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February 05, 2017

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Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Hardees is always hiring!

Anon Prof

These people are the absolute scum of the earth. Why any student would want to be affiliated with that "institution" is beyond me. One of the few bar prep instructors to not be fired was recently recorded using words like "m**** f******" to refer to their students, and apparently nothing happened. However, a student recently used the word "bullshit" when trying to get some kind of an update from school officials, and he was slapped with sanctions. Words cannot express the amount of disgust I have for this institution. I feel most sorry for the faculty there as they will all soon be out of a job, yet no other institution would touch them with a ten foot pole.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Anon Prof at 10:18,

Simple answer to your question. It is the same reason folks purchase a Hyundai Excel with plastic wheel covers. They couldn't afford anything nicer. Students at these unranked schools couldn't get into anything better.

Anon Seen it from All Sides

Captain, AnonProf, and everyone else,
This is not the occasion for trolling, for Schadenfreude, or any other form of snarkiness. The focus from here on needs to be on the remaining students who even if they face long odds on ever passing the bar anywhere, still should not be doubly victimized. Whether or not the ABA accepts the teach-out plan and whether or not Coastal is the partner, any plan must reflect empathy for the students and include the opportunity for them to pay for their remaining education, not to mention afford basic life necessities like food and rent. If they need to meet the transfer application standards of other schools, then so be it. Our hearts should go out to them.

anon

ASIFAS

I would think that anyone would feel sympathy for a duped student and this may be a case in point.

This isn't a rhetorical questions: There have been comments suggested that their student loans could be discharged by closure; if this is true, would that be better than a "teach out"?

This is clearly a first case, a bellwether of sorts. Great thought, and probably some heated debate, will be necessary to derive a consensus on the best way to handle such instances.

The goal should be a humane process for the students and a smooth and expeditious closure of the bottom feeders: perhaps the lowest 10% of the ABA accredited flock, which would mean about 20 schools. This would be a beneficial action that is long overdue, and would actually cause improvements (IMHO) all the way up the line.

As for the faculty, the tears being shed by other members of the union are, in my view, inappropriate. Although it is impossible to generalize completely, in the main, these faculties have earned an abrupt termination. David may disagree (unconvincingly, IMHO) about the exploitative nature of the their luxuriating in part time positions while students suffered in very real terms, but failure of these law schools is not solely a result of admissions.

I think anyone who knows these bottom feeders well will know exactly what I'm talking about (notwithstanding those who are referenced and some of their friends, who will be quick to say: "Every single professor at every single bottom feeder is the finest, most decent, most hardworking, most productive, most selfless individual that I have ever known. These schools have a faculty work ethic and talent pools unsurpassed ANYWHERE."

anon JD/MD

The latest unethical behavior of Charlotte and the other “access schools” (the new euphemism for exploitive schools) is not surprising. These schools were allowed to engage in a pattern of unethical behavior going back at least two decades with no repercussions from the Federal government or the ABA up until now. Did anyone actually think they would change their ways?

The schools have been using a grade curve for years because they knew legal employers were only interested in hiring a handful of their students. The curve allowed the schools to identify which students were worthy of getting hired. Also, the curve allowed the schools to suppress GPAs in order to terminate conditional scholarships and to prevent students from transferring to higher ranking schools. What other professional school treats their students this way? U.S. medical schools grade their students pass/fall and offer scholarships without strings attached. Not to mention the fictitious employment numbers from these “access schools” that reported 99% of graduates were employed with graduates in private practice earning six figure salaries. The schools reported fraudulent employment data long before the Great Recession.

When the law school reform movement forced the ABA to implement rules that required schools to report accurate employment statistics, it turned out many students were unemployed and a lot of students were not practicing law. Lawsuits against schools were dismissed because even though the data was “objectively untrue,” the students’ reliance was unreasonable. Applications to law schools dropped precipitously. Knowing that they were immune to lawsuits from students and with little oversight from the ABA and Federal government, the schools slashed admission standards and admitted students who would struggle to graduate and pass the bar. The schools proclaimed it was the best time to go to law school, a job recovery was imminent, and professors wrote articles about the million dollar premium of a JD. Critics who predicted falling bar passage rates were dismissed. Objective data showing that the real GDP of the legal industry had shrunk to the lowest point since 1997 was ignored.

So here we are. There was never a recovery in hiring. The “access schools” claim the bar exam is now too hard and the standards need to be lowered because a substantial number of their students failed. And Charlotte students are starving because the law schools never anticipated the Feds would actually terminate their access to student loans.

