Archive for law graduate

The Law School Scam: More Law Schools Sued!

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I double-checked and did notice this news article Former Law Students Sue Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Others Over Grade (02/08/2012) reported law students who have sued two law schools. The law schools-Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law  appears to be separate from the other lawsuits against 12 law schools 12 Law Schools Sued Over Misleading Jobs Data (02/12/2012) sued for misleading students with skewed employment statistics and fudging their rankings.

These law students sued over the grading system. I will be the first to agree. Should you be the son or daughter of a local judge, know that your grade will automatically be above the middle or top.  Should you be a minority–good luck. Some of these professors will treat you like sh** more than the other law students and will abuse the socratic method to the point where you’re awaiting Strom Thurman to break out his overseer whip. Or arrange the pecking order a different way if you’re not only a person of color but a woman, another level of being a minority. The truth is it doesn’t matter how good you are. The bias exists one way or another, race, gender, personality  differences…. Do not think you have to know someone is for the getting a job only, it applies in law school as well. The law school classroom is their stage and you, dear student are the marionette.  Why put yourself through that abuse, while indebting yourself to a system that could care less that you live or die. Some of us did not know in advance what we would endure. But you do, it is your choice.

Law School Losing Allure For Part-time Students; Continued Exposure About Rankings/Standards

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A few highlights from the news article Part-time Law School Loses Allure (02/06/2012) “The question has become, ‘Am I going to fill my part-time class this year?’ ” Rutt said.  “In the Northeast, people have many options, and I think some part-time programs are going to go away. Frankly, I don’t think the demand is there. It is jargon meaning:  there are too many law schools.

Ooh, more investigations: Meanwhile, law schools continued to create part-time programs. There were 40 part-time day programs at ABA-accredited schools in 2006 and 53 by 2010. Similarly, there were 55 evening part-time programs in 2006 and 65 by 2010. Garon and others have speculated that the U.S. News loophole prompted some of this growth — law schools could admit weaker students without compromising their rankings.

Exposing the law school scam: The council data showed that, on average, students in part-time programs had lower LSAT scores and undergraduate grade-point averages than all new law students combined. U.S. News explained its decision to close the loophole by saying that the new methodology “produces the most complete comparisons.”

“One reason we might see some part-time programs close is because of the U.S. News rule change,” said Eric Janus, dean of the William Mitchell College of Law. “A number of law schools founded or expanded their part-time programs as a way to hide their students with lower credentials. Now, every student counts.”

A larger number of schools will “tinker” with their part-time model, Garon continued, perhaps offering more online courses or adding low-residency programs allowing out-of-town students to convene on campus for three-day stretches. In other words,  as regulators find irregularities and further scrutinize law school practices, law schools will seek another method to circumvent it.

Another option is to offer a “vanilla” J.D. degree — centered on basic law courses such as torts and civil procedure — at a lower price, then charge extra for clinics and other resource-intensive classes, Garon said. Schools also could do a better job of integrating specialties such as entertainment law, health law and intellectual property into their part-time programs, to open up new streams of potential students.

Hey maybe they can provide a 2 for 1 on elective courses; would you like fries with that J.D.?

More on Accountability: ‘Law School Transparency Weighs in on Reform’

Waiting for the Anvil to Fall

Law School Transparency Weighs in on Reform (02/08/2012):

“We founded LST because we saw how difficult it is for prospective students to compare employment outcomes at various schools. This has grown to us advocating for all sorts of consumer-oriented policies to combat significant problems in legal education. One method is producing reports that highlight the misinformation law schools provide about post-graduation outcomes; our latest is the Transparency Index Report.”

LST puts the burden on current students to make their law school administrations to tell the truth, for many though it is too late. What would be the effect on their grades, their chances of being black-listed for clerkships, summer apprenticeships should they “rock the boat.” No easy answer. Law schools do attract bright, inquisitive minds but many attract the sheister stereotypes–the back stabbers, the what ifs brown-nosers who will do anything to get to the top of his class. All this to confront while Sallie Mae is waiting for you at the end of the law school tunnel with a bill in one hand and a financial anvil in another ready to crush your future should you be unable to pay.

