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January 04, 2015

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twbb

I think Dean Conison's biggest problem is that even taking a "nuanced," qualitative approach and ignoring LSAT scores and bar passage rates altogether, he still offers no evidence other than bare assertion that Charlotte is "transforming [their students] into professionals." He doesn't even offer anecdotal evidence. I found 30yearcharlottelawyer's comment pretty interesting, offering that more nuanced view that Dean Conison calls for, but concluding that the CSL law graduates he or she encounters are overwhelmingly not competent to practice law. I was really hoping Dean Conison would respond to that one.

Nathan A

Dear David,

Why do you bother posting rebuttals to Conison's nonsense? $20 says the only reason he's posting here is because Infilaw wants to try to cancel out as much anti-Infilaw commentary as it can.

Conison has shown no desire to engage (via comments) nor that has he shown any desire to even attempt to answer any questions you posed to him.

Just let it go. The black box bit was filled with so much fail that I doubt anyone with an IQ over 70 bought it.

AProf

"Just let it go. The black box bit was filled with so much fail that I doubt anyone with an IQ over 70 bought it."

Sadly, many Charlotte Law students have IQs below 70.

Conison is a coward for not responding to the data challenge.

JM

I agree with Nathan A. These are not exactly the Lincoln-Douglass debates. Conison advocates for no standards, while Frankt advocates for pathetically low standards (145 LSAT). I'd rather Conison run this operation into the ground than Frankt keep it on life support.

Giffy McGifferton

At first I came to this site and I was all like:
http://i3.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/016/978/UiXAker.gif

I read Dean Conison’s 1400 word post. He was all like:
http://memecrunch.com/meme/LAA1/it-s-complicated/image.jpg

Then I saw lots of comments and I was all like:
http://gph.is/19yQDcd

Then I saw that professors who scam students were slamming Conison and I was all like:
http://imgur.com/IByojWq

But those professors were all like:
http://gph.is/1mv3ozy

Then I saw that Frakt had replied and I was all like:
http://gph.is/QEHGwp

Then I realized that Conison was not going to answer the questions posted to him and I was all like:
http://gph.is/1a5JbM4

So now I’m sitting in class all like:
http://giphy.com/gifs/school-simpsons-boring-6eCIoEl1bNJRK

But soon I will be all like:
http://gph.is/1vJg9Ko

So let me leave this for you:
http://gph.is/18GODnL

Concerned_Citizen

This is perhaps a bit unfair, but while reading Dean Conison's essay I was strongly reminded of something I had read perhaps 30 years ago and spent a few minutes fiddling on Google to find what it was.

In Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series there is a time when a distant planet aptly named Terminus is seeking the central Empire's assurances that the Empire will step in to protect Terminus upon need from its less civilized bumpkin neighboring planets. The Empire sends one Lord Dorwin to meet with and reassure the government on Terminus. He spend several days doing so and then departs, and the following discussion ensues when the Mayor (Hardin) continues to express doubts about the Empire's willingness to help.


“But then,” interposed Sutt, “how would Mayor Hardin account for Lord Dorwin's assurances of Empire support? They seemed” he shrugged “Well, they seemed satisfactory.”

Hardin threw himself back in the chair. “You know, that's the most interesting part of the whole business. I admit that I thought his Lordship a most consummate donkey when I first met him – but it turned out that he is an accomplished diplomat and a most clever man. I took the liberty of recording all his statements.”

There was a flurry, and Pirenne opened his mouth in horror.

“What of it?” demanded Hardin. “I realize it was a gross breach of hospitality and a thing no so-called gentleman would ever do. Also that if his Lordship had caught on things might have been unpleasant; but he didn't and I have the record and that's that. I took that record, had it copied out, and sent that to Houk for analysis, also.”

Lundin Crast asked, “And where is the analysis?”

“That,” replied Hardin, “is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Houk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications — in short all the goo and dribble — he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out. Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn't say one damned thing, and said it so that you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire.”

Lawman

Florida Coastal School of Law students have historically met or exceeded the average bar pass rate in Florida. If what David Frakt says is true, the school must have some really good teachers.

