Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shyster Deans

Tom the Temp,

Because you’re a blogger who is a member of the legal education community, we thought you and your blog’s readers would be interested in an ABA Journal cover story about U.S. News & World Report’s law school rankings that was posted today (http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/the_rankings_czar/). And we’re holding a live online chat next month with the rankings czar from U.S. News in which you can participate.

Robert Morse, the man who created the law school rankings for U.S. News, offers an olive branch to law school deans who have long complained about the effect of the rankings on legal education. “Deans are welcome to call me or come by my office in Washington,” Morse says. “I want to work with them to improve the rankings.”

Some deans and former deans think they should engage the magazine, rather than just complain about it. “I think rankings need to be changed, and the only way that will happen is if law school deans sit down with Bob Morse for honest discussion,” says Nancy Rapoport, who resigned as dean of the University of Houston Law Center after her school dropped almost 20 points in the rankings. “I would attend a meeting like that without hesitation.”

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Advice to Mr. Morse:

We have argued for years that a system to gather and audit actual salary data would be 1.) easy to implement and 2.) healthy for the profession.

A simple index card that could be filled out and completed with basic salary and employment info 12 months, 24 months, and 48 months after graduation would be a simple and easy way to compile spot-on accurate salary and employment info. Naturally, subhuman scum like the "Valvoline Dean," Pat Hobbs, Joan King, and others of their ilk want no such part of any such survey. How fast would Seton Hall enrollment nose-dive if prospective students saw how utterly abysmal salary and employment truly is?

I would have the card ask these simple questions, and make non-compliance (or fraudulent compliance) with the survey a disciplinary offense with a hefty fine.

1.) Are you employed in the legal profession?

2.) If the answer to #1 is yes, are you a temporary or contract attorney?

3.) Do you practice full time (over 40 hrs week) or part time (under 40 hrs week).

4.) What is your title at your legal job?

5.) What is your current yearly salary?

6.) firm name, city/state, practice area (or non-legal job title), and debt load at graduation (that would go right under current yearly salary....)

This data could be published in an ABA book and then we'd have a solid, accurate idea of the real prospects for post-graduate employment. Random & independent audits would assure accuarcy and truth- you need to remember that sleazy rodents like the Valvoline Dean really, really enjoy their no-show "jobs" and huge salaries & perks, and will (and do) lie thru their teeth to keep them.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

My favorite tiddy.

Critics of the U.S. News rankings say the magazine exercises too little control over the quality of the information submitted; several of the self-reporting factors utilized in the methodology, they say, actually reward those law schools willing to cheat.

niversity of Texas professor Brian Leiter, who compiles his own independent law school rankings in competition with U.S. News, calls the job placement data “essentially fiction.”

“It may have elements of truth, but basically it’s a work of the imagination,” Leiter says on his blog.

Rapoport says reporting students as “employed” if they have any kind of job—whether at a federal courthouse or a fast-food cash register—is commonplace, but she refused to do so.

“There are deans who will hire a student to [photocopy] papers, work that has nothing to do with the law, and they count those students as successfully placed,” Rapoport says. “My school was punished with a lower ranking because I wouldn’t fudge placement figures.”

Anonymous said...

wow. The most boring piece of prose here, yet. The cockaroach blogging was more interesting. zzz...zzzzzzz.....zzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

The only problem I see with your suggestion is that people may be too embarassed to admit the truth. Therefore, there should be a way to obtain the information without knowing who submits. Otherwise, it's a good idea to do this for people who maybe considering law school.

Anonymous said...

Tom, you're right about employment data. But the poster above hits on the correct flaw: where is the incentive to be honest? The sheisters who pimp TTT degrees? The embarrassed sucker bent over to the tune of $150k by Sallie Mae?

BTW- USNWR ranking leaked
http://randazza.wordpress.com/

Prof. Marc Randazza, a shockingly-grounded constitutional law scholar, had this good commentary on employment and rankings: http://randazza.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

woops: here is 2009 USNWR
http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/ca/USNews.pdf

Anonymous said...