Simpler language, we are well aware that law schools have deceived 0Ls and those who underwent the lawschool scheme. We are exposing the false information law schools provide which lures the reader into thinking law school is a viable investment in their futures. Fraud by inducement.

And You Thought Shakespeare was the Only Artist Who Despised Lawyers

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I will not say that only harm or bad derives from established law or practicing attorneys. Law has produced much good such as the protection of rights. But let us be honest, just on personality and office demeanor, think of what you have thought of lawyers. Although many tout the law as a noble profession many stereotypes are true about many attorneys: money-hungry, do anything to get to the top, back-stabbers, foul-mouth, uncouthe, racists, sexist. Of course this is a reflection of the human condition but when many of these types revel in the power through the courts, politics, et cetera to promote an unhealthy agenda well, let’s take a quote from the Devil’s Advocate starring Al Pacino.  This movie premiered over 10 years ago but I don’t remember seeing it until years later. Wish I saw this before law school.

Why lawyers?

Why the law?

Because the law, my boy,

puts us into everything.

It's the ultimate backstage pass.

It's the new priesthood, baby.

Did you know there are more students in law school..
than lawyers walking the Earth?

We're coming out...guns blazing!   

The two of you...all of us,
acquittal after acquittal after acquittal...

...until the stench of it reaches

so high and far into Heaven...

And scene.

Even Spain’s Lawyers Can’t Find Jobs

Ok, so we heard about Britain and America and the oversaturation of the legal industry. I’ve even read about American law firms merging  with British ones resulting in the inevitable loss of jobs. India, well between outsourcing contract work and their oversaturation…oh and the Nigerian “lawyer’ who migrates to New York after taking a one year LLM and presto change-o-becomes a lawyer. But Spain? Ok the article is mostly about Spain’s poor economy and unemployment in general but of course, once again one cannot report about a country’s recession without mentioning “the unemployed lawyer”; this may become a new clinical diagnosis under DSMR-VI:

Many Spaniards lucky enough to have jobs these days are underemployed — law graduates working in restaurants, for example.

Here’s the article in full: Spain workers lose bridge holidays in debt crisis austerity move (01/22/2012)

So much for finding a job abroad. In the past year the media has discussed the problem with Greece and Italy. The European Union doesn’t want to bailout Greece until Greece shows it has a plan to get its country in order. The IMF says Italy isn’t doing so bad but is hesitant to loan its government money because its economy is not in the best of shape. So I’m sure we’ll see more about how their economies are affecting the legal industry there as well.

Kansas City Star: Would-be Lawyers Find it Harder to Break Into Profession: 02/06/2012

No Job After Graduating Law School

Excerpts from this article: Would-be lawyers find it harder to break into profession (02/06/2012) This news piece focuses only on law graduates from 2008-2011 and does not even mention the hordes of struggling and unemployed attorneys with experience from years prior. While the larger, established Kansas City firms have prospered or at least held steady through the recent recession and weak recovery, they have cut back on hiring associates.

 So the big firms who are very selective already are cutting back on hiring permanent attorneys from top rated law schools. The masses of attorneys do not have a chance at a decent income. The big firms are: “Many are outsourcing more work to contract employees.” —hiring contract attorneys or sending the work to India.

 “I’m not sure if we’re going back to the status quo, but the legal profession as a whole is doing well,” said Nancy Kenner, the board president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. “For new lawyers, it’s very difficult to find jobs right now.

Right after is the subtitle: A Tighter Market; who does she think she’s fooling? The journalist tries to downplay it, it’s not dozens, it’s thousands nationwide. This is your future for the majority of you who insist on attending law school:

 Take David Winter, who graduated last spring from the University of Missouri Law School. Now back home with his parents in the St. Louissuburb of Maryville, Ill., he owes $90,000 for law school and is taking temp jobs reviewing legal documents for $20 an hour while he searches for a full-time position. It is not encouraging that he works alongside dozens of unemployed lawyers doing the same part-time work.

