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April 23, 2015

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David

I don't think that Campos would say that the magnitude of the harm was comparable to the comparisons he drew.

Indeed, he explicitly says the harm is not comparable, and Freedman acknowledges this, but thinks it's irrelevant for some reason.

It would be nice to see someone who works as a law school admissions officer--someone who is well paid to sell a degree with a price tag of six figures of non-dischargeable debt--that he disavows such dishonest sales techniques as those promoted by Simkovic's sophistry, or if not, has some plausible reason to defend it. I can certainly understand why he'd rather talk about what a bad man Paul Campos is, though.

Anon

David - I think Steven just did what you asked in the previous post, which was to collect appropriate data abotu employment beyond employed/unemployed. That rejects the Simkovic simplification to BLS definitions.

I think what you want is for everyone to agree with you. I assure you that equating your opponents to Holocaust deniers is not going to help in that regard.

[M][@][c][K]

Ah but Steve,

You still maintain the let's not talk about the past - which was Campos' point. Are you remotely prepared to say out loud - the law schools misrepresented employment data, it was wrong, it was unethical and NO ONE SHOULD DEFEND IT! And get specific - like my law school said... Or at least say Santa Clara

Former Editor

As those of you who have read my comments here and on other blogs know, I am a strong (if pseudonymous) supporter of the law school reform movement and do not even slightly agree with Prof. Simkovic's recent position on how law schools reported their employment statistics. So, folks, please take what follows in that light.

Prof. Campos, please don't post things like this. Steven is right that your post comparing those we both disagree with to holocaust and slavery deniers is over the line and counter-productive. Whether the comparison is fair or helped explain your point about denialism doesn't really matter. By crossing the Godwin's law line you undermine not only your own credibility but also the credibility of those who are associated with you by virtue of agreeing with your position.

Steven Freedman

@ mack

This may shock you, but I have said numerous times publicly and privately before prospective students that prior to 2012 law schools did a poor job with transparency for employment statistics. I have said publicly I think the transparency movement should be applauded for pushing for greater transparency. The good news is that law schools responded to this pressure. At this moment, I dare anyone to cite a branch of graduate education that provides more data and information about their graduates than law schools. Try it. Architecture? Business? Journalism? Not one that I am aware of.

As for schools that out and out engaged in misrepresentation and fraud with respect to their data, I absolutely do not defend such behavior. I condemn it. And it's not just me. To my knowledge, all of my colleagues are against cheating with respect to stats. The administrators who were caught have been fired, disgraced and exiled from the admissions world. It's also important to note that I believe in every instance, they were exposed by their own institutions.

Now, how does this make me similar to holocaust and slavery deniers?

blaster

The faux outrage at the supposed holocaust denier "comparison" is just a convenient way to side-step the real issues facing law schools (high tuition, rampant underemployment/under employment, etc.). Professors and deans have been doing this ever since the law school reform movement started. A critic will raise a valid point about law school/tuition/unemployment, and then professors and deans will harp on some trivial issue peripherally related to the problems facing law schools and never get around to discussing the actual problems.

Step 1: Obfuscate
Step 2: Profit!

[M][@][c][K]

Former Editor:

You may not have experience it - but on this blog I was taunted by a regular partipant about my recently deceased father, by name, with suggestion that he was a terrorist supporter, something the jackass responsible now seeks to defend by various excuses. There was an impressive silence from many including Mr Freedman at that. He who cannot be named (or the post gets deleted) contacted various junior lawyers law firms trying to get them fired - it would be nice if Freedman would address that behavior, but he won't. Can I continue listing the very nasty behaviors by law school defenders that Mr Freedman won't mention?

I don't think the holocaust reference was helpful because it was obvious that it would attract howls of outrage from various people. But then one howler should discuss sending legal letters to people,threatening spurious law suits that would result, even if baseless, in the public disclosure of [embarassing] medical records - somehow I doubt Freedman has an opinion on that.

Steven Freedman

@ mack

I have no idea what you are talking about, but I am sorry if someone did that to you. We should all be civil in our discourse and behavior.

