Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Conceited lawprof Brian Frye denies that legal scholarship entails any cost

A write-up of this, uh, eccentric law professor's remarkable dybbuk01/22/18
Prof. Frye needs to define what he means by "full time". A K guyingorillasuit01/22/18
The "I do my hobbies" bit cracked me up. I guess much l patenttrollnj01/22/18
I don't think I have ever seen a more backpfeifengesicht in rubbersoul1401/22/18
holy cow - I can't believe that guy looked in the mirror on lilgub01/23/18
Ughh! What must that say about some of my relatives? I patenttrollnj01/23/18
It's not a good look when your tie knot is wider than your h zuma01/26/18
According to payscale, the median lawprof salary is about 14 onehell01/23/18
You know, you have a way of killing what could otherwise hav wutwutwut01/23/18
The average tenured lawprawf teaches what, 6-9 hours a week? flharfh01/26/18
I’m sure the ABA has some Bs requirements about minimal le notiers01/27/18
Perhaps its cost reflects its value. soupcansham01/27/18
dybbuk (Jan 22, 2018 - 7:33 pm)

A write-up of this, uh, eccentric law professor's remarkable exchange with a debt-ridden public defender on Twitter:

http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2018/01/university-of-kentucky-law-professor.html

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guyingorillasuit (Jan 22, 2018 - 8:34 pm)

Prof. Frye needs to define what he means by "full time". A K-12 teacher spends 7-8 hours a day in school, teaching children, with a break for lunch. He or she also has to prep and grade papers, generally on their own time, as well conduct PTA meetings, talk to parents of troubled children, and supervise activities such as games, drama, etc. How many hours a week does Prof. Frye spend teaching and talking to students at office hours? Are we all convinced that he is truly working "full-time"?

It appears that he does do some admirable work - pro bono cases, teaching bar prep at no cost, writing free textbooks. I wish more Professors did this. However, these are still either hobbies done during after-work hours, or they are done within his 40 "full-time" hours, and are therefore not free or pro bono.

I am not blaming this guy. I have never met him, and he could be a great Professor, and an example to his students and colleagues. It's just that I am not convinced that a light teaching load constitutes full-time work.

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patenttrollnj (Jan 22, 2018 - 9:01 pm)

The "I do my hobbies" bit cracked me up.

I guess much like the actors of Hollywood, law professors lost their "reverential" status. In my father's day, one would never speak to a Professor like that, even if they were done with school.

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rubbersoul14 (Jan 22, 2018 - 9:16 pm)

I don't think I have ever seen a more backpfeifengesicht in my life.

http://law.uky.edu/directory/brian-l-frye

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Backpfeifengesicht

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lilgub (Jan 23, 2018 - 10:32 am)

holy cow - I can't believe that guy looked in the mirror on picture day and thought "yup this is the look I want to cultivate."

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patenttrollnj (Jan 23, 2018 - 9:23 pm)

Ughh! What must that say about some of my relatives?

I got at least two cousins with exactly the same haircut.

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zuma (Jan 26, 2018 - 1:57 pm)

It's not a good look when your tie knot is wider than your head.

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onehell (Jan 23, 2018 - 3:05 pm)

According to payscale, the median lawprof salary is about 140k, so maybe 200k per prof when you include benefits and such. If you go to law school numbers.com, you can input any school and see how many full-time faculty it employs and their class size. I include only FT faculty b/c part-timers already generally have no research expectation.

OK, so just scanning around informally it looks like a "typical" law school might have around 50 full time faculty members and around 700 students.

Let's assume, very optimistically, that eliminating research expectations would allow you to double each prof's teaching load and thus fire half of your full-time faculty.

25*200=5m. 5m/700=7142.

SO, if you eliminated all research expectations and optimistically assumed this would allow you to cut your faculty costs in HALF, AND even MORE optimistically assumed that 100% of these savings would be passed on to students, you'd still only save about 7k per student per year, 20k over 3 years.

Yay. You've just cut average debt from 180k to 160k, before interest.

I hate to say it, but the prof may have a point. Eliminating research would be a relative drop in the bucket. Schools would not pass 100% of the savings on to students (and if the adjunctification of undergraduate faculty is any indication they very likely won't pass ANY savings on to students) and even if they did, it wouldn't make that big of a difference.

The real cost comes from huge administrative salaries, palatial facilities, and (if affiliated with a larger university) the expectation that the law school will be a "cash cow" for other schools within that university.

Profs being given low teaching loads to allow for research may benefit from the inflated cost of legal education, but reducing the tenured ranks, adjunctifying the faculty, etc. wouldn't solve it.

Cutting faculty, increasing teaching loads, having more practical classes, and all of those things are just red herrings. There simply aren't enough jobs to sustain the number of lawyers we are producing, so probably about half the law schools need to close. The ABA doesn't want to fight for that and even if they did, they'd just get sued for anti-trust violations. We need to impose caps on gradPLUS that are tied to likely postgrad incomes and for private lenders, restore bankruptcy protection and prohibit them from demanding cosigners. We could also create a residency system as a prerequisite to licensure like doctors do, which very effectively functions as a de facto cap on supply.

Anything short of that is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

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wutwutwut (Jan 23, 2018 - 6:40 pm)

You know, you have a way of killing what could otherwise have developed into really fun threads.

:-)

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flharfh (Jan 26, 2018 - 1:51 pm)

The average tenured lawprawf teaches what, 6-9 hours a week? Let's be extremely, extremely generous and assume they spend an equal amount of time mentoring and advising students. What are they doing with the rest of their time other than "scholarship?" Refining their canned lecture on International Shoe?

Obviously if scholarship was not part of their job they would be teaching more, and as a result faculty could be eliminated and tuition lowered. Only an academic could make an argument as stupid as the good professor's.

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notiers (Jan 27, 2018 - 8:42 am)

I’m sure the ABA has some Bs requirements about minimal levels of full time faculty to remain accredited because let’s face it - the ABA protects law professors above all else. But honestly - if you wanted to lower the cost of legal education, you could cut full time faculty down to about 5 to 10 per school. Make them teach full time first year course loads and then have underpaid adjuncts (actual lawyers) teaching the rest of the classes. Problem solved.

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soupcansham (Jan 27, 2018 - 12:09 pm)

Perhaps its cost reflects its value.

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