 Don’t be this law student: “We’re all cautious,” she said. “Some people have regrets — ‘If I’d known the market would be that way, I wouldn’t have gone to law school’ — but I don’t think that’s the prevailing view. In other words, many law graduates have deluded themselves into believing they will get that big firm job, make six figures and pay off those student loans in short period of time. They are suffering from a psychosis, built and reinforced by false hopes, rhetoric and advertising and the elusive American Dream that has dwindled to a nightmare of poverty and scavenging to survive.

So that you won’t regret your decision, make the wise one—just say no.

National Law Journal: Accountability and Transparency: Law schools are adapting to the shifting job market

Buyer Beware

This news article Law schools are adapting to the shifting job market (01/24/2012) posted by the National Law Journal discusses the reality of  lawgraduates unemployment, the change in the legal industry and wow, accountability and transparency. The horns and sirens have sounded long enough where the ABA and US News and World Report actually have to tell the truth. The remaining issue, whether federal oversight-the Department of Education will regulate it providing substantive accountability rather than a new way for these accrediting and ranking entities to formulate a new form of ‘smoke and mirrors.’ You may enjoy this part of the article:

The ABA, NALP and U.S. News — under much criticism themselves — have been working to increase, clarify and standardize the employment information they collect from law schools. Within a few short months, the ABA’s most recent changes will be fully in place.

One of the benefits of the new standards is that “employed” graduates will be further classified within subcategories. The ABA and U.S. News no longer will consider both the grad working at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and the grad working at Starbucks as merely “employed.” Additional breakdowns will funnel them into categories that indicate how many are employed in full-time vs. part-time, professional vs. non-professional, long-term vs. short-term and school-funded positions, and in jobs for which the J.D. provides an advantage.

Lol, let’s see how they would justify tuition once and if these changes are implemented. Buyer beware.

Don’t Go to Law School if You Want a Living Wage

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Should have been the title of the following news column, but I guess the current one will have to do:

  January 21, 2011:

Don’t go to law school if you want to make money | Susan Estrich | Columnists | Washington Examiner

At this point, it seems like bloggers, commenters and now even law professors who are exposing the game are becoming redundant. But with millions of futures at stake and an industry that has changed to the point of likely never reverting back to the traditional ways of living wage, true prestige and intellectual competition, we cannot say it enough. Do not go to law school:

In recent years, an increasing number of law students have not gotten jobs like those, because most large firms (who are the ones paying $160,000 to start) have cut back significantly on new hiring. The idea that you can just walk out of law school and into a six-figure job is, for many students at most schools, a painful fantasy.

There’s an enormous amount of Wall Street-style accounting that goes into the reports on employment that law schools submit to the increasingly powerful organizations that rank them. So when you look at the numbers, you might think that almost everyone who goes to a half-decent law school is finding a great job after graduation. Oh my does she dare suggests that big money and corporate finance is used to ‘enhance’ of law school statistics and ability to graduate top notch law students? Perish the thought [o.k. that was some real sarcasm]

My first job out of law school paid $13,909. Granted, it was a long time ago. But even then, it was substantially less than what my classmates were making in private practice and barely enough to cover my rent, food, gas and, of course, those student loans.

But so what? I didn’t go to law school to make money. If that were my goal, I would’ve gone to business school, got a job in investment banking and yearned for one of those eight-figure Goldman partnerships.

I went to law school because I believed in the power of law to change people’s lives for the better. And I have never been happier, professionally speaking, than when I was making almost no money but believed that what I was doing mattered.

If the primary reason you’re applying to law school is because you want one of those $160,000 jobs, don’t . Forget it. Like medicine, law used to be a sure-shot to making a very, very good income.

Not anymore. The students who apply to med school know that there is no pot of gold waiting.

There are many better and easier ways to make money. Kids go to medical school today because they want to be doctors, not because they want to be rich. The same rule should apply to law school.

Law school almost certainly is a losing game if what you care most about is money. In my book, that’s probably a good thing. I understand to mean that if one’s primary goal was to seek justice and help others, one is less likely to be corrupted in their judgment, political leaning and more dedicated as a zealous advocate. The question is for those people who thought like that, why should they not be able to do an excellent job in their field helping others WHILE earning a decent wage. It appears that she has assumed that the current economy is weeding out the shysters and get-rich scheme and big corporate lawyers. I would caution that if anything, desperation for money could just breed more of what she surmises the industry was getting rid of.

