Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Real Talk: It's been a decade, (almost) nothing changed, scam schols going strong

I don't know about you, but I feel like almost nothing has c wolfman11/25/17
I feel like if I saw one of those signs as a 0L/1L, I'd stil blackholelaw11/26/17
Do it! Michael Moore will film it and make it into a documen nighthawk11/27/17
that would be nice haha... or not... I hear, even putting po wolfman11/28/17
How many new ones have opened since then? esquire13811/25/17
I vote you do that and report back. Are the outcomes improvi thirdtierlaw11/25/17
I have to agree that the scamblog movement has largely faile disappearedattorney11/25/17
Not only that, but LSAT takers are on the rise. Yes, th patenttrollnj11/26/17
LSAT scores on the whole are on dropping though. Many people bucwild11/26/17
Caveat emptor makes sense for smart people but the scam targ esquire13811/26/17
That's the conclusion I recently came to. It is sad. We a triplesix11/26/17
It's pretty clear that the so-called regulatory body-the ABA toooldtocare11/26/17
Cooley and the Infilaw schools had a good market at one poin doublefriedchicken11/26/17
OP, I think as long as your statements are based in fact and hairypalms11/26/17
OP says that almost nothing has changed. Well, yes and no, caj11111/26/17
OP, incoming 1Ls are just going to think you're a sore loser themapmaster11/26/17
ABA accredited law schools which have opened since 2008, wit legalace11/26/17
ABA accredited law schools which have closed since 2008: Ch legalace11/26/17
There are four others, though they may not have been ABA-acc caj11111/27/17
Others expanded. For example, Cooley opened a campus up in R downwardslope11/27/17
Let's be honest, NONE of these closures made a dent. These patenttrollnj11/27/17
Copying from another post, here are four more "nothing schoo caj11111/27/17
I have to disagree with respect to Cooley. The press did ma soupcansham11/27/17
And technically neither Whittier or Valparaiso have closed y toooldtocare11/27/17
But allows those commodes to squeeze another semester studen triplesix11/27/17
The above points are credited in that the scam is very much wearyattorney11/27/17
A few more things to consider: The scamblog movement has wearyattorney11/27/17
I nominate this for "post of the year" in 2017. *** On flyer1411/27/17
I agree with your comments, though, in the context of JDU, i nighthawk11/27/17
No one is complaining here. I didn’t ask nor do I want sym wearyattorney11/27/17
Don't pay attention to him... dude is a certified resident / triplesix11/27/17
I second flyer14's nomination for "post of the year" in 2017 drwayoflife11/28/17
Yes, law school are scrapping the bottom of the barrel but t massivemissive11/27/17
The schools aren’t closing because they are now targeting wearyattorney11/27/17
Municipal employment seems to be a ticket to riches only in doublefriedchicken11/27/17
In almost any locality municipal employment is a solid ticke flyer1411/27/17
It used to be the case that a gov't job traded money for sec massivemissive11/27/17
I would like to hear the true median salary of lawyers - not flyer1411/27/17
I know lawyers making less than "$2ok esquire13811/27/17
I really don't believe that is true. I do a lot of divorces thirdtierlaw11/27/17
1) Where do you live? My recommendation is for wealthy count wearyattorney11/27/17
Most of the places you mention that pay well are expensive. downwardslope11/28/17
This is why we might not bring the scam to its close, it’s wearyattorney11/27/17
The municipal gravy train largely comes from over the top de unclebubba11/27/17
Regarding the pension: partially true. Yes the pensions are wearyattorney11/27/17
In my state the teacher's union is up in arms because the st flyer1411/27/17
Muncipal employment in any field where it is politically co wearyattorney11/27/17
If the police officer's ability to get a house was dependent flyer1411/27/17
I don’t know what terms you are using there, but my issue wearyattorney11/27/17
Losers generally don't know their rear end from their elbows flyer1411/28/17
As noted above, it would be helpful to get a true picture of toooldtocare11/27/17
I don’t know what city you are in, but most cops do not h wearyattorney11/27/17
Sorry, but it's clear that our experiences are completely di toooldtocare11/27/17
I’m not sure what city you are located in, but by way of e wearyattorney11/27/17
For NYPD, 100% of recruits are required to have 60 college c toooldtocare11/27/17
The most recent stats to partially support your point! It se wearyattorney11/27/17
These are good comments. It seems we have to redefine " patenttrollnj11/27/17
The scam movement has failed because it has taken on the wro david6198311/27/17
Liberals don’t care about race or anything else. It’s a wearyattorney11/27/17
I love the self righteousness on this thread. It is all abo nighthawk11/28/17
You need help. david6198311/28/17
Both wearyattorney are nighthawk are credited here. 1) Mu flyer1411/28/17
Granted, municipal employment that pays 50k is better than a nighthawk11/28/17
Municipal employment that pays 50k is not a ticket to the mi flyer1411/28/17
This is a valid point (flyer14). I work for the state at a j wolfman11/28/17
"A law degree is not only about biglaw or divorce litigation wolfman11/28/17
TITCR. wearyattorney11/28/17
TITCR, seconded. As per usual, the truth lies more towards dupednontraditional11/30/17
There are a huge number of muni jobs that pay more than 11 d wearyattorney11/28/17
Your post reminds me of a girl I once met who was working at nighthawk11/28/17
The purpose of this thread is to discuss the progress of the wearyattorney11/28/17
Earlier, somebody mentioned "Bergen County Police" salaries: anothernjlawyer11/28/17
Yes, if they make it 9 years. http://www.northjersey.com/ toooldtocare11/28/17
Yeah, I agree with 90% of the general points made by wearyat wolfman11/28/17
I think the reason municipal jobs are brought up so frequent anothernjlawyer11/28/17
I have a different take. I see graduates from decent school therover11/29/17
I don't think the issue is that everyone who goes to law sch 6figuremistake11/29/17
Unless you are rich, you can’t go to the top schools anymo wearyattorney11/29/17
It's a good point to note that many of the "good" jobs requi toooldtocare11/29/17
I think "the movement" has definitely made a difference. A s onehell11/29/17
Didn't his school come with free steaks? esquire13811/29/17

wolfman (Nov 25, 2017 - 6:18 pm)

I don't know about you, but I feel like almost nothing has changed. It'll be a decade since 2008 soon, and while a few weak schools have closed, at this rate it'll take a century for there to be real changes in the number of schools; all the "scam" lawsuits have been dismissed by scam judges, and new schools are trying to open up, and tuition is sky high, and the sheep keep going and signing on the dotted line to pay $200K for a worthless piece of paper.

I don't know about you, but I have a LS reunion coming up... we'll see how many turn up. I'm a notorious loser, but I would not be surprised if lots of people are disappointed, even the ones who got jobs. meanwhile, profs and deans have gone on to cushy retirements after decades of scam "scholarship" and a new crop is in, collecting checks and writing useless articls about "diversity" in the legal "profession" - the better to keep the scam going with *your* money, my dear.

I don't know about you, but I am thinking that by next fall, depening on how some things turn out, I might just be ready to rent a school bus (how expensive can that be?) rename it the Anti-Scam Wagon, get a loudspaker and drive it down to one (or all) of my law school's "admitted students" events; I wonder how the yield will turn out when OLs hav to pass by banners that say "THEY JUST WANT YOUR LOAN MONEY" and "THERE ARE ALMOST NO GOOD JOBS" and "GET READY TO BE BROKE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE." Heck, I should have enough vacation time to do this and still keep my crappy job with no hope of advancement!

No seriously, I might just do this, wonder what the laws are re free speech and what litigation one could face (I'm judgement proof, good luck suing, haha). Back when I graduated, I cared that people would think I am a crazy loser with no life, but now... I relly don't think I care all that much. And hell, I don't think my LS was even particularly bad... the point is, the vast majority are life-ruining scams for the vast majority of people. It's about time they were told. AGAIN. Mybe I ought to take the Anti-Scam Wagon to every school in the Tristate (and elsewhere) and maybe people should join me.

Discuss... or not... but it's time to make some noise and for the vampire scammers to be shown for the blood-drinking vultures they really are.

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blackholelaw (Nov 26, 2017 - 3:44 pm)

I feel like if I saw one of those signs as a 0L/1L, I'd still be in the delusional bubble of "oh that won't happen to me, I'll be in the top 10% and get biglaw." 2L year, I'd buy it.

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nighthawk (Nov 27, 2017 - 10:07 am)

Do it! Michael Moore will film it and make it into a documentary.

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wolfman (Nov 28, 2017 - 3:26 pm)

that would be nice haha... or not... I hear, even putting politics aside, he's a complete nightmare of a human being to deal with in any way.

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esquire138 (Nov 25, 2017 - 6:32 pm)

How many new ones have opened since then?