I know a number of Florida Coastal School of Law students who transferred after their first year to tier one schools in Florida and elsewhere. Based on that, it would be reasonably to infer the school also has some very capable students.

Florida Coastal also has one of the most diverse student bodies of any law school in the country. Readers of this blog are probably aware the school has a #1 ranked moot court team, and I know it shines in other areas as well.

As the Infilaw bashing continues, let's try to keep things in perspective, and give credit where credit is due. I work hard to teach the students who take my classes, and I don't want them thinking they can't succeed because David Frakt says they'll never pass the bar.

Former Editor

Lawman,

What is your statement that "Florida Coastal Law Students have historically met or exceeded the average bar pass rate in Florida" based on? Florida Coastal's ABA 509 reports indicate below average first time taker pass rates for 2013, 2012, and 2011.

Are you suggesting that in evaluating Infilaw's post-application decline recruitment policies we should focus on pre-application decline bar pass results?

Concerned_Citizen

Former Editor: Note FCLS's 2014 bar results were worse... at a 58% pass rate, it came in 10th of 11 schools with only Ave Maria doing more poorly (56.6%).

Absent these two schools, the average is 76% (including them, 72.7).

Also I'm unsure of the factual basis for (and/or worth of) "one of the most diverse student bodies... in the country", given so many other java joints also claim that THEY have The Best Coffee In The World.

AProf

Lawman,

It looks like you are a professor at Florida Coastal.

Whenever everyone sees things differently than you and those in your bubble, you might want to reconsider.

Virtually everyone in the law school world knows that most top schools do not care about moot court. Low ranked schools like Florida Coastal, and more consistently South Texas, do well in moot court because they usually have entire classes devoted to the competition, while higher ranked schools often just throw together a few students a couple weeks before the competition.

Bar passage, while important, is also not the best measure. Some low-ranked schools like Campbell dominate their state in bar passage, even though their students are not the brightest.

More important to students is employment outcomes. While InfiLaw might have a few positive anecdotes to share, the overwhelming majority of InfiLaw students get really poor employment outcomes, a miserable return on their investment.

anon

Can it be true that Lawman does not know the bar pass rate at his own law school? Worse, can it be credibly stated that Lawman posted a false statement about these rates, right here, for all to see?

What I would ask the reactionaries in legal academia to consider is whether spitting at "scam bloggers" when they point out such, shall we say "inconsistencies" with truth, is appropriate. Or, whether every one in legal academia should join in a call for honesty.

At minimum, folks, honesty. At some point, one is tempted to say, "At long last, have you no shame?"

David Frakt

Giffy -

I love it. Especially this one. http://gph.is/QEHGwp Thanks!

Lawman -

I have never criticized the faculty at the InfiLaw schools. Quite to the contrary. And I certainly hope that your students will not be discouraged by anything that I wrote about the general correlation between low LSATs and poor bar passage rates. If they are, there is a simple solution. Ask the FCSL administration to provide some data that would disprove my assertions. Tell President Stone that you need to be able to reassure your sub-145 LSAT students that they really have a decent chance at passing the bar and you need the data to substantiate that. (And that data has to include the number of students who dropped out, flunked out or didn't even bother taking the bar, not just the ones who graduated and took the bar.) Then, when you get the data, pass it on to the rest of us. If I am wrong, I will be happy to admit it. While you are waiting, tell your students that the best thing they can do to enhance their chances of success is to work really, really hard and get good grades in law school.

Concerned_Citizen

@ anon, 1:17 pm

I don't think I'd go so far as "false statement", given Lawman qualified it with "historically". If you go back to 2009 (oldest main/July result I could find on FBE's website, which clearly makes it "historical"), FCLS had an 83% whereas the state average was 80.

That's the only one I could find that meets the definition of either "meet or exceed". But it's certainly possible pre-2009 data (which I would now have to categorize as "pre-historically", a specific sub-category of historically) show FCSL students to have exceeded state averages.

2010-2012 their students were hovering a bit below average with essentially 75% each year (state averages 79, 80, 80).