I think it should be required by law schools to list all of the firms, companies and agencies where their students and graduates are actually employed. This would involve the usual large to small firms, but also of course, Update, De Novo, Hudson, etc. It would also include Taco Bell, UPS, claims adjuster at Allstate or waiter jobs that many law grads wind up taking to pay the rent.

Both permanent and temporary employment statistics should be compiled.

It's time to dispel the rest of the law school myths that have been luring in chumps like us for the sucker punch.

Ultimately, a respected third party auditor needs to verify the data as legitimate. PWC, or another firm could be used to perform the audit. There's just too great an incentive to lie...and we all know that many of these schools are tempted to do so and offer up questionable survey results.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest problems for future applicants is determining whether or not the curriculum offered will even be relevant to the future. If most law schools and their faculty members were truly doing their jobs responsibly (rather than hiding out solely to publish, and tolerate teaching, with as little teaching load as possible), they'd completley revamp their course offering and structure to reflect the reality of the globalized world today. At the JD level, the schools should offer comparative international law classes, drafting faculty from the UK/EU and other countries, offering as mandatory accounting and finance, and demanding language training in either Spanish, French,Mandarin, and German. They should be training kids of take not only the state bar exams, but also feeding them information on how to sit for the solicitors exam, and how to gain admission cross-border to other countries' bars.....maybe, must maybe, if the law schools were graduating truly competitive J.D.s, they entire doc review scene would disappear......but what faculty/dean ever listens to anyone but themselves and their office pals.............NYU was the first to "get it" with their LL.M, but now it is far too expensive, the Europeans and Asians don't even bother looking at it anymore since U.S. faculty are far too eager to land an adjunct at a law school in their country........pitty, no one is looking out of their own......therefore, beat the system, and get it on your own.....and get out of the doc review circuit. Time waits for no one.

selling my jd said...

law schools are a joke. they are money making institutions that are presently peddling garbage. the legal market is weak and pathetic. anybody who has spent 12 hours docking (or is it docing ? ) is familiar with this. a select few get the nice spots. not saying they didn't deserve them, but the rest are turned into sharks in the water.

law school doesn't teach anybody how to be a shark in the water. what about marbury v. madison ? what about propery being a bundle of straws ? what about the UCC ? please... it is a scam...

i have no mercy for them... their career stats are just further proof that they know they are a scam....

all law schools should close for 5 years to give the job market a chance to catch up...

Anonymous said...

For the 90% of us, there really is no legal market at all. But for now we have document review, we can make $2,00o to $4,000 per week. It's just money for easy work...sure it can really suck to be the low chimp on the totem pole, but it beats working for $30,000 per year. Of course the greedy corporations and law firms would love to take this work away, but for now we have it.

As for as the law schools, they are primarily a corrupt group of assholes, selling false dreams to an ever expanding group of young people. Taking away three years of someone's life, burdening them with unmanageable debt and dumping them into a cesspool of low paying, high stress jobs. We aren't training lawyers, we are training compliant law student sheep. It's a racket plain and simple.

One of the many scams being perpetrated against our own citizens. What a horrible era of greed and corruption we live in.

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is that a group of you dissatisfied law school graduates have put aside so much of your time and energy to blog that you could be putting toward finding a job. No one forced you to go to law school. You took the LSAT, you applied and accepted entrance and you continued to study hard through three years of law school without a gun to your head. No one forced you to apply and accept law school loans. If you did not know what you were going to face when you walked out with your law degree, it's your own damn fault. What I have to assume is that you never entered a law firm until graduation, nor beleived that you'd ever have to pay back loans for your education. Stop complaining and acting like babies. You have a degree than can get you the edge you need if you know how to use it.

Anonymous said...

Wow--what a unique and insightful comment, 9:51am! No one has ever come and said "get a job" before!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:51am = 2L or 3L that has yet to experience the job market. I used to be like you.

Anonymous said...