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thirdtierlaw (Nov 25, 2017 - 6:33 pm)

I vote you do that and report back. Are the outcomes improving at all? Sadly, even with my debt I'm doing a lot better than a huge chunk of my undergrad cohort. But I graduated undergrad in the no man's land of 2009.

But these schools will not go under until there is a massive student loan overhaul or debt is forgiven causing people to call for these school's head.

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disappearedattorney (Nov 25, 2017 - 9:51 pm)

I have to agree that the scamblog movement has largely failed. With just a handful of exceptions, the scam continues unabated and unashamed.

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patenttrollnj (Nov 26, 2017 - 1:32 pm)

Not only that, but LSAT takers are on the rise.

Yes, the scam has been exposed, but not enough people seem to be listening. There were some small victories along the way, but the "law school industrial complex" continues to thrive.

Thus, you have to look at things differently. The information is now out there, which is more than what I had to go on 20 years ago. Anyone who does their research can find it rather easily thanks to the Internet.

Bottom line: scams will always exist, but personal accountability is supreme. It's up to the individual to detect the scams, and make an informed decision.

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bucwild (Nov 26, 2017 - 6:37 pm)

LSAT scores on the whole are on dropping though. Many people suggest it's because the most educated people aren't applying to law school as much. So in a way, the scam is becoming noticeable. It's just the best students are the ones picking up on it.

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esquire138 (Nov 26, 2017 - 2:59 pm)

Caveat emptor makes sense for smart people but the scam targets not smart peopleis the countetargument.

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triplesix (Nov 26, 2017 - 5:53 pm)

That's the conclusion I recently came to. It is sad.

We are probably going to see lawl school rebound.

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toooldtocare (Nov 26, 2017 - 6:35 pm)

It's pretty clear that the so-called regulatory body-the ABA-will do anything to keep most schools open and hence the scam going. Yes, they'll pick a few scam schools to hassle, but the majority of the 200+ law schools have nothing to worry about. And the ABA is doing nothing, and will continue doing nothing, about the new schools opening. UNT should have never gotten accreditation, and there are still powerful political voices seeking law schools in Tacoma, WA and Charlotte, NC. The pathetic argument in Charlotte's case was "we're the largest city in America without a law school". And UIC buying Marshall isn't good, as it will be public money now propping up a school that isn't needed and should close.
But the biggest problem is the entire secondary education system. I used to think it was all gullible minorities and Special Snowflakes attending the scam schools; no more. While these two groups make up about 20% of the new students, the rest can be filed under the title "I'm a Law School student because it beats working." These are the tens of thousands of liberal artists who graduate every year with those valuable English, History, Political Science, Sociology, etc etc degrees. The only jobs they can get with their worthless diplomas are in retail. So why not attend law school? There's a small chance of a good job, but attending law school for three years postpones any real responsibility, and if I tell people that I'm in law school, some will be impressed. Besides, there's debt from college that isn't going to be paid back, so what's another 200K I'm never going to pay? Beats working at the GAP for $12/hr.
So the scam schools will continue to lie about outcomes, and the students will still apply and attend.
The only possible way to buttress how bad an investment law school is would be to fund a longitudinal study of graduates of law schools; the study would need to following a graduating class for 10 years(or more) to track job outcomes/salary/overall employment. But studies like that cost money and would make the law schools look bad, so who would fund it? Instead, talk about the Million Dollar degree will continue, and the sheep will continue to be sheared.

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doublefriedchicken (Nov 26, 2017 - 11:01 pm)

Cooley and the Infilaw schools had a good market at one point. Take students who the others don't take, teach bar review for 3 years, and fail the ones who have a low chance of passing the bar. But then the other schools took those students and the ones that were left (there aren't many) have little chance of passing the bar. The model is broken but they will suck the student loans until the bitter end (i.e. Charlotte).

But for vast majority of schools which aren't blatant bottom feeders, I suppose life will go on. The math doesn't work but there are lot of kids desperate for status, to look respectable, to have a dream of success and law school will fit the bill for many of them. The pain of student loans and career disappointments is in the future and can be well discounted in these minds.

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hairypalms (Nov 26, 2017 - 7:44 pm)

OP, I think as long as your statements are based in fact and add a disclaimer that your statements represent your opinion, then you should be ok.

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caj111 (Nov 26, 2017 - 8:18 pm)

OP says that almost nothing has changed. Well, yes and no, and it also depends on the school. I see a few signs of progress that might not have occurred had it not been for the constant outcry from those of us who feel that law school didn't quite deliver as promised. Here's what has pleased me -

1. Law school career services offices in many schools continue to skew and lie about their employment statistics, but many have now created the "JD Advantage" category for job placement statistics, to identity graduates employed in jobs that don't require a JD or law license, but a JD does give you an advantage in getting those jobs. They have also created a category to identify graduates who are employed but not as lawyers and not in a JD Advantage position (i.e., "you want fries with that?"). I'd call that improved transparency.

2. Many lower tier law schools have cut incoming class sizes and sacrificed the tuition revenue. Could always be better (some schools shouldn't be open at all) but at least that reduces the new supply in an already over-saturated job market. On a related note...

3. ...at least nine law schools have closed down in the last four years. I think seven of them were crappy for-profit or storefront type schools that barely functioned in the first place and were nothing but a mechanism to tap the federal loan dollars, but Whittier and Valparaiso Law Schools closed down as well, and those were fully accredited schools with somewhat long histories and even a few prominent alumni. Somebody finally came to their senses, and not just at one university that loved its biggest cash cow but realized it was wrong to keep milking it.

4. Four new law schools have been proposed, but so far plans to open them have gone nowhere. Three other new law schools in New York state alone were proposed (in Stonybrook, Binghamton and one other place I can't remember) but plans have since been scrapped. I would call that a sign of progress and people seeing the light about an academic program that leads to nothing but a flock of unemployed graduates that are heavily in debt.

Could there be a lot more change? Of course, would love to see more schools close and fewer students admitted, to the point where law school is out of reach for people who likely never have the prospect of getting a job (like med school - if you don't have the right grades, you don't go). Will there be a lot more change? I don't know. But I've been pleasantly surprised by the progress I've seen and while it won't help too many of us, at least this scam has been noticeably exposed and fewer people will suffer in the future.

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themapmaster (Nov 26, 2017 - 8:50 pm)

OP, incoming 1Ls are just going to think you're a sore loser. Don't bother with your campaign because they're not going to listen to you.

As long as law schools have transparent stats, there's no scam. If naive 1L's are being given sufficient stats, they have no one to blame but themselves for their decision to become a lawyer -- or in the case of four out of every ten law school graduates, just a law school graduate. Let them be.

now as to whether there are transparent stats even after the so called movement. . .

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legalace (Nov 26, 2017 - 9:25 pm)

ABA accredited law schools which have opened since 2008, with ABA accreditation dates
(https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/aba_approved_law_schools/by_year_approved.html):

2017
UNT Dallas College of Law

2016
Indiana Tech School of Law (closed 2016)

2015
Concordia University College of Law

2014
Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law

2013
Belmont University College of Law

2011
University of California-Irvine School of Law

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legalace (Nov 26, 2017 - 9:30 pm)

ABA accredited law schools which have closed since 2008:
Charlotte
Hamline
Indiana Tech
Valparaiso
Whittier

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caj111 (Nov 27, 2017 - 12:47 am)

There are four others, though they may not have been ABA-accredited.

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downwardslope (Nov 27, 2017 - 2:26 pm)

Others expanded. For example, Cooley opened a campus up in Riverview, near Tampa. Ave Maria also moved from Michigan to Florida, which made 2 new schools in FL since 2008. There is no way of knowing Cooley’s bar passage rate in FL because it is lumped in the out of state grouping.

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patenttrollnj (Nov 27, 2017 - 6:18 am)

Let's be honest, NONE of these closures made a dent. These were nothing schools to begin with.

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caj111 (Nov 27, 2017 - 11:38 am)

Copying from another post, here are four more "nothing schools" that all closed in 2013:


American College of Law - open 1971, closed 2013
Inland Valley University College of Law - open 2003, closed 2013
California Midland School of Law - open 2006, closed 2013
Lorenzo Patino School of Law - open 1983, closed 2013

All of them were in California and I never heard of any of them until now.

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soupcansham (Nov 27, 2017 - 5:46 pm)

I have to disagree with respect to Cooley. The press did make a difference. According to Cooley's 2011 509 report, enrollment was 3,628 students. Per the 2016 509, it was 1,209.

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toooldtocare (Nov 27, 2017 - 9:37 am)

And technically neither Whittier or Valparaiso have closed yet, though both are in their death throes. It's important to note that this long goodbye, and both schools' announced plans for current students, negatively affect the students' ability to get loan forgiveness.

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triplesix (Nov 27, 2017 - 9:45 am)

But allows those commodes to squeeze another semester student loan juice and pay their useless staff sixfig income.

Where is devos, when she is needed the most?

