job placement, COA, etc.

Also, if it's someone you don't know very well, don't push too hard. Give them the info if you want and step away. Their life isn't your business.



For me, I find that sometimes there's an awkwardness about it all. ...Suppose you're in a barbershop getting your hair cut and the hairstylist is having a discussion with you about college and employment afterwards. One thing leads to another and the stylist proudly tells you of their son or daughter, who was accepted into Cooley Law School (or another institution with high tuition costs and poor employment prospects), and how they are so excited to be beginning a great new journey that will lead to a wonderful career ahead. There may even be mention of how they cannot wait to be making "the big bucks."

In a situation like that where you don't know the person that well (a regular acquaintance you see every now and then...or even a total stranger let's say), how would one even broach the topic? I think that was something people seemed to struggle with from reading these past threads. It seems as if one is doing a very terrible thing (of course, we're not) and being a "dream killer" for the proud parent, who is just so excited about their child going off to [insert bad law school].
Last edited by scifiguy on Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:23 am

If it's someone I don't know well or a stranger, why would I broach the topic? It's not my job to save everyone from themselves.

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bandenjamin
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby bandenjamin » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:25 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:If it's someone I don't know well or a stranger, why would I broach the topic? It's not my job to save everyone from themselves.


+1

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you'rethemannowdawg
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby you'rethemannowdawg » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:33 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:If it's someone I don't know well or a stranger, why would I broach the topic? It's not my job to save everyone from themselves.


It's not saving them from themselves, though, it's "saving" them from the scam that law schools have built. These people aren't idiots. A lot of people won't learn the facts about law school without other people telling them.

But, like I said, if it's someone you don't know well it's not really worth it to try to "educate" them. You aren't going to change your barber's mind if he's not asking for your opinion. Maybe I'd slip something in like "It's a tough market for lawyers right now, eh?" and leave it at that unless the person expresses an interest in learning more.

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scifiguy
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby scifiguy » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:35 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:If it's someone I don't know well or a stranger, why would I broach the topic? It's not my job to save everyone from themselves.


I can understand that perspective, but I do think that there's a moral and civic duty we all have to help prevent a potential disaster if we can. You might think of how others on TLS (if it happened to you) or elsewhere/IRL may have taken the time and patience to share with you the whole "law school scam" message/problem and how it may have completely changed your life.

It's kind of a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" Golden Rule principle at play here for me. It is, for sure, very uncomfortable if one doesn't know the other party very well.

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby star fox » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:56 am

scifiguy wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:If it's someone I don't know well or a stranger, why would I broach the topic? It's not my job to save everyone from themselves.


I can understand that perspective, but I do think that there's a moral and civic duty we all have to help prevent a potential disaster if we can. You might think of how others on TLS (if it happened to you) or elsewhere/IRL may have taken the time and patience to share with you the whole "law school scam" message/problem and how it may have completely changed your life.

It's kind of a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" Golden Rule principle at play here for me. It is, for sure, very uncomfortable if one doesn't know the other party very well.


If they're coming in from the SO PROUD type of perspective, they're not going to react positively to a stranger/casual acquaintance completely shattering their worldview and what WILL be taken by them as you insulting their/their child's intelligence. They need to do research on their own and come to their own conclusions. If you really feel a civic duty then be careful how you bring it up.. you wanna say it in a way that inspires them to do the research themselves. Maybe, "yeah I'm thinking about going to Law School too but some of the employment numbers really concern me.. two JD grads for every projected job opening.. etc. This site lawschooltransparency is pretty good for revealing outcomes for graduates.."

If they don't feel compelled to do any research with all that's out there in 2013 then at some point you gotta let them live their own life/dig their own grave.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:57 am

scifiguy wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:If it's someone I don't know well or a stranger, why would I broach the topic? It's not my job to save everyone from themselves.


I can understand that perspective, but I do think that there's a moral and civic duty we all have to help prevent a potential disaster if we can. You might think of how others on TLS (if it happened to you) or elsewhere/IRL may have taken the time and patience to share with you the whole "law school scam" message/problem and how it may have completely changed your life.