I just sent out another 20 resumes today for a grand total of 600 in the past 3 months. I dont think there is any place left in Manhattan that I haven't sent a resume to. Maybe you can enlighten me about how it is I am supposed to "use" my degree because I've spent the last 10 month since graduation trying to figure it out, but even the toilet ambulance chasers wont hire me. Oh, and I went to a T50 law school! I know DOZENS of unemployed lawyers in this TTT city who have been spamming places with resumes and networking for YEARS now. If there are jobs out there I do not know where the fuck they are or who the fuck is getting them. I say thank god for doc review because without it I would be living on the street begging for change.

Anonymous said...

Certainly I can identify with your frustration and disappointment. But, prior to going to law school when all I had was an AB cum laude from a top 10 private university, finding a job was just as difficult. All that was around back then were low paying jobs with a corporation where your choices were limited to riding the corporate wave..... in hopes that maybe someone would befriend you to assist in promotions (and without having to sleep with them by the way as seems to be the way these days oftentimes, for both sexes these days). Or you went to D.C. for a legislative aid job on The Hill, or returned to your home state to join a family company, work on the farm, or pull strings from amongst friends and their parents. Short of that, you started your own business, using entreprenurial skills.......the point being is no one in the history of our economic system ever was "handed" something merely because they had a sheepskin.....it takes persistence and many rejections.....maybe you just need to tweak your strategy, try a new approach, and/or maybe a different market other than NYS......if it ain't working, your doing something wrong. Stop repeating the wheel, and adjust accordingly.....if it isn't working, start over with a new tact - it is no different than sailing a sailboat. You need a new tactic and approach, and/or redo your resume and target it more directly and more personally -rather than a blanket approach.

Anonymous said...

The fallacy, of course, is this thread isn't about helping the present graduate, but instead providing needed data to prospective law students. The arguments about "getting a job" are, therefore, red herrings. Were you capable of logic, you would realize the fallacy of making such an assertion. It's hard to take advance from someone who doesn't possess strong enough reasoning skills to know that they arguing red herrings. This is only one way to deconstruct the argument. It also pressumes that the legal market isn't a market, but instead, a matter of self help type guru analysis. There is something to be said for getting off one's ass to get shit done. There is also something to be said for knowing context. This diary was about the later. The former isn't a counter argument. Thus, even on it's own terms, it is still a red herring.

Anonymous said...

"advanc" should read "advice"

Anonymous said...

I am not going to argue or debate anyone; the job market sucks! If you have a good attorney job be thankful.

As far as information about the legal job market. Well. It was never marketed to me as being a risky investment. The only warning that I had was my GRandfather said, "it seems like there are a lot of lawyers out there!" Now, I have $100K in debt, that's equivelent to a house price!

I am glad the US NEws prints its rankings. If it was not for them Law Schools would care about their graduates after graduation.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, at least US News provides some focus on what these law schools are up to. We really need a more rigourous, third party auditing system of the purported facts & figures being proffered by the law schools. Then we could really compare the statistics...

The ABA should be this kind of monitor, but alas it appears to be just a fat cat organization, helping sell out its rank and file law student members to the law school and student loan cartels. We are just pathetic sheep lining up for the shearing and these institions have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Anonymous said...

It isn't a red herring argument at all, if one expects merely going to law school, passing a bar exam, and merely existing gaurantees one a professional career in the law. It is merely just more education, face it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Why blame the school you attended or US News for disinformation? I get the feeing that many of you who have been unsuccessful at securing employment feel that you were entitled to a job upon graduation and because that did not happen, you now feel misled. Again, like 5:26pm, it's an education and a degree, not a guarantee. Job markets fluctuate and unfortunately for many of you who are searching right now, it's been tough. In a tight job market, many rely on contacts and doing essentially what 6:54pm suggested which is targeting more directly and personally and perhaps searching in a less competitive area. There is also discussion on the amount of money borrowed by 1:55am. First, it's amazing that your grandfather knew more about the legal job markets by just opening his eyes then you did. Second, the loans were your decision, your investment, your responsibility like anything else in life that you sign your name too. Get use to it. It never changes. If you had questions about the legal market or your ability to repay them, you may have done your own investigation prior to signing on the dotted line.

Anonymous said...

So sophisticated rich investors can rely on the statements put out on a 10(k), but college graduates have to know to look beyond official ABA statistics?