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 10:07 am)

The above points are credited in that the scam is very much alive, but as someone who has had their life substantiallly damaged by law school, to the point where my mental health is compromised and my quality of life has been substantially hindered, I can say the scam is not doing well.

The proper analogy is if the law school industrial complex were a living person, it has stage 2 cancer and it has been taking vast quantities of chemotherapy to beat the cancer and stay alive.

Consider that in ten years, the following has happened:

1) Standards have dropped to the floor. You can take tha LSAT as many times as you like without penalty, in contrast to the past where the scores were averaged. In fact, they are having to consider the GRE as an alternative because even the top schools are not getting the candidates they used to.

2) Enrollment is down 20-30 percent, and the smart kids aren’t going anymore (look at LSAT distributions for the top schools).

3) The information is out there for most people to make an informed decision, so even though most people who aren’t rich that pursue this are going to be destroyed, and even though that’s awful, it’s more equitable than people going in blind.

4) They are scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of ability and social strata. They are going after kids that really don’t understand how bad this, eg poor people in general, usually first generation college educated, and poor minorities specifically.

5) In light of the above, they had to change the bar exams so people could pass, as the quality of students has dropped so remarkably, even at the top, that if they didn’t change the bar exam, there would be complete disarray.

What does the above mean? They literally have no more room to play games. It’s open admissions and they are still hurting. If one more social event occurs that depicts the truth, it’s going to be Armageddon for them. All that’s is needed is one movie, just ONE, showing that your average attorney is worse off than your avarage blue collar municipal employee, and it’s lights out. When the 22 year old guy approaches the 22 years old gal at the bar and says I’m in law school, and that no longer illicits a positive reaction, but instills abject horror in the pursues, then its game, set, match. Will such a movie be made? I hope so, and I also hope it’s in the larger context of higher education.

Of course, the contrary is true, if we don’t keep the pressure going, they will survive, and hundreds of thousands more will have their lives shattered by the scam (courtesy of US Tax payers of course).

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 10:35 am)

A few more things to consider:

The scamblog movement has only tangentially addressed two critical aspects of the scam from the beginning, and that’s this: 1) even if you get biglaw, an apples to apples comparison will reveal that municipal employment beats law almost every time, and 2) even if you get biglaw, it’s not a permanent job in the least, after a few years you are out of the game and will likely never replicate that income again. These points have never really been hammered home by the scamblog champions, eg Nando (who are real heroes in my eyes, as they’ve probably saved more people from destruction than your average fireman does in his or her career). They are brought up now and then, but no one really broke it down for people, like, if you get into a wealthy county, as a cop, your pension at 45 is going to be 7-10k a month minimum. To replicate that return at 65 in the private sector, you’ll need at leas 5 million in a 401k. Good luck even if you manage to find decent employment in law (a feat in and of itself).

Focusing on how bad the job actually is, and it is so bad for most people, and in every conceivable way, eg time, money, stability, etc is a waste at this point. People aren’t going to focus on that.

People need specifics and we have to put our political leanings aside and put forth the iron clad truth: in a globalized capitalist economy, the best jobs for people not born into money are going to be working for wealthy municipalities. Period. End of story. The lawschools drive the narravitive in extremes and we have to respond in extremes. Law schools provide the best possible examples of success and make it look as those those are realistic outcomes, while providing the worst examples with respect to alternatives, eg comparing a cop in rural Kansas to the general counsel of a Fortune 500. If I tell a kid to join the LAPD, Bergen County police, FDNYC, local welders union in Boston, etc, everyone, including many participants of the scam blog movement, are going to point out getting those jobs is extremely tough and unlikely, but the point is that for a college educated person without a criminal record, pursuing those jobs is a much more realistic outcome than becoming a partner at Cravath (even if they go to Harvard).

We have to understand the pressure these kids are facing at home and the boomers iron clad grip, not only on the economy, but on the presentation of reality and culture. No matter what you tell a guy or gal who went to Woodstock and grew up in the post WWII economy, College is the way and the white collar professions are the way to go. No matter how hard the evidence posts to the contrary as the economy is globalized, these kids have a view of jobs like cop, electrician, fireman, etc that’s just extremely negative because they have been indoctrinated since birth to believe the white collar professions are the way to go, and that erroneous belief needs to be met head on. When they go home, their parents, especially if they are first generation college grads, are going to tell them what they read online is a lie and law school is the way to go.

Posts need to be shown that a Bergen County cop makes more than a doctor and that a union Boston welder at the top makes more than a big law associate. When it’s pointed out that these outcomes are unlikelly, we need to point out that so is succeeding in law, especially at current tuition prices and market realities. The difference is that pursuing those outcomes doesn’t cost several hundred k and ten years of life (the best part of a person’s life to boot).

Even teachers in the big city get paid close to six figures for half a years worth (compare that to ADA Pay).

Most scambloggers lean left (I don’t know why, anyone who went to law school should see that liberalism doesn’t work, with proof positive being what the law professors have done). They might feel pointing these things out as contrary to their political leanings, eg you never even implicitly suggest government workers have it good, but to push the scam into stage 3 cancer, we have to hammer it home.

EVEN IF YOU GET BIGLAW UNLESS YOU ARE BORN RICH, HIGH PAID MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES WIN.

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flyer14 (Nov 27, 2017 - 11:22 am)

I nominate this for "post of the year" in 2017.

***

One thing I've noticed on this board, however, is the shocking unwillingness to get down and make the career change themselves. How many people on here went to lol skool expecting a middle class lifestyle but wound up here griping about their lot in life?

Unless someone here actually made the change and left law and went into any of the following careers:
> Government (federal or municipal)
> Plumbers, electricians, other tradesmen
> SchoolPrick jobs
> Or anything related

... do they have a right to complain? I'm calling on everyone to put their money where their mouth is. If law is so horrendous, leave. It's never too late to make a career change. Winston Churchill was 66 when he was prime minister during the Battle of Britain. Harlan Sanders was in his 70's when he came up with KFC. And on and on...

***

Disclosure: I left law practice in 2015. I now work for a federal agency in a non-law capacity, making far more than I ever did in private practice. I also enjoy my evenings and weekends off.

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nighthawk (Nov 27, 2017 - 5:23 pm)

I agree with your comments, though, in the context of JDU, it is totally useless.

Wearyattorney can take responsibility for himself and make things happen; instead, he has grand plans about destroying law schools etc. but will not take responsibility for himself. It is always someone else's fault. The law schools ripped him off and he will take action. That is what you get on JDU. Become a municipal worker and swing a hammer all day for 32k, better than being a lawyer. You can retire in 50 years with half pay. Lawyers only make 22k. Even if you hit biglaw, you will never last there and will be forced to open your own firm doing PI and real estate closings.

Notreallyalawyer and Wearyattorney are cut from the same cloth. One tells us how pathetic he is and that is how he complains while the other tells us that it is the scam that is ruining the world and it is incumbent upon us to stop it. On some level, both are right. They both got a tough draw. Nonetheless, neither will take responsibility and both live with the victim mentality. Get up and do something about your situation? No way! Both are pathetic. People offered suggestions to one who shrugs them off and wants you to feel bad for him. I don't. The other is busy screaming all day about a scam. He may just need to blow off some steam and then get his life together. If that is the case, fine. If this continues, I won't feel bad for him either.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 5:50 pm)

No one is complaining here. I didn’t ask nor do I want sympathy. The OP was talking about how he or she feels the scam is still going. I am pointing out that for the scam to end reasonable alternatives have to be provided to law students. The reason law schools are able to recruit students is both a failed misconception about the opportunities the field offers AND framing things in a way that people don’t have other opportunities if they have a liberal arts background.



With respect to the thrust of your post, I have two points: 1) you are correct, people who made the mistake need to do what they need to do. There’s no excuse at this point, and they’ll have to rebuild their lives the best way they can. 2) People have to yell it’s a scam. The only way other people are going to know is if people keep talking about it. They used to say Nando and company were complainers, but they have saved thousands of people from ruination. We can save thousands more by taking things further.

Many many municipal workers don’t make 32k. It’s this erroneous belief that drives the scam, and Im saying, either we address it or the scam goes on. What options does a 22 year old kid with a BA in nineteenth century French basket weaving have? The absence of an answer to that question is what is driving the remainder of law school enrollment.

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triplesix (Nov 27, 2017 - 5:53 pm)

Don't pay attention to him... dude is a certified resident /all aspie.

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drwayoflife (Nov 28, 2017 - 9:22 am)

I second flyer14's nomination for "post of the year" in 2017.

This is the best thread I've seen on here in a long time.

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massivemissive (Nov 27, 2017 - 11:08 am)

Yes, law school are scrapping the bottom of the barrel but the fat checks keep coming in. In this sense, not much has changed. None of the schools ranked 30-100 have closed. The predictions of Campos never panned out and he's stopped writing about the scam. Law professors still make six figures for teaching 9 credits per year and writing absurd articles that are not peer reviewed.