Anon Seen it from All Sides

If only 2:46's comment could have ended after Paragraph 4 and withstood what is obviously an irresistable impulse to mock and to rejoice in others' suffering. Faculty at lower tier schools, like at other schools, come in all varieties -- great/decent/poor teachers, dedicated/indifferent to students' success, all of them like all of us imperfect teachers and imperfect human beings. What is so inappropriate here from the inveterate trollers is the bitter, superior, the-whole-world-sucks-except-for-me attitude. I repeat for one final time (and then no mas!) my heartfelt request to refrain from any form of smugness at this time from anyone who is less than perfect.

anon

ASIFAS

I'm sorry that, unlike nearly every member of the union who will not utter a word of criticism of their fellow legal academicians' work ethic, you have been forced to read some truth. Calling names (troll, bitter, superior, the world sucks except for me, smug, etc.) is just the last refuge of a person angry because that person can't respond on the merits.

Again, sorry, but lashing out is EXACTLY what legal academicians did when, as anon JD/MD so accurately points out above, folks were pointing out the obvious. Profanities, tirades, outbursts were all the rage and all too common when the legal academy was challenged on points that we now know were all too true and all too close to the mark for comfort.

Instead of lashing out uncontrollably, what could faculties at failing law schools do? Is it really so hard to imagine?

How about some suggestions: not perfect, not tried and true, but food for thought.

First: for any faculty member not demonstrably and productively involved in scholarship of reasonable value and consistency, require work all summer long, on campus and in the office, 40 hours per week. This work could consist of tutoring at risk students (require these students to attend at least once per week). Track the performance of these students on the bar and reward the tutors who were most effective; fire the least effective. For those who do not tutor, require them to teach remedial courses all summer long.

Second: do away with the farce of evaluations, which are combination of popularity/easiness reviews. These evaluations have less value than an entry on Yelp. Take a random sample of each first year professor's students' exams, and have these graded by other experienced faculty. Measure congruence of grading and overall learning by the students as demonstrated on the exam. Require all first year courses to test a certain core level of understanding of torts, contracts, etc. by way of a standard set of MCQs, and compare outcomes from sections balanced by predictors. Reward the good professors, fire the worst.

Third: Require all faculty to be on campus 40 hours per week, either in the office or in the classroom or n a conference. No exceptions. (They'll quickly find things to do)

Fourth: Perhaps this is the most important and a prerequisite to any real improvement. Do away with tenure and end, once and for all, the pretense that law professors are beyond reproach. Fire those who cannot accept criticism (like ASIFAS) and those who react like emotional basket cases when challenged. The fragile egos in legal academia are legendary. This is partly a function of the fact that these folks have little to do to occupy their minds, so they fight and scratch and claw over each other for status.

Fifth: Do away with the caste system. In recent years, the number of titles that law faculties bestow on themselves, and the amazingly creative ways they dream up to denigrate and demean their "lessers" is a disgusting byproduct of point four above. Three levels: assistant, associate and professor. Throw in a Dean and no more than three assistant deans. That's it.

IMHO, these measures should only be applied to failing law schools. The better ranked schools attract the best students, and this condition masks the same deficiencies in the faculties at these schools (who, by and large, do tend to produce more and better scholarship). Also, job prospects at better ranked schools remain robust. So long as the better ranked schools are not demonstrably ripping off their students, they can continue, one supposes, their arrogant ways (part time work, etc.) and get away with it.

But, for those at failing law schools, WAKE UP! Instead of ranting at anyone who dares to point out that these faculties are at least partly responsible for the failure of their law schools, these faculty members need to get to work and step up before the termination of their employment comes. To attribute glee to this observation is the fault of the sick sensibility of a defender of the status quo.

Leo

Greed eventually catches up with you. I am thinking of the NCAA with regard to college football, the NFL, with games four nights a week, and in London...when everything you do is about chasing the bucks and you apply few if any brakes on your behavior, it can't end well. I would throw Wall Street pre 2008 in there, too. I am sure I could think of more examples, but the Super Bowl is about to start....

NewYork1

David, it is not clear to me if the DOE will approve the loans until after the ABA approves the teach out plan. I don't know what current students are doing -- is the school in effect floating a bridge loan, hoping to get out of this without lawsuits?

David Frakt

NY1 - My understanding is that for students who were awarded a federal loan in the fall, and were due a second disbursement for the spring semester, Charlotte has posted a credit to their account for the tuition only. When and if DOE releases the money, the school will get that amount. Students who were not in that situation have had to find their own funding to pay tuition, although I believe the school has offered a discount. And I believe the school has offered a $1000 loan. But students have to figure out how to pay their living expenses on their own. Most of the students also paid for their living expenses with federal loans, so many of them are in a serious financial bind.

As for "hoping to get out of this without lawsuits" there are already four or five different student lawsuits in North Carolina involving at least 150 students, so it is a bit late for that. (I am not involved in any of these.)

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