Many of my former students started out in those high-paying jobs and now feel trapped and frustrated. Many who didn’t have that option have, through necessity, found careers they enjoy much more.

At a certain point in life, the escalators just stop running. When they do, you have to fend for yourself — decide what you care about, what matters to you, what tradeoffs you are and are not willing to make. The problem is that many students weren’t debriefed about what those tradeoffs were and were given misrepresentations of what the payoff would likely be. I agree that you do have to “decide what you care about’ a decent living wage, quality of life, time for family to make new friends rank high. Going to law school greatly interferes with it though.

That’s what being an adult is about. There are no guarantees.

We all learn that sooner or later. And learning it in law school does not strike me as a losing game at all. Says the woman with a decent paying job. Just say ‘no.’

Random thoughts

Another rejection letter: 

“Dear [                   ]

Thank you for applying for the position listed below with the Department of State:  [                   ] Officer

You were found qualified; however, in competition with other candidates, you were not referred as one of the highly qualified candidates. We thank you for your interest in the Department of State and encourage you to apply for other positions for which you are qualified.

Human Resources Team” [it’s all a game to them]

….An old episode of  ‘The Cosby Show’: Grandfather: Sandra…Princeton..how much is it costing you. Father (Bill Cosby): “it’s up there”. Grandfather: “What’s her major?” Father (Bill Cosby): She doesn’t have one. Grandfather: “She doesn’t have one?” What does she do just walk around the college? Father (Bill Cosby): Umm errr…liberal arts. Grandfather:  “What does that make her when she graduates?” Father (Bill Cosby): Nothing. Grandfather: “You mean to tell me you pay $50,000 for her to graduate, return home to be nothing?” This when tuition was likely more reasonable even for IVY League. Just imagine the dialogue for the TTT school graduate’s family.

More Rejection Letters Part II

“You submitted an application for vacancy [               ]: [                    ] Specialist,[                               ]. Although we greatly appreciate your interest in this position, ultimately another candidate was selected. You may access https://www.avuedigitalservices.com/loc/applicant.html or http://www.loc.gov or http://www.avuecentral.com to find other positions which may be of interest to you, and for which you feel you are qualified.” [lack of creativity]

“Thank you for submitting an application for the Attorney position in the Office of General Counsel, [                                   ].  Your name was referred to the selecting official for consideration; however, another applicant was selected for the position.”

“This refers to the application you recently submitted to this office for the position shown below: [                ].  The agency has cancelled this vacancy.  The position is being re-announce under new vacancy announcement number [                              ].  All applicants who applied under vacancy announcement number [                              ] are encourage to re-apply.” [so they can just cancel it again]

“You recently applied for this position at the Library Of Congress. The position has been cancelled and we will not be filling it at this time. You may access https://www.avuedigitalservices.com/loc/applicant.html or http://www.loc.gov or http://www.avuecentral.com to find other positions which may be of interest to you, and for which you feel you are qualified.” [would the trillion dollar deficit have any thing to do with jobs being advertised then cancelled]

“Your application for vacancy announcement number [                                     ](GENERAL), GS-0905e-11 in [                        ] has been reviewed.  We determined that you do not meet the specialized experience requirements identified in the vacancy announcement. Therefore, we can no longer consider you for this vacancy.”

“Your application has been received for vacancy announcement number[          ]. This announcement is for a [                     ] Specialist, GS [    ]position with the [              ] Corporation.This vacancy has been cancelled and no selection was made.  The vacancy will not be re-announced at this time.” [why must you taunt me]

“We have received your submission for the position of ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY III. Based on a review of your submission, you have been placed in the highest rating category of the eligible list for this position.  As a result, you may be contacted by the hiring authority for an interview.  However, please be aware that the hiring authority is not required to interview all applicants.” [p.s.: I was never interviewed nor was any follow-up contact made]

” We have reviewed your application and found you qualified for the position listed above.  However, you were  not among the most highly qualified candidates. Therefore, your name was not referred to the selecting official.” [you are not a 55 year old male with 16+ years of experience].  A selection has been made for this position.    Thank you for your interest in Federal employment.    PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE.  IT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY…”

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