It's all depressing as is all of higher education with its ridiculous price and lousy product.

I dunno where the breaking point is but my guess is that if the economy tanks and people get Lathamed again, some of the t100 schools might close. I also suspect that at some point higher education will hit a crisis point: tuition is out of control and while many schools are offering deep discounts the overall situation is untenable for the future.

At base though, is that it is becoming progressively more difficult to obtain a middle class lifestyle. Something has to give but when is the big question.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 11:32 am)

The schools aren’t closing because they are now targeting a demographic that is still mystified by the faux prestige of law. They have reduced standards to the point of open admission and have coopted state bar exam comitees to make the bar exam easier. They can’t go lower. This is it. If they don’t stimulate an interest in the next few years, there will be massive closures. We are dealing with regulatory capture here. This is why liberals love government, eg they take over the government and write policy to their benefit, just like the Deans of lower tier law schools control the ABA.

At current tuition prices, law school is for the rich. I mean, it’s not subject to debate anymore. If you want to attend Columbia, it will cost around 350k all in. This means even if you get big law, you still are toast. Even if you take a scholarship to a lower tier school and kill it and get Big law, it’s still likely 90 percent lights out at the 6-7 year mark (best case).

The vast vast majority of people I know who made it in law came from well-to-do backgrounds and everyone else is bleeding (the extent of the bleeding varies based on individual circumstance).

No one who was a pivotal individual to this movement wants to make the case that because of the surplus of labor caused by a global economy, municipal employment is the only salivation. That’s it. You aren’t going to make it in the private sector because labor counts for nothing in the private sector, whereas leverage, connections, and stability, usually associated with people who are already monied, counts for everything.

It’s real easy: look at what municipal employees make in coastal and wealthy counties. It will blow your mind. That’s the path to the middle class. That’s where an average, college educated person has a chance.

The problem is fundamentally a class issue. If you come from a rich family, especially a rich family where everyone is college educated, you aren’t going to be a cop, a plumber or an electrician. That’s just how it goes. Even if you have to go to Touro, you are going to go if the best you can do is law and the best law school you can get into is Touro.

Mysteriously, people who are already monied, are going to wind up with good jobs and everyone else, irrespective of ability, is going to get run over one way or another . Now... what do you want if you are this type of person, eg monied and going to law school? You want respect. You want people to attribute your success to going to law school and you are going to have to denigrate and destroy anything that challenges that image. There are still tons of people that keep quiet because if they say something, it could be game over for this reason.

A large part of what is driving this is that people from privileged backgrounds want to indicate that the system isn’t rigged, and that you too can succeed, eg take out some loans and go to law school. Why, they went to law school and they live well, and as such, law school is the path forward. Of course this is nonesense, some poor kid from Appalachia with 250k in loans isn’t on equal footing with someone whose parents paid full freight for Columbia, and for a bevy of reasons not just including the lack of loans. The problem is that, on top of a very highly paid group of crooks, eg law professors, that will do anything to survive, you have the added problem that people from the upper crust have a vested emotional issue to attribute their success to individual accomplishments, eg im not rich because my old man owns a button factory and I have a trust fund, I’m rich because I went to Touro and I run a PI mill (let’s not talk about my 7 figure seed money).

We are fighting a two front war and the second part hasn’t been fully discussed yet.

For this movement to advance, the alternative to law must be provided. What is the alternative? Municipal employment.

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doublefriedchicken (Nov 27, 2017 - 12:04 pm)

Municipal employment seems to be a ticket to riches only in the Northeast and maybe a few other areas. Even then, I'm pretty sure it is a "closed club" in that you have to have connections to get those cushy jobs.

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flyer14 (Nov 27, 2017 - 12:18 pm)

In almost any locality municipal employment is a solid ticket to the middle class (after controlling for cost of living). In many cases, municipal employment will lead you to the top 20% of income earners for any given area.

If you don't believe this number, compare your school administrator salary to the median income of any given locality.

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massivemissive (Nov 27, 2017 - 12:25 pm)

It used to be the case that a gov't job traded money for security. Nowadays, gov't employees get both. Of all the lawyers I know, government lawyers make pretty close to what lawyers in private practice make - except for rainmaker partners, which is only a handful of people.

I personally know policemen who make more than pediatricians. The world is upside down.

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flyer14 (Nov 27, 2017 - 12:30 pm)

I would like to hear the true median salary of lawyers - not what's merely being self-reported to the NALP and state bar associations. In other words, once you control for the self-haters stuck in commode law or people stuck hanging their own shingles - what's the true median salary for lawyers?

In my metro area, I've anecdotally heard shockingly low numbers such as $40k. I went to a CLE on real estate transactions a few months ago and was surprised when the speaker of all people began asking me how he could get out of law practice (and into government).

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esquire138 (Nov 27, 2017 - 12:36 pm)

I know lawyers making less than "$2ok

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thirdtierlaw (Nov 27, 2017 - 9:19 pm)

I really don't believe that is true. I do a lot of divorces for police officers all over my state, they aren't living an upper middle class lifestyle and their pensions max out at like $45k after 30 years.

I also know a lot of teachers. In one or two counties, teachers with 20+ years of experience may break 100k. Which is great for 3/4 of a year. Starting salary for "new teachers" is 35k. A job opened and the local news did a story on how the school district got 400 applications the first day. Go the town over the teachers max out at like $60k.

School administrators do make bank. But you're talking 2-4 people per school. You are delusional if you think most people end up in those positions.

Don't even get me started on JDU's obsession with tradesmen. I cant keep track off how many plumbers and contractors I've represented that qualified for a public defender. The distribution of successful tradesmen is much like attorneys.

I speak out about the scam as much as the next guy. I also am a relative success in comparison to my law school class. But raving about these blue collared jobs won't make it go away.

The schools are now targeting low income communities and many of these new students are surrounded by the blue collared workers many on here idolize. They see them come home injuried and beat up for $40k a year. So they will just scoff and ignore you and blow you off muttering similar comments to what law grads make about the "lucky" few that got biglaw. You're falling for the same trap.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 10:26 pm)

1) Where do you live? My recommendation is for wealthy counties and states. The pensions for cops in California, New Jersey, the wealthy New York suburbs, NYC, etc are much higher than 45k and it vests after 22.5 years.

2) Other blue collar workers make similar amounts of money in those places provided they have some kind of organization and/or political protection.

3) Many blue collar guys who own businesses do not pay taxes, eg cash compensation and then declare like 25k to the government. My brother’s father in law does this, and to be fair, some desperate solo attorneys do this as well.

Teachers on Long Island and New Jersey start out around 55-70k.

I agree with you that some blue collar kid from the hinterlands, eg Midwest, whose dad or brother does un-unionized construction in a desolate area may think this advice is crazy, but that’s because it’s not put in proper context. You have to go to where the money is, eg the wealthy municipalities, and you have to account for individual circumstances, eg even a kid with a 150 LSAT and B average in history is going to have a better work ethic than some of the people that attempt blue collar work in wealthy counties.

Finally, let’s say getting that 200k cop job in Bergen County is as unlikely as getting that big law job. What are the risks associated with each? You try and fail at blue collar work and you aren’t a debt serf. You try and fail down the higher education scam...

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downwardslope (Nov 28, 2017 - 4:35 pm)

Most of the places you mention that pay well are expensive. NJ has a really high tax burden. So does CA. So yeah you make a lot but it is ridiculously expensive to live there and lots of municipalities require you to live there to work there.

Similarly, despite the love for trades, they are hard on the body. You can’t always do them as long as you can sit at a desk. After bending and twisting and carrying heavy weight for years, it takes its toll on the body and those contractors/self employed folks do not have the superior health insurance.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 12:38 pm)

This is why we might not bring the scam to its close, it’s responses like the one provided by double.

It is true that this is only going to work in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, DC, and a few other places (these states probably account for 1/3 of the population of the country, maybe more). These are the same places though where the majority of Big firms and prestigious government agencies related to law are located.

It isn’t true that all of municipal jobs are based on connections. If you want to be a 500k tugboat Captain in LA or a 300k machine crane operator in Chicago, then yeah, those jobs require connections most of the time. If you want to become a fireman, police officer, regular tradesperson, call dispatcher, sanitation worker, etc, they are all based on a test. Now... the numbers are harrowing at first glance, eg 100k people might take the test, but it’s not the same type of quality you would encounter at most law schools (even under present diminished circumstances). You will be competing with people most of which barely graduated high school, almost none of which attended college at all, and a small number of which literally can’t read. This means you’ll probably land something if you put the same dedication as trying to become a lawyer.

Also, what’s the risk? What do you lose if you try this option and fail? You literally lose close to nothing, but if you try and fail at law... the consequences are permanent and severe, ranging from being overqualified for every nonlaw job to being a debt serf.