Then in 2013 their July takers dropped significantly to 67% (state average abt 77), then again tanked for 2014 with the above-mentioned 58%.

I also haven't bothered to dump the smaller winter numbers into the mix. Maybe they change things for the better for Lawman's case, too?

anon

"Florida Coastal School of Law students have historically met or exceeded the average bar pass rate in Florida."

True or false?

Does the term "historically" mean, to most readers, that we are excluding the past five years? Was that the clear meaning the statement was intended to convey?

Concerned, I appreciate the reluctance to disparage a colleague. (We must allow for the fact that the anonymous poster actually didn't know the bar pass rate, and thus take intent to mislead out of the discussion, but, the truth of an objective statement is something that is fair to assess objectively and the care that must be taken before making such statements is also a fair matter for consideration).

The statement was objectively false. The term "historically" is "used for saying that something has existed or happened for a long time." Let's not go all Conison here.

Concerned_Citizen

@ anon, " I appreciate the reluctance to disparage a colleague"

And I appreciate the appreciation, but he's not a colleague.

Lawman

David Frakt, thank you for your clarification. I agree that we should provide our students with their predicted bar pass rate. Among other things, I think that would help them realize what they need to do to succeed. You are right; most of them need to work really, really hard.

I checked the Florida Bar website. Florida Coastal's bar pass rate was 83% for 2009, 78% for 2010, 74.6% for for 2011, 75.2% for 2012 and, as those providing comments are quick to point out, our rates have really dropped over the last two years. If they were being fair, they would also note that the bar pass rates of other Florida schools have also declined recently.

I still say Florida Coastal has really good teachers. And our students deserve more credit than you are giving them.

Lawman

I also checked ILRG's website for older results. They report combined summer and winter bar passage results. According to the site, Florida Coastal's combined bar pass rate for 2009 was 73.7% (the average was 74%), for 2008 the school scored 80% (average was 72%), for 2007 the rate was 71.2 % (average was 73%), and for 2006 the rate was 77.3% (average was 76%).

I think the school has been around for about 20 years; I'll see if I can find some data that goes back even further.

Lawman

Florida Coastal had an 81.9% pass rate on the July 2005 State Bar Examination. In July 2005 its pass rank was first in the State of Florida.

David Frakt

Lawman -

You are completely missing the point of my criticism of FCSL and Charlotte. I have said repeatedly that Florida Coastal and Charlotte at one point were admitting reasonably talented students (153/150/147)and achieving respectable results on the bar exam. But in 2010, the schools started weakening their admission standards. This accelerated dramatically in 2011 and has continued to decline precipitously in the last three entering classes. So the results achieved by students graduating in 2008-12 are essentially meaningless for the current students at these schools because those students who achieved these bar results had significantly higher aptitude for the study of law than the students currently being admitted. The decreases in performance on the bar the last two years is directly attributable to this decrease in student quality. No one is blaming the teaching. But if you are citing these historical statistics to your current students you are giving them false comfort. What you really should do is look at the most recent attrition rate and the most recent bar pass rate and assume that the attrition rate will go up (unless your school also dramatically drops its grading standards) and that bar pass rates will continue to go down. If you run the numbers, it is clear that less than half the students who entered last fall or this fall will complete law school and pass the bar on their first attempt. For the few who do, very few will be able to find a real job as an attorney with a salary sufficient to service their student loans. For students at the bottom of the entering class, the numbers are likely to be far worse. I am quite sure if there was any data at all to rebut this line of argument, InfiLaw would have released it by now.

anon

Lawman

You are reaching, and it is obvious.

As a member of the Florida Coastal faculty (which you imply) do you simply state:

"Florida Coastal School of Law students have historically met or exceeded the average bar pass rate in Florida."

without knowing the truth of the statement, and then scramble to find (weak and relatively dated) evidence to support the factual claim?

My goodness. Are you bestowing honor on Florida Coastal by highlighting the declining performance of its students, which was precisely the point of the post above?

Making false statements, and then making the case that Frakt is making for him, doesn't seem logical, practical or wise for you. Perhaps it would be best to concede the point, pony up the information Frakt has requested, or stop arguing this point on this thread.

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