It's kind of a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" Golden Rule principle at play here for me. It is, for sure, very uncomfortable if one doesn't know the other party very well.

Right. I prefer people who know nothing about my life to stay out of my business, so I extend that courtesy to people about whose lives I know nothing.

Plus, those people who showed up on TLS and had their lives changed were at least searching for information themselves. Answering questions when someone asks is very different from butting in and saying, "You know law school's a crap option, right?" (When you're talking to strangers. Friends/family are different.)

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:53 pm

you'rethemannowdawg wrote: These people aren't idiots.

sometimes.

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scifiguy
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby scifiguy » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:27 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Right. I prefer people who know nothing about my life to stay out of my business, so I extend that courtesy to people about whose lives I know nothing.

Plus, those people who showed up on TLS and had their lives changed were at least searching for information themselves. Answering questions when someone asks is very different from butting in and saying, "You know law school's a crap option, right?" (When you're talking to strangers. Friends/family are different.)


But you'd surely want someone to break your "stay out of my business" rule if it were a life-changing thing no? I think people would prefer some temporary "pain" if they found out later that it saved them from disaster.

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:42 am

scifiguy wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Right. I prefer people who know nothing about my life to stay out of my business, so I extend that courtesy to people about whose lives I know nothing.

Plus, those people who showed up on TLS and had their lives changed were at least searching for information themselves. Answering questions when someone asks is very different from butting in and saying, "You know law school's a crap option, right?" (When you're talking to strangers. Friends/family are different.)


But you'd surely want someone to break your "stay out of my business" rule if it were a life-changing thing no? I think people would prefer some temporary "pain" if they found out later that it saved them from disaster.

No, I honestly prefer strangers to stay out of my business unless I ask for their opinion. There's a time and place for everything - if you start evangelizing Inside the Law School Scam to the person cutting your hair or stranger making conversation you're going to look like a Jehovah's Witness going from door to door.

(No offense to Jehovah's Witnesses, I just don't know anyone who's glad to see them or has been converted that way.)

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you'rethemannowdawg
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby you'rethemannowdawg » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:47 pm

Ghost93 wrote:
you'rethemannowdawg wrote: These people aren't idiots.

sometimes.


True, blanket statement.

It's SPAX, man.
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby It's SPAX, man. » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:10 pm

3 Step method for letting them figure it out themselves.

1) Send them to this website's forums.

2) Tell them if they can't handle what these people are saying and find a position from which to defend their potential decision against the people here then they should really reconsider.

3) Tell them about Law School Transparency (i.e. most useful website I've ever seen; not necessarily a valuable attribute).

Honestly, from what I've had the pleasure of reading since lurking here, most people don't care but can be made to care with enough fear. TLS has a strange nack for inducing such fear in people who seem to have forgotten that doubt is the best way to correct and strengthen one's positions. Hence pointing them this direction is a harsh but ultimately beneficial service to them/us.

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby guano » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:16 pm

scifiguy wrote:For me, I find that sometimes there's an awkwardness

stopped reading

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:51 pm

guano wrote:
scifiguy wrote:For me, I find that sometimes there's an awkwardness

stopped reading

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby CFprez » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:50 pm

If it was my hairdresser who was so proud of her son going to Cooley/T3/T4

it would probably be better to say something like

"Have you heard that law school applicants are down about 40%?" in a polite tone.

This assumes that they have might have done research, doesn't directly bash on their beloved special snowflake, and appeals to people's desire to do things that are in vogue like buying an iphone or not applying to law school.

Versus

"Your son goes to Cooley? That law school dean is drinking some messed up kool aid and I am much better because I am going to "HAAH VARD"

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:19 pm

I'd like to second the original post.

I've been away for a week without internet and meant to post the exact question/prompt as OP before leaving. The plan was to post and then come back to a week's worth of advice etc. So all week I was pissed that I forgot, then happy to see this thread, then disappointed that it isn't awesome. I've recently found myself in the situation described above with both friends and family- the former psyched about NYLS and the latter about a reach admission to a T2 with no ties and a top 1/3 stip on a partial (>30%, after negotiating).