When I was in law school, I told one of my professors (very liberal) that I think law school is a scam, and he looked at me with a James Bond villain smile and said “yeah, what are your alternatives with a BA in History?”

You take 1) the above representation by law schools that there are no other options for liberal arts graduates, 2) pressure from boomer parents and relatives that just aren’t going to accept that being a lawyer is a path to poverty, statistics be damned, eg a lawyer charged him 2500 dollars for a closing on his house in 1987, and you aren’t going to tell said boomer that this isn’t the way to go; (also, his brother’s neighbor’s nephew’s cousin is a partner in a New York firm, and he makes bank, so that’s proof positive right there); (also, those kids working at Starbucks with a law degree, they are just losers and didn’t work hard enough); (also, the guy who became a millionaire doing MLM, that’s hard and based on luck and you shouldn’t try that, odds are much better in law); (also, the 45 year old retired Bergen County cop bringing down 120k in pension benefits a year plus health care for life plus who is working on a second pension in the southern state he retired in, where 120k makes you a Roman emperor, yeah, well, that isn’t prestigious, and what’s 120k with no work when you can make 1 million as a lawyer); (also, with respect to the latter point, the boomer will almost certainly mention double’s point that those jobs are hard to get and becoming a partner at Cravath is a lot more feasible); and 3) the conventional view espoused by double that all muni jobs are based on chrony political connections, and the scam lives.

This is a do or die moment for the scam. We can’t control if someone makes a big move in the culture and depicts by film or otherwise that this is a fool’s errand, but we can put forward the alternatives to law.

Rest assured that if kids aren’t told the very real reality that the economy is permanently altered and private sector employment, especially in law, if you aren’t rich is a death sentence, then law schools are going to win and recover. I might as well gamble 250k and end my life if there arent any other options the lemming will say.

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unclebubba (Nov 27, 2017 - 1:33 pm)

The municipal gravy train largely comes from over the top defined benefit pensions.

Once these go - and they will, for they are unaffordable for the communities. You're stuck with a lot of municipal retirees having to reenter the workforce.

Don't get me wrong, public employment is currently gilded all over the western world, but that gravy train will end soon enough.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 1:40 pm)

Regarding the pension: partially true. Yes the pensions aren’t going to be as good, but they are still going to have it better than private sector minions. See below regarding the gravy train. No matter what happens, municipal government employees are going to have it better than private sector workers, and that’s a fact.

Regarding the gravy train ending: it isn’t going to end. Politicians will keep raising taxes and if the domestic population can’t afford said taxes, rich foreigners (Chinese) will come in and gladly buy the real estate and pay the taxes, see eg, Illinois and New Jersey. Moreover, once the smart municipal employees get the pension, they can move to a low cost of living area and live well.

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flyer14 (Nov 27, 2017 - 1:52 pm)

In my state the teacher's union is up in arms because the state pension fund recently capped COLA's at 2.75%.

Feds got a 0.3% COLA in the same year, and private sector employees get none.

Municipal employment, especially as a teacher, is credited.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 2:19 pm)

Muncipal employment in any field where it is politically correct and socially appropriate to be able to complain is credited, including but not limited to teachers and cops.

There was an article I read once where a cop was mad the union didn’t get the raise he wanted, and he was quoted as saying something along the lines of “and now I have to go home and tell my wife we can’t get a house.” Imagine for a moment, if an ADA, let alone a private sector attorney, made such a comment.

You get a law degree, you can’t complain. You get a GED and work for a wealthy city, you can complain. That’s the net of it.

When a liberal artist asks “but what else can I do with my UG degree?” The answer is get a city job.

Ideally, you could skip college too, but that’s another story.

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flyer14 (Nov 27, 2017 - 2:24 pm)

If the police officer's ability to get a house was dependent on the size of his raise that year, then he had no business getting a house.

Your issue there is that police officers are usually high Scumbags or sometimes Jocks, and they usually garner sympathy when they make poor financial choices. After all, protect and serve is such a selfless act and we should pay them fairly.

Whereas, most Lawyers are Losers. Many have useless liberal arts undergrad degrees and zero marketable life skills, hence their inability to break out of law and into that coveted municipal position. When Lawyers are poor, society judges them harshly because law is a prefftigious field. The truth couldn't be more different for a lot of lawyers, which is why Losers just lose.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 2:43 pm)

I don’t know what terms you are using there, but my issue is kids don’t know their rear-end from their elbows and they need to be guided.

If you aren’t rich, you get these kinds of jobs because they provide a reasonable living standard, with reasonable hours, a real retirement plan, and stability.

That doesn’t exist elsewhere anymore.

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flyer14 (Nov 28, 2017 - 12:36 pm)

Losers generally don't know their rear end from their elbows and even if guided will often wind up losing anyway.

It's from clique theory, which is more accurate than I care to admit.

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toooldtocare (Nov 27, 2017 - 2:48 pm)

As noted above, it would be helpful to get a true picture of what attorneys really make, but it's unlikely anyone would be willing to fund such a study. But no question, if the salary figures for all attorneys, especially those 10+ years out of school, got out into the public, the scam schools would be genuinely hurting.
That said, we're never going to agree with municipal jobs being the answer. First of all, there aren't that many of those jobs-nowhere near enough to absorb all the scam school JD students. Second, other than the ls dolts, there are a lot of people, right now, who recognize that those jobs are a good idea-so they take their worthless BA and don't go to LS-they go find a government job. Many of the cops I encountered as a ADA-almost all, in fact-had college degrees. Same with the firefighters. So the smart kids are already looking to avoid ls and are applying for these jobs.
And no, the scam doesn't have cancer. It's currently got the hiccups, and as a cure is accepting anyone who applies. And that's not going to end anytime soon; the annual supply of applicants with worthless BAs is almost limitless.
The only thing that will kill the scam is to kill the loans. That's it, period. Only when the money stops will the scam stops. And the scam schools will fight to the bitter end before the scam stops-I mean, who wants to actually practice law?

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 3:11 pm)

I don’t know what city you are in, but most cops do not have 4-year degrees. Moreover there are other municipal jobs other than cops.

I know many smart people heed this advice already, otherwise we wouldn’t have cops in some counties outearning doctors. I also know that many other people figured out law school is a losing bet and have directed their efforts elsewhere, including muni jobs. That’s not the issue, the issue is getting to the current crop of kids.

A very healthy number of the current crop of kids, as evinced from declining standards in LSAT and UGPA, are poor and/or lower middle class kids, usually the first to go to college in their family. This group of kids haven’t the slightest clue as to what is going on. The culture tells them lawyers are rich and cops are poor. This untruth is bitterly re-enforced at home, where their parents, that grew up during another era, will not provide proper guidance. If they go home and say Mom and Dad, law school is a losing bet, they are going to be berated and abused. They are going to be told that everyone knows lawyers make money and that the stuff online is a lie. The law schools are going to exploit them, in addition to telling them they don’t have other options. This is how the scam survives. The smart people from middle and upper middle class families already got the message (you have top 10 schools admitting people with sub 160 LSAT scores now).

Finally, we can’t save everyone, and not everyone can be saved. Lower tier schools are necessary for the children of the rich to get a degree and proceed with their life accordingly. You can’t be a cop if your a fourth generation college educated trustfundarian. We need something for these people. What we don’t need is Joe the Plumber’s son applying to law school and going 250k in debt because he thinks there aren’t any other options and the scam movement can’t muster an answer, and the culture presses him to go because the fourth generation trustfundarian doesn’t want to admit where his wealth stems from.

There are other options for people who can get into a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 law school. They need to be made aware of that. We need to scream it at them and show them because the culture is telling them something that isn’t true.

Regarding the loans, that isn’t going to happen. The law school scam is proof positive as to why liberalism doesn’t work and is a failure. People are selfish. Some people are selfish and conniving. Some people are selfish, conniving and lazy. The latter group will take over the government or relevant government agency and write the rules to their benefit and the detriment of everyone else. This is how the ABA functions, and it’s probably how the DOE functions. The government consists of the scammers and the scammers aren’t going to end their own scam, only the market can bring them down. Only free people making free decisions and choosing not to consign themselves to destruction can end this. The federal spigot will remain on, but the scammers have reached the bottom in terms of potential customers. The well is almost dry, and if these poor kids find out the truth, it’s lights out.

