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July 12, 2013

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Matt

Does she have any background in education? Any ideas about what she'll do with a great system that's full of troubles?

Steve Diamond

And did her BA at Santa Clara.

Ham Sullivan

I wonder if Janet was among the 60% of Santa Clara students that lost their scholarship after their first year. Oh wait. That's only the law school that employs a bait and switch regime.

http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/article/which_law_schools_were_most_likely_to_yank_merit-based_scholarships/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=ABA+Journal+Daily+News&utm_content=Netvibes

anon

Santa Clara is not a UC school.

Steve Diamond

Since she did her undergrad work at SCU not her JD that seems unlikely. In any case, what is wrong with conditioning scholarships on success in law school? Why is law school immune from market forces? Law firms, corporations, for profits and non profits - all use metrics to decide when and whether to advance employees. Guess what, the market for law professors is competitive, too. Welcome to life in capitalist America.

Ham Sullivan

"Why is law school immune from market forces?"

Law school is immune from market forces due to the unlimited availability of student loans. If the federal government stopped supplying loans, and students needed to acquire financing from a private lender that did any kind of analysis as to the likelihood of the borrower's ability to repay, Santa Clara Law would be history.

matt

Law schools are not subject to the same market forces as most other industries because the government loans the total cost of attendance to anyone law student who wants one. If we made law schools subject to the same market forces as other business, in particular the requirement that their customers actually pay for what they buying, or find a bank to loan them the money to pay for it without any guarantee, most law schools would disappear.

Moreover, law professor are not subject to market forces because of tenure.

Steve Diamond

If the federal government stopped supplying loans to the US economy - of which the higher education sector is a substantial part - the federal government would be history.

BoredJD

Steve-

Why shouldn't law schools be subject to increased government control? If your primary revenue stream comes from the government, shouldn't the government also get to control how much money you can take in?

Regardless of these interesting questions, I don't think it is in your long-term interest to warmly embrace a capitalist mentality. You may not like the results.

Ham Sullivan

Way to keep moving the ball Steve. The bottom line is Santa Clara is not worth anything anything close to what it's charging and survives solely due to the availability of unchecked student loans.

Stan

I would also argue that Law Schools are not subject to market forces because of the imbalance of information. IE much of the skewed demand for a LS education is based on misleading, if not outright fraudulent, employment information.

Steve Diamond

Did it escape your notice that one of the reasons UC hired Janet Napolitano was the University's heavy reliance on federal funding? Are you aware that even Stanford borrows billions with the support of a government backed bond program?

It must be nice to live in a government free world that has not existed since the Lochner era.

As for fraud, there is a method for proving that and so far it has failed in courtroom after courtroom.

Bronco

Santa Clara, a Jesuit institution devoted to social justice, was particularly adept at pulling two specific scams on its students. It parked ungodly numbers of students (it was No. 1 in the country, by far!) into the “unemployed and not seeking employment” category, which briefly allowed Santa Clara to publish misleadingly rosy employment stats. Second, it was near the top nationwide in pulling the ol’ “we promise scholarships but ensure that few students can actually retain them.” Social justice? You decide.

But perhaps Professor Diamond is right. What Santa Clara does on the sly to it students prepares the students for a world of sleazy stealth layoffs, false performance review, and pre-textual firings. Who ever said that law schools can’t prepare students for the real world? Santa Clara does.

Bill

She got her BA from Santa Clara, not her JD. She got her JD from UVA. I know it is Friday night but even I can keep that straight after a few glasses of Chardonnay.

Anon

Is anyone confused about that? None of the posters here seem to be.

If you're referring to Ham Sullivan, he/she specifically said:

"Oh wait. That's only the law school that employs a bait and switch regime."

Steve Diamond

So you are given a "merit" scholarship and told it is renewable if you reach a certain GPA. You are also told that there is a grade curve so that only a certain percentage of students can reach that GPA. Now unless you are born in Lake Wobegone where all the kids are above average how is it that you cannot assess the risk associated with such a scholarship? And the same kind of scholarship is awarded at 4 out of 5 law schools nationwide not just at SCU.

Bronco

Professor Diamond,

Let's take the issues one at a time.

Santa Clara stood alone, far alone, at the top of the list for exploiting the "unemployed not seeking work" category when that category worked as a loophole to avoid reporting accurate employment stats. No school came remotely close. Professor Diamond, why did SCU report that way? Who made that decision? And the reason that SCU won't report that way again is because the trick no longer is a loophole, correct? The practice was deceptive, correct? Please answer.

As for providing yo-yo scholarships, SCU was not the worst in the country, but it made the top ten. Professor Diamond suggests that the students know everything they need to know about the process. They may know that maintaining a certain gpa is required, but does SCU tell the students that the school has taken an ordinary process and deliberately gamed it so that non-retention rates are extraordinarily high? Does SCU disclose that it crams scholarship students into the same sections so that they will kill each other's chances for retention?

Steve Diamond

Bronco,

I don't think the "law school brochure" myth re: employment stats is worth worrying about but I do think you and others have asked good questions about merit scholarships. However, it seems to me you are pretty well informed about them so I imagine other students are, too. But if you have a real concern please bring it to the attention of the Dean's office. If you are not comfortable doing that directly, please send me your contact information and the backup for your concern and I will make inquiries. SCU has become more of a "competition" oriented school than it was when it started out on the anti-Stanford path several decades ago. There are good and bad aspects to that. It does not seem a good idea to eliminate all competition from law school. In any case, I am sorry you did not have a more enjoyable experience there.

Bronco

It is revealing that Professor Diamond will not explain why Santa Clara falsely parked so many students into the loophole category.

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