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July 26, 2013

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CharlestonAnon

Terrible move for Charleston. They were already unranked, and this seals their fate. Great city. Too bad the school has been seduced by the owner of the worst diploma mills in legal education.

matt

Are you kidding, don't you know Dean Randall of U. Alabama has joined InfiLaw. That means they'll start emphasizing research. It's great news. I can't wait to read all the new scholarship that comes out of Charleston.

anon

Matt, the for-profit schools are a great natural experiment for those who like you, I guess, don't want faculty spending time researching and those who don't like tenure. If you want a school where there aren't tenured faculty and where faculty spend all their time teaching, the Infilaw schools are for you, man.

AnonLawStudent

Well, InfiLaw schools are schools where the faculty teach more and the excess $$ goes to the owners. A great school would be where the faculty taught more and the excess $$ went to cut tuition.

anon

Actually, anonlawstudent, there are schools where faculty do a lot of teaching and tuition is low. Also, faculty aren't paid a lot. That's an added bonus for you, I'm sure. Why don't you look around, find one of them, and transfer to it if that's what you really want.

matt

One of the most important things the current debate about law schools is revealing is the complete inability of many law professors to "think like a lawyer." Anon is a great example. He fills his posts with unsubstantiated allegations. Good lawyers understand that to persuade, and survive the other side's counterattack, they need to back their statements up with facts.

anon

matt, if you doubt anything I said in response to anonlawstudent, you don't know much about legal education. I didn't say much there and anyone with even passing knowledge of law schools knows that what I said is true.

What is your basis for knowledge? How much experience do you have practicing law? Ever taught a course? Have you so much as even read a law school budget? Any law school's budget?

matt

Anon, when you're asked for facts to back up your argument you respond with ad hominem attacks. Perhaps you should take Brian Leiter's evidence class so you can understand how to make an argument.

My question stands. Please list the law schools you think charge reasonable tuition, the tuition they charge and the number of classes tenured faculty are required to teach. It shouldn't take long, I expect that out of the 200 law schools in the U.S. it will be a very short list.

AnonLawStudent

I actually do go to one of the top values in the US: University of Georgia is "only" $16,500/year for in-state students and it is ranked in the top-50 schools. The professors, however, only teach 1 or 2 classes per semester. I am sure they could operate with a smaller faculty if the professors taught a bit more. Not sure how much state support the school gets, but based on what I hear about the state budget, the support is decreasing. Georgia State is in the top-100, in the 50s, I think, and is a little less expensive. These are good prices relative to other law schools, but I still think they could drive down prices with professors who taught more.

anonPrawf

The vitriol in both Dan's original post and in the comments is inappropriate to this blog and somewhat offensive -- especially when it comes to attacks on students and (to a lesser extent) faculty. Putting aside that the InfiLaw schools are for profit (a fact that many of the faculty at those schools are not entirely comfortable with), the faculty at these school are (generally speaking) excellent teachers who -- like any any other law professors -- truly love what they do.

There are also a number of young, emerging scholars at those schools. Just at one InfiLaw school, about a dozen various faculty have (over the last couple of years) published in the main law reviews at Tulane, Iowa, St. Louis, Penn State, Miami, Utah, Rutgers, Indiana, California and many others, as well as in Yale Law & Policy review, Va Tax Review and other specialty journals at Columbia, BU, Florida, George Mason, Fordham, Indiana, William & Mary, Penn State, among many others. NOT everyone chooses to publish, but some are very serious about scholarship.

Many of the comments also denigrate the students are these schools. This is entirely unfair. These schools -- and, OK, I am on the faculty of one of them -- have some truly exceptional students. Further, to suggest that we are merely "diploma mills" is way off the mark. We have very strict academic standards and very rigorous courses (not a 3 yr bar review or anything similar). The quality of the education our students receive is very high. It is likely more "practical" in many ways that at "regular" schools -- as most of our faculty have extensive practice experience (avg of just under 9 yrs, median of about 11 or 12). To put it simply, our students bust their asses and EARN their JD, just like at any other school. Some (but of course not all) of our students will have outstanding careers - just like at any other school.