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toooldtocare (Nov 27, 2017 - 4:19 pm)

Sorry, but it's clear that our experiences are completely different. I have worked with cops on a daily basis for years, and most if not all have college degrees, and many(!) have law degrees-which they like to remind you of when a disagreement about charging comes up.
And these municipal jobs-who do you think is getting them now? The smart-ok, smarter-kids with worthless BAs are getting these jobs; it's not as if it's not common knowledge that these are worthwhile jobs. Every non-lawyer job our office has-program assistant; paralegal; it; investigator-gets flooded with applications. Every investigator we have has a college degree, by the way.
And have you thought about what it is to be a cop? What it requires? I can't think of a harder civilian job, and it's the sort of job for which most people just aren't qualified, if only by temperment alone.
So I too would like to save those who can be saved, but it just isn't realistic to tell everyone to go get a municipal job.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 5:13 pm)

I’m not sure what city you are located in, but by way of example, Philly is going to have to waive the college requirements completely because they aren’t getting people
https://whyy.org/articles/as-quest-for-new-recruits-continues-philly-police-may-do-away-with-need-for-college-credits/

Now this is a medium tier city, but last I looked, I think less than half of the NYPD has an associates degree, let alone a four year degree.

There’s no question that the job is hard, but entry into the middle class isn’t going to be easy. I’m glad the folks you work with woke up, but we have still have ways to go, as I’ll wager that at least a quarter of the lower income people entering law school this year would be better served and capable enough to get a job like this somewhere.

It’s true not everyone is suited for this job, but there are other municipal jobs besides the police force. The bottom line is kids have been brainwashed and if that aren’t unbrainwashed, the scam will continue.

And again, I want to reiterate, no one is saying these jobs are easy, but these are the jobs that can offer social mobility to reasonably intelligent people. There is no reason for someone who isn’t rich with a B average, 4-year degree, and 150 or higher on the LSAT to go to law school and consign themselves to poverty. None.

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toooldtocare (Nov 27, 2017 - 6:12 pm)

For NYPD, 100% of recruits are required to have 60 college credits, which is what the average AA requires.
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/careers/police-officers/po-hiring.page
That page also has a long list of other disqualifiers, ranging from felony convictions to the wonderfully amorphous "a history of disrespect for the law."

But more to the point: what are all these other municipal jobs you refer to? Going to a scam school is a terrible idea, but referring to jobs that either don't exist or are highly competitive to get doesn't help.
It's clear you and I aren't going to agree. No question that the scam schools are just that-scams-but the reality in today's economy is that many college graduates have degrees which qualify them for nothing and are essentially worthless.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 6:30 pm)

The most recent stats to partially support your point! It seems a lot of people have gotten the message (I haven’t looked at this stuff in some time).

https://www.amny.com/news/nypd-recruits-women-1.14541646

46 percent have a Bachelor Degree (and they had two lawyers and a doctor in the recent class). Still, why not make that number 70 percent? I am certain a large number of 1LS this year would be better served doing this than destroying themselves with law school.

Other jobs can include sanitation, fire department, tradeswork. There are other cities, eg Chicago where call dispatchers can make 90k, Boston where welders can make six figures. The point is this, in this economy, you need a skill and some political insulation.

The degrees are worthless, I completely agree, but there has to be a path forward, and I believe this is it, and based on what I just read, it seems like people are catching on!
In Philly for example, as I cited above, we have an extreme shortage of cops, and although it isn’t as good as some other places, it beats the hell out of debt peonage and three years of no income.

I am really heartened though to see those stats for the NYPD, that’s just incredible and most of those kids made an excellent choice.

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patenttrollnj (Nov 27, 2017 - 3:49 pm)

These are good comments.

It seems we have to redefine "victory" when it comes to the law school scam.

Law schools (and higher education in general) are not simply going to "roll over" just because they've been exposed.

The victory is knowing that the information is out there, and potential law students can review it in order to make an informed decision. They may still decide to take the risk, but whatever outcome they achieve will be on them. They have nobody to blame at that point.

Also, so what if law schools target "dumb" people? You don't need a PhD to understand that smoking is bad for you. Likewise, you don't have to be "smart" to understand that law schools are overpriced and have dubious employment outcomes. This stuff is not that complicated. Even "dumb" people can understand it.

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david61983 (Nov 27, 2017 - 9:45 pm)

The scam movement has failed because it has taken on the wrong strategy. You need to play the race card.

It's well known that minority students are more likely to take on more debt than their white counterparts and end up with much worse job prospects. I graduated in 2008 from a top 30 school and there's only one black guy I know who got a job. The others like myself are all unemployed and have "Voluntary relinquishment of license" listed next to their name on the state attorney roles. The only thing they have to show for it like myself is $200k in non dischareable debt and a lifetime of servitude.

The law schools know all this yet continue to enroll anyone with a pulse. Given the recent drop in law school applications the schools have to drop their standards dramatically and that means many more minority students. They do this knowing that most of these kids will never get jobs and only do so to keep the gravy train a running. In other words, the law schools are racist. They prey on those the most vulnerable and that is kids from single parent households, who were often the first in their family to graduate college and simply were never taught any better and believe all the horsesh!t these schools shovel out. Libs believe in unlimited loans for all but if you can convince them that the law schools are racist and only destroy the lives of those who attend them you just might change the tide.

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wearyattorney (Nov 27, 2017 - 10:35 pm)

Liberals don’t care about race or anything else. It’s a con game to steal money. All of it. The identity politics and racial issues soused by the left is just to steal money. They want to replace the coercion of capitalism with the unrestrained force of the state to accomplish exactly what busienss owners want, eg exploitation of private sector workers, but in a much more controlling and severe way.

Law school is a microcosm of this problem. All of thes professors are “liberal,” but it’s a con job. They want to steal lots of money without working. To accomplish this end, they need to distract people with other issues, race, gender etc. Liberals want to take over the government so they can enrich themselves, not to better humankind, just look at what they’ve done with the regulatory capture with the ABA, DOE, etc. I guarantee you there is even more nefarious stuff going on in other agencies, but much more covert.

If you bring up the race card, they’ll find that one minority Supreme Court clerk and say “See! Without loans she wouldn’t have made it.” Nevermind the 1) 99 percent of other minorities who are going to be destroyed and 2) the fact that if a poor minority had that kind of grit to begin with he or she could succeed at anything, including opening up a business.

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nighthawk (Nov 28, 2017 - 11:10 am)

I love the self righteousness on this thread. It is all about saving the next generation of lawyers from the scam. And the law schools are racist who are exploiting black students from single parent homes living below the poverty line. Would you help the homeless? Of course not. Work for legal aid full-time and make 22k a year? Never. Yet the comments here have no issue championing their cause for the "vulnerable" future law students who are better off washing the windows at a government office.

The self righteousness is disgusting. You are ticked off about your situation so you use the college graduates as your vehicle to express your upset with the law school scam. I started law school during a good time for lawyers and graduated during the Lehman Brothers financial crisis. Things were very tough coming out of law school. I didn't play the victim card nor champion some stupid cause. I didn't apply to a municipal job that pays $11 per hour. I did something about my situation.

People were still going to law school when I graduated because they believed that things would pick up. At this point, however, the word is out. A law degree is just not that valuable. Prospective students know that but think that they will be the exception. They are making informed decisions. This past July's New York bar had over 2000 less students than when I sat for the NY bar. Admissions to law school are way down. It is easier than ever to get accepted into a T14.

Unfortunately, you are enslaved by your victim mentality. You harp on the law schools, the liberals, the racists etc. but you will never take responsibility for yourself.Your rants will not pay back your student loans. Putting yourself out there and making things happen will. Enjoy the victim space.

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david61983 (Nov 28, 2017 - 1:05 pm)

You need help.

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flyer14 (Nov 28, 2017 - 1:13 pm)

Both wearyattorney are nighthawk are credited here.

1) Municipal employment (or almost any government employment) is a far better outcome versus the average lawyer in this perennially depressed legal economy. The promise of a steady paycheck, step raises, and a pension is far better than the uncertainty of the private sector.

What tips the scales even more dramatically in favor of government employment is that most of those jobs do not require a graduate degree. Even when they do (i.e. prosecutor's office), you can almost guarantee they will pay at or above median salary rates for the area, plus the aforementioned benefits.

***

2) This board is infected with the victim mentality. "I'm pathetic, I can't do anything, etc."

I want to see everyone here actually do something with their lives. Retool, reinvent, adapt to a changing world. If government employment is so great, get a government job. Sure, the odds of landing a government job aren't so hot due to the competition. Sure beats the hell out of working in commode law, though.

2a) Losers gonna lose.

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nighthawk (Nov 28, 2017 - 1:31 pm)

Granted, municipal employment that pays 50k is better than a PI shop paying 40k with no benefits. But 50k does not get you into the middle class. Just not that great. You sound like the fools who work for the career services office at law school: either you go to biglaw or you work at a dinky PI shop. Since neither suffice, in your mind municipal employment buffing the mayor's shoes is the way to go. There are actually jobs that are neither and may pay well. Just because the career services office are inept does not mean that you should follow their lead.

A law degree is not only about biglaw or divorce litigation or your own traffic ticket firm. However, it takes creativity to discover what else you can do. But if your life is following the career services office lead then you are limited by what they sold you. You curse out the law schools yet follow their thinking when trying to figure out how to get income. It seems law school, which you consistently refer to as a scam, seriously scammed you.