Although I've gleaned a lot from individual opinions about when to share info like LST or TLS with someone, I'm still interested in how to do so as I anticipate that I will be doing so in the near future. I know lots of ya'll think "never try to talk to someone about the LSS unless they're close family," and I respect that position, but I've also read many of you mention successful/unsuccessful attempts and I'd love to hear more of those stories and benefit from your advice. Thanks in advance.

*edit for stupid their/they're equivocation

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby scruffy556 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:02 pm

My method for approaching the law school scam with others is to just lie. I was more than happy to tell a coworker last night that a TTTT was a great school, and then change the subject. No jimmies were rustled, and it's not my fault they can't use the googles.

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TheBiggerMediocre
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby TheBiggerMediocre » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:51 pm

Law school is only a scam if you pay more for it than you did for undergrad. Think of it as upper level liberal arts education. Also its an easy way to become a doctor.

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Rory19
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby Rory19 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:15 pm

What I have been doing is leading with my own anxiety, for example. "Wow, that is great that he/she got into law school. I know for that I definitely still have a lot of anxiety about attending and the debt I will be incurring and due to employment prospects being abysmally low for even the top schools. That is great that he/she feels so confident." Then I watch for reaction. If they seem surprised, they normally ask the follow-up questions that would lead them be informed. If they do not seem surprised but rather still blissfully thinking he/she is the specialist of snowflakes then it is a lost cause.

With a closer friend I responded to her questions of advice with websites and resources rather than be the bearer of bad news.

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby 071816 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:51 pm

TheBiggerMediocre wrote:Law school is only a scam if you pay more for it than you did for undergrad. Think of it as upper level liberal arts education. Also its an easy way to become a doctor.

wut

cinnamonchurros
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby cinnamonchurros » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:18 pm

TheBiggerMediocre wrote:Law school is only a scam if you pay more for it than you did for undergrad. Think of it as upper level liberal arts education. Also its an easy way to become a doctor.


In the sense of earning a doctorate?

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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby ksllaw » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:00 pm

i.) Use reputable and recognizable sources (initially): Although sometimes the big media outlets may not always capture the full extent of the "law school scam," I find that they are a better initial source to cite than say a scamblog or even TLS. It's often human nature to be more trusting of a known entity than a random and anonymous source online. Once a person is willing to listen, however, then bringing up scamblogs, TLS, and other lesser known sources may be helpful.

To start with, I'd recommend, in particular, the first major reputable U.S. newspaper article that exposed and covered the law school scam back in 2011:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/busin ... d=all&_r=0
"Is Law School a Losing Game" (David Segal)

It's still one of the better written and informative pieces out there. But since 2011, there've been a number of other articles critiquing law schools and the legal economy by major news outlets that you can find and recommend.

Also consider showing them Paul Campos' (Professor of Law, UColorado) Stanford Lecture with Deborah Rhode (Professor of Law, Stanford) from 2012:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2gvnPTHvH8

Again, you have two very credible sources here and professors of law, who give a lecture about the crisis of legal academia and the legal economy. This was actually the first source of information that caught my attention as an 0L and made me look into the legal economy and law school crises more deeply. I think much of it had to do with the fact that: a.) you had two credible sources; and b.) there were specific and concrete numbers given. Much of the critiques of law school and the legal economy I'd heard before that were not numbers driven, nor from good sources (e.g., a scamblog here and there online and an unemployed or underemployed lawyer acquaintance here and there).

I'll perhaps add a little more when I have free time, but just thought I'd throw in a few references that may be useful in these discussions.

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cinephile
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Re: Tips on Sharing "Law School Scam" w/ Others [COMPENDIUM]

Postby cinephile » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:49 pm

TheBiggerMediocre wrote:Law school is only a scam if you pay more for it than you did for undergrad.


I didn't pay a penny for undergrad, not even for living expenses, fees, or books since I had a 100% full scholarship + stipend. So I suppose even a school that gave me a full ride, but no stipend, would be out of the question.




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