[M][@][c][K]

Steve,

Did you bother to read the thread that Campos was referring to? The spurious "we used the BLS definition of employment so there was no deception argument"? Is that denialism? Is it saying there was no deception? Do you agree with the denialism that Campos was criticizing? Because if you don't agree with it, you were not the target of the critique.

And no, by no means have all the administrators behind the false and deceptive data published been fired or punished - because to do that the vast majority of law schools would have had to fire such people - because the vast majority were guilty.

Steven Freedman

@ mack

Although I might differ on points of emphasis, I mostly agree with Simovic. As Campos seems to paint all of his opponents with the same brush, I think that safely puts me in the Campos category of people who are almost, but not quite as bad as holocaust and slavery deniers.

Former Editor

M,

I'm aware of the allegations of improper behavior by certain parties and the alleged silence/collusion of others in that behavior. You mention it frequently. I don't know what is true on that score. I was not yet a regular reader of this site at that time and I was unable to find the exchanges you reference when I went googling for them. If you want to send a link to formereditor at hushmail I'd be happy to read it.

Having said that, even if your version of those events is entirely accurate and the accusations against others 100% spot-on, I'm still not going to agree with you about Prof. Campos' post today or that any personal attacks against those we disagree with make sense.

Maybe some folks deserve personal criticism, maybe not. It does not matter. We should eschew doing so anyway. Those on our side of the debate have the benefit of the facts supporting us and the ethical high ground. We don't need to make it personal to make our points, even if others who disagree with us do so. We don't need to get mad. We don't need hyperbole. It makes our substantive critique look weaker when we do those things and the issues are too important to undermine our position unnecessarily. So, let's not.

Steven Freedman

@ Stan

I don't have an answer to your question as I do not know how to weigh two such disparate issues. I guess my best response is to say that I am offended by Paul Campos' attack, and fourth tier law schools should do their best to serve their students.

Stan

Fair enough. I suppose my advice to both you and Campos is for both of you to do exactly as you see fit, so long as you "do [your] best to serve your students."

Campos appears to believe that that entails truth and honesty about employment outcomes, albiet in a way that some find distasteful. You appear to believe that it entails a civil tone among all parties with business as usual in regards to disclosure, unable to muster a condemnation of even the most predatory 4th tier schools (Infinilaw, etc).

Thank you for the clarification.

perkinwarbeck

The best thing 4th tier law schools could do for their students is fold.

Dupednontraditional

Was I the only one who saw Campos' use of hyperbole as a joke? Not as in "ha, ha, the holocost was hi-LAR-i-ous!" but as in "it's humorous to watch people try to defend the indefensible?"

There are a lot of smart people here. I've got to believe folks know better, as opposed to the faux outrage. Or the academy has become incredibly thin-skinned. Or maybe I've been in the real world too long.

CHS

Whatever the merits of Campos's discussion of denial within the legal academy, people are usually wary of making analogies (joking or not) to the Holocaust and slavery (or denials of the evil or existence of both) when discussing situations that do not come within light years of either of those historical tragedies. It would not be out of line, or presumptively 'faux outrage", to be offended by such a thing.

SeniorProf

These attempts to silence Mr. Campos are getting more and more ridiculous! Mr. Freedman, your feigned outrage is laughable. Why is an admissions dean even blogging on here? It is clear that he has an agenda other than the thoughtful discussion of legal issues.

Jojo

I think the analogy is bad and inflammatory. It risks turning off many otherwise sympathetic law faculty, who I pray will turn this profession around. The silent majority.

That said, there are too many scam deniers. This profession is in trouble and law faculty have not been open to the possibility that law school may harm students.

Larry

Dude, calm down! It's not like he called you, "Hitler." He called you, "Ahmadinejad" - a noteworthy, guest lecturer at Columbia University. C-O-L-U-M-B-I-A, Ivy League, Big Step Up.

Jojo

Having criticized Paul, I'll now call out Steve F for hypocrisy. Steve your public support for transparency is nonsense. Frequent readers will recall Steve's hit piece a few months back on Kyle mcEntee and law school transparency. You want transparency the same way banana republic dictators want elections. If they don't threaten your position, then great I'm supportive. If otherwise, then not so much.

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