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flyer14 (Nov 28, 2017 - 1:41 pm)

Municipal employment that pays 50k is not a ticket to the middle class.

Municipal employment that *starts* at 50k and grants step raises and COLA's is definitely a ticket to the middle class, however. That's where the distinction lies, especially considering your pension calculation is often based off your high-three years of salary.

At least in my state, if you're a teacher, the union-mandated step raise is 4% plus an annual COLA (currently capped at 2.75%).

If you start at a hypothetical 50k salary, you would be making 90k in 15 years if you never ever got a COLA... or 133k if you got the max COLA annually.

***

The average lawyer working in commode law doesn't even last fifteen years. He either gets out or flames out.

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wolfman (Nov 28, 2017 - 3:14 pm)

This is a valid point (flyer14). I work for the state at a job that pays slightly over 50K, But does NOT have anything like guaranteed raises, besides a measly 2% or so a year depending on union negotiations... I assure you it's nowhere near middle class, especially in a high COL area.

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wolfman (Nov 28, 2017 - 3:20 pm)

"A law degree is not only about biglaw or divorce litigation or your own traffic ticket firm. However, it takes creativity to discover what else you can do."

Respectfully, nighthawk, you are simply repeating the career services line, just in a different form, and the pull-yourself-by-your-own-bootstraps BS is so utterly misplaced here. It's like telling a person that had his money stolen by Madoff that somehow wanting Madoff to die in jail means the person isn't doing his best to recover from the scam. The two have virtually nothing to do with one another. Yes, people should do their absolute best to recover. And yes, scam schools are scam schools.

There are, of course, lots of things one can do with a law degree to make money, and there are also lots of things one can do without a law degree that make money. A supposedly "professional" doctorate should give you MUCH MORE than a chance to figure out how to somehow creatively make money after you get it (with 100K+ in non-dischargeable debt as often as not), and that's exactly what the JD utterly fails to do for numerous people. Which is what makes it a scam.

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wearyattorney (Nov 28, 2017 - 5:20 pm)

TITCR.

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dupednontraditional (Nov 30, 2017 - 1:46 pm)

TITCR, seconded. As per usual, the truth lies more towards "both-and", not towards the strawman of "either-or".

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wearyattorney (Nov 28, 2017 - 3:02 pm)

There are a huge number of muni jobs that pay more than 11 dollars an hour. Presenting the choices like that is probably the most powerful tool left in the scammers arsenal. It’s also how the higher ed scam as a whole rolls, eg it’s either you get that degree or it’s cooking fries. No.

Call dispatchers in Chicago make 90k, sanitation workers in NYC make 80k, and if you want an extreme and unlikely scenario, comparable to biglaw, tug boat captains in LA make 500k (at the top). And I’m not suggesting the latter outcome is probable, I’m suggesting the risk of pursuing something like that is less, while the outcome for success at the top is the same.

Since the beginning, the scammers tried to dissuade anyone from speaking by labeling them as a loser, disgruntled, etc. They even tried to silence Campos, who is far from a failure. I don’t know how you remedy a social problem without discussing it? The government isn’t going to cut off the loans because the government consists of the very people jacking the system, eg the lower tier deans control the ABA. The only way to fix it is to discuss it and characterize it appropriately, so the potential customers make an informed decision.

In my opinion, a large number of law students are pursuing law school because they feel there aren’t other options; although I am sure there is an equal amount that think they’ll beat the odds. Nothing can be done about the latter, but we can point out the truth to the former. That will cut enrollment down by another twenty five percent I believe.

Whether the people who went to law school are sympathetic victims or crybabies is a non-sequitur. The vast majority of people who go are not going to get an ROI and this is a tax payer funded operation. I don’t see why the nature of the attendees is relevant. I can’t open a government backed business where I control the regulatory agency that is supposed to govern me, sell a faulty product, get paid, and when the customers complain, say “well you guys are losers,” and keep collecting, can I? If the people going to law school are so contemptible, why are law schools given this privilege? Let them compete like any other business, and if they can take advantage on their own merit, Trump University style, let them have at it.

Finally, the altruism of law school attendees is also irrelevant, but if you want to talk about hypocrisy, whoa, these so called liberal professors, man do they get the championship belt. How many of these guys and gals preach about social justice as they bury the children of the poor and collect their GOVERNMENT backed check. Con job. If they got the guts, let them try and convince a private lender to give money to potential students and let’s see what happens.

By the way, regarding legal aid, which is also irrelevant to the larger point as well, there’s probably hundreds of applicants willing to work for free, let alone for 22k.

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nighthawk (Nov 28, 2017 - 3:48 pm)

Your post reminds me of a girl I once met who was working at a big 4 accounting firm and had enough. She was looking to do eyebrows and that stuff because she knows someone who charges $400 for it. I asked whether anyone else makes nearly that type of dough for such a job. She replied no. Then it should not go into the equation if there is one outlier making the bucks.

Same here. A tugboat captain in LA making 500k is awesome but does not go into the equation. Saying everyone screwed by law school, and there are many, should do that is senseless. Also, if you went to law school then you are most likely very smart and studios and not business savvy, much less have the temperament to be a cop.

Re legal aid, you did not respond to my point. My point was that your crusade to inform potential law students is your vehicle to express your hate for law schools because you refuse to take responsibility for yourself. My point was that you care about these law school students, who are smart enough and have sufficient access to information about the reality of law schools while you would never work for legal aid to help those who cannot afford legal help. You're not about helping law students; you are about blaming law schools because you see yourself as a "victim." Madoff scammed people out of money. Crying about it for 10 years is pathetic. Do something about it. Crying about law school scams is no different. I prefer notreallyalawyer because he basically says that he is pathetic and hopeless whereas wearyattorney will not say that. Instead, he hides behind his phony crusade. His muni job solution probably works for some but is in no way a panacea for the law school scam.

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wearyattorney (Nov 28, 2017 - 5:14 pm)

The purpose of this thread is to discuss the progress of the scamblog movement, and address OP’s concerns that it hasn’t made enough progress. OP indicated he wasn’t satisfied with the progress of the scamblog movement, and suggested he was going to rent a van (jokingly I assume) to inform potential law students that law school is a complete scam. I responded because I don’t think that message is going to work anymore. More than negativity is needed, alternatives are required to make further progress.

I don’t know why my altruism, hate or personal responsibility is relevant to the thread. I know that people have been leveling personal insults for years at anyone that speaks out against this, and claiming there is enough information out there; yet every year, as more information and more information gets out, less and less people make the mistake of attending. So... I guess discussing it has had some impact. Law schools are now deliberately targeting specific segments of the population because they can’t get anyone else to attend anymore. I’m pretty sure a large portion of the incoming cohorts don’t feel they have other options, even though, as you say, some a rolling the dice to hit the jackpot knowing the odds. I’m giving the former group something to think about. I don’t want anyone that has alternatives to disregard them casually, and because I care more about one issue, eg law students, versus providing legal services to the poor doesn’t negate the truth of what I’m saying.

Moreover, I’m not providing solutions for people that went to law school, I’m suggesting alternatives for people considering law school, and in lieu of law school. Maybe you are better suited at helping people who have already gone to law school, as you suggest you are doing ok. Just because someone is doing ok doesn’t mean they can’t suggest solutions to a problem. Nando has been hammering away for years, and he is employed and supports a family.

I said the tugboat example is very unlikely, but so is becoming a partner in big law. The difference is that taking a crap shoot at the former option won’t result in life altering debt and a decade of lost time. Law schools specialize in making the outlier scenarios in the legal field appear very attainable, while pointing out that non-law success is unlikely. I am comparing an unlikely outcome to an unlikely outcome, but taking a chance on only one of those unlikely outcomes can ruin someone.

Municipal jobs aren’t going to save everyone, and I agree with you that a large number of the current crop of students are making an informed choice or can’t hack it at certain types of work, but I believe a significant plurality thinks there aren’t any alternatives out there and could very well do something else. I am suggesting one set of potential alternatives. There may be others. If enrollment is to decline further, we have to provide the alternatives, otherwise kids are going to say “hey, yeah this is bad, but I don’t have any other options, so I might as well try this.” I don’t believe the latter is true. Perhaps maybe that’s where we disagree.

If I have a set of unlikely options, I think taking a crack at the one that is the cheapest and requires the minimum amount of time makes more sense than taking the more expensive and more time intensive route.

There were people that Madoff tried to scam, but they saw through him and didn’t part with their money. We still put him in jail. The victims should try and get on with their life, and do the best they can. People who went to law school should try and succeed, perhaps as you have. That changes nothing in terms of stating the risks and providing alternatives.