Now, to argue that we (collectively) are letting in (and graduating) too many students is a separate issue -- and one about which many on the faculties have the same concerns as others in the academy and beyond.

So, attack the corporate policy of InfiLaw, the for-profit model and the admission policies that drive that model. But, to attack faculty and, more critically, our students is simply over the line.

And for what it is worth, we are not all that well paid -- and most of us took massive pay cuts from successful practices to come here and teach because teaching (and for some scholarship) is a calling and what we truly love to do.

Lois Turner

Your InfiLaw students are dupes. Their chances of having "outstanding careers" are not "just like at any other school." They are far worse.

Your InfiLaw faculty members are the beneficiaries of a scam, living comfortably off the proceeds of the sale of a largely worthless commodity.

Your InfiLaw schools are a disgrace and have no reason to exist.

Over the line? Sorry.

matt

If you really took a "massive pay cut" to teach at a school where more than half of the students fail to get any job requiring bar admission (as is true at all three Infilaw schools) then you are a fool.

Dan Filler

Anon 11:25: Vitriol in my post?

Anon

The irony of people like Lois Turners -- they tend to beg for faculty positions at the schools they crucify when, as it often turns out, the hiring market doesn't find their faculty credentials as compelling as, well, they do.

Lois Turner

I'd sooner take a job shoveling sewage than a faculty position at an InfiLaw school. At least the former is honest toil, has social value and doesn't entail scamming kids. Fortunately I don't have to do either.

And honestly, dear, there are no "people like Lois Turners."

Anon

Fewer than 25% of applicants placed at the recent AALS conference, from what I've read.
With respect to all the others who "begged" for but did not land positions last year, one wonders how much "better" Anon at 4:07 was, when an applicant.
Much better, one would suppose, based on the arrogant comment at 4:07. MUCH better! So much better. Better better better.
Anon seemingly must brand and demean hundreds of in the main fine and well-credentialed people, at least behind the cloak of a blog comment, in order to insult another on this blog.
Reading the nasty skunks spraying each other on this blog is usually quite entertaining. This blog sheds so much light on law school faculties, especially all of the low-brow antics.
Here is a suggestion for a post: Why are law bloggers becoming more and more hostile, nasty and quick to insult one another?
Or, was it always so?

Chester

Anonprawf......I was an adjunct at FCSL. I'm afraid you're way off base concerning the quality of the students. I did the outline MYSELF for the students to study from for the exam and out of 190 points, most of the scores fell right around 90. The essays were so poorly written that I had to really stretch the grading parameters to give any credit at all.

steve

Chester's vitriolic comment is exactly why we need real professors, who value diversity, not adjuncts who just view teaching as a way to make some easy money. I bust my butt teaching and always find something of value in every exam my students write. Sure, some of them may not have the grammar of a rich white kid who's had expensive private schools and tutors for years, but they have something much more valuable: diversity. Moreover, because I teach full time, I can give my students the attention they need so they can improve their writing skills.

Anon

Chester: Think about it like a lawyer:

"These schools. . .have some truly exceptional students."

Porbably true, when you have "some" as a modifier. And "exceptional" could could be read as stating that those students are the exception, not the rule.

And, of course, a similar analysis would apply to the use of "some" in the sentence "Some (but of course not all) of our students will have outstanding careers," although you could probably question the addition of "just like at any other school."

steve

Let me provide a great example of how important it is to have real academics in the classroom. In my criminal law class, one of my students provided a brilliant discussion on his exam of the parallels between the hypothetical I gave and a recent, chart topping, hip hop song. As I am familiar with the extensive scholarship on hip hop law, I instantly recognized the value of his commentary and gave him an A. An adjunct would have mechanically graded the exam based on whether he checked off all the issues that needed to be spotted, and given him an F.

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