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anothernjlawyer (Nov 28, 2017 - 1:25 pm)

Earlier, somebody mentioned "Bergen County Police" salaries: here's their current collective bargaining agreement:

http://www.perc.state.nj.us/publicsectorcontracts.nsf/e8bdc0fc8b79520c85256f4d005df32f/c165707f64bd542b85257faf00669d9b/$FILE/Bergen%20Cty%20Sheriff%20and%20PBA%20Loc%20134%202015.pdf

After 9 years in, they are making 120k, working 40 hours per week, and it will only go up from there.

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toooldtocare (Nov 28, 2017 - 3:03 pm)

Yes, if they make it 9 years.

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/2017/06/26/layoffs-county-police-officers-begin-afternoon-union-says/428568001/

26 laid-off out of a total force of 73?

No question avoiding the scam law schools is good advice...but the idea that municipal jobs are Nirvana is overstating the case. Everyone already knows about the high-paying jobs and are already applying.

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wolfman (Nov 28, 2017 - 3:22 pm)

Yeah, I agree with 90% of the general points made by wearyattorney and others, but I really question the idea that municipal jobs are the holy grail: firstly, because there is only so much taxpayer money to go around, secondly, because there are lots and lots of crappy ones that go nowhere at all for every 140+ LI cop, and also, thirdly and most importantly, people know about the good ones already and the competition is insane, and heavily biased toward people with family connections. Also: the financial calculations for muni jobs often make much more sense if you skip college, and that argument is lost with most middle class kids...

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anothernjlawyer (Nov 28, 2017 - 4:24 pm)

I think the reason municipal jobs are brought up so frequently on this board is because they provide an easy illustration of how bad things are for lawyers when compared to other working people. Nobody on here says, "man, doctors (or CEO's / CFO's / CPA's / engineers / whatever) have it made!" It's obvious. We all know that most doctors do a far better than most lawyers. Even your "average" doctor is probably doing better than the 140K Long Island cop. The point is that lawyers, who require 7 years of post high school education / training, frequently fare far worse than people who hold jobs that require 4 years or less of post high school education / training. Municipal jobs aren't the "holy grail" (represent a few public employees and you'll quickly be disabused of that notion) but compared to workaday law, they can be pretty darn good.

Nighthawk, I admire your gumption, and you're right, complaining gets nobody nowhere, but the reality is that most lawyers, like most doctors, CPAs, dentists, and other professionals, don't get a law degree to "explore creative options" as to how to make a living. Most of us aren't brilliant entrepreneurs or paradigm-shifting visionaries. Law school isn't a breeding ground for intellectual creativity and economic development, it's flipping trade school with books instead of wrenches and cutting torches, and pretending it's anything else is a mistake.

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therover (Nov 29, 2017 - 9:29 am)

I have a different take. I see graduates from decent schools getting much more modest (but by any other measure "good" jobs) than they probably anticipated when they entered law school. Some are state jobs. Some municipal. Some corporate. Some insurance. Some non-profit. And lastly some firm jobs.

Is it worth the money shelled out for lawschool? Depends on how much you spent I guess. If you're 10 years out and making $100k and you spent $200k that isn't great. Like anything with education, you have to weigh the cost versus total debt load versus your other options.

I certainly see some in house lawyers in risk manager type jobs where a JD isn't required (but early everyone has one). But they're making around $90-100. I see claims managers in insurance companies doing the same with a JD.

I think the message should be more nuanced. The you should be a plumber argument is silly. I think the message should be going to law school may not put you in an better position than if you worked your way up in a company unless you truly want to be in the courtroom. I also know plenty of people with MBAs of questionable value add. Granted it's one year less of school. Similarly teachers in my state must get a masters in five years, so their costs don't end with college either.

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6figuremistake (Nov 29, 2017 - 11:00 am)

I don't think the issue is that everyone who goes to law school is automatically doomed to failure. Some people do ok, lots of people regret their decision to attend. If LS was a year long program that cost 10k and the results were the same, there may be some grumbling but nothing like the backlash there has been.

The reason why law school is a scam is because 1) The schools actively distorted employment/salary data skewing the students' cost/benefit analysis ($100k in debt isn't so bad if you're going to make $100k or more at graduation) 2) The cost of attendance is absurd - outside of a house, nothing is worth $200k for the average consumer 3) Law school doesn't actually teach you to be an attorney - for all the expense and time you spend in law school, you do even leave the program with the ability to practice what the schools purport to teach.

Sure, you can mitigate these factors - have realistic expectations, get a scholarship, get experience while in school - but it doesn't change the fact that the industry as a whole is just a scam to procure student loan dollars.

I think the scam bloggers have had the most success in constraining #1. That is the schools aren't quite as aggressive about promising the big bucks anymore. Scamcovik and co. now focus on the supposed long term benefits of having a JD because the short term metrics are so lousy.

Aside from the most elite schools, I don't think there's a single LS in the country where you'd want to end up in the bottom half of graduates - certainly not if you borrowed six figures to do so. That indicates that the law schools still need to face a serious contraction and/or radical change to their business model. Nonetheless, the student loan pipeline has allowed them to continue with business as usual despite some cracks in the edifice.

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wearyattorney (Nov 29, 2017 - 11:22 am)

Unless you are rich, you can’t go to the top schools anymore except maybe the top 3. Tuition and living expenses are approaching 100k a year. Even if you get big law, when you factor in the cost of living associated with the locations where most big firms operate, you’ll probably just break even, as big law is a maximum 6 year job for 95 percent of people who can even get it. Between housing and loan payments, you are probably losing sixty percent of your take home pay even at big law pay.

No one also mentions what type of options people that can get into the top schools would otherwise have. Most of those people could get into top MBA programs or something like that, where the odds of success are equally low, but the upside on the long shots aremuch higher and an MBA doesnt invite the scorn a law degree does (in terms of HR departments).

This is probably why Harvard is trying to get the GRE in as an alternative. They foresee that kids at that level will ask themselves why get a law degree when I can get an MBA from Whorton or otherwise pursue something more meaningful for the altruistic types. This is another thing law schools specialize in concealing, eg what kind of options did someone have before law school. If a CPA goes to law school and comes out making 100k practicing tax law, they’ll register that as a win, but that person could have made 100k anyway and he or she lost three years of income and incurred expenses to get a credential that, at best, does nothing for them. If you account for these sorts of issues, it’s an even worse outcome than even currently presented.

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toooldtocare (Nov 29, 2017 - 11:12 am)

It's a good point to note that many of the "good" jobs require add'l education-my state also requires teachers to obtain a master's degree in order to retain certification.

I see the problem as being more basic: the message to just about every high school kid is: go get a college degree. They are given little or no guidance about job prospects with the different degrees, and are instead encouraged to just go get one. So they do, and most follow the path of least resistance, obtaining that essentially worthless BA. Once they get to senior year in college, it becomes clear there are very few jobs, outside retail, for a liberal artist, so many, as a fall back, go to law school(or get an equally worthless master's or MBA from a low tier school; job prospects for both are just about as bad as a scam school JD).
This has been true for decades; I got my JD as a fall back, but years ago the state schools were cheap, so not much of a problem. By cheap, I mean real cheap; I went to state U and was able to pay tuition with my part time, non-law job(grades too bad to get hired by any respectable firm as a clerk). Now nothing's cheap, with even state schools costing over 50K/year for instate students, all in. And there weren't attorneys on every corner, so a JD could find government employment in non-lawyer jobs fairly easily(e.g. the federal Social Security Admin was full of JDs doing non-lawyer jobs years ago).

It isn't that way anymore; the economy has changed and the educational system has changed. The country has more JDs than it needs or will need for years, and it's awash with people with BAs who can't find jobs, outside retail, that is. So it's not just too many JDs; it's too many people getting degrees that won't help them find jobs.

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onehell (Nov 29, 2017 - 11:11 am)

I think "the movement" has definitely made a difference. A small but growing number of schools are closing, merging, and being put on ABA probation. Look up the Wikipedia page for any low-ranked law school and you will most likely see a cite on there to lawschooltransparency stats. LSATs overall are going down, which in turn makes it harder for the low-ranked schools to even find students who stand a reasonable shot of passing the bar. That's because kids smart enough to do even a modicum of homework are increasingly realizing that law school is a bad proposition for all but the top schools. I personally know several folks who were considering it but later went for something else because "the debt just doesn't make sense." And they were finding this stuff all on their own, with little more than a simple google search.

Yes, there are still plenty of law schools out there, and they are still ruining plenty of lives, but the world is a slightly better place because of the scamblogs, which in turn inspired the creation of what I believe to be the truly best resource out there which is law school transparency.org. They truly are doing God's work over there. Prospective students definitely have more information than they did before, and an increasing number of using it and concluding that LS just isn't a good investment.

If it weren't for the election and Trump's love for scam schools, you'd probably be seeing a DOE crackdown by now too.

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esquire138 (Nov 29, 2017 - 6:25 pm)

Didn't his school come with free steaks?

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