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March 31, 2015


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Michael Risch

Since you are already tooting our horn, I'll add that Villanova also obtained another $5 million donation last month from David and Constance Girard-diCarlo, two distinguished alumni.

Bathsheba Boldwood

It's truly tragic that these people couldn't think of anything more worthwhile to do with such huge amounts of unneeded money.


The practice of law is a noble profession and these donations will improve educational opportunities for future generations of law students. Your inherent negativity is unjustified.

Bathsheba Boldwood

Improve employment opportunities for future generations of unneeded law professors and administrators, more like.

Seriously, Indiana Bloomington's entering class has steadily shrunk from 250 in 2010 to 183 in 2014. Only about 63% of its graduates find full-time bar-passage-required jobs. Why spend $20 million to expand the place? People can do what they like with their money, I suppose, but this is a grotesque waste.


What is "rich" (pun intended) is all the talk we hear about wealth disparity: bad, bad, bad (except when you benefit from it).

Someone who has 20 million to give to a law school (for what? will tuition decrease? will salaries, vanity centers, expense accounts/travel budgets, "research" stipends, ridiculous titles bestowed to justify increased salaries, bloated staffs, etc. proliferate/increase? will teaching loads decrease?) surely understands the values of the faculty quite well.

Faculties, of course, are interested only in the benefit the money might bestow on "the kids."


It seems like these donations can actually have the propensity to put a school in a worse financial position, especially when the funds provided for a specific purpose that add tremendous costs. Look at the recent post on UNH Law, and how that vanity center has become a contentious money suck despite starting out with $4 million in donated funds. I can see the same thing happening at Drexel with that ridiculous $100 million donation to purchase and rehabilitate an old building as trial training center. The project might eat through the full funds, and then the school has to pay huge sums annually to operate the POS.


I partly agree with Anon, and partly vigorously disagree.

The practice of law is a noble profession. Agree. "donations will improve educational opportunities of future generations of law students." Disagree.

The best way to help the noble profession, is to help the noble profession. $20 million could do a lot of good for the public and for un/underemployed lawyers. $20mm to public service law foundation to award civil work to indigent applicants at $100/hour would fund many many hours (200,000 hours less amounts necessary for institutional overhead) of public service. The old saw from the market charlatans is that if only there were more lawyers, then wage rates would reduce to a level that ordinary people could afford a lawyer. Apart from ignoring the high costs of practice (and the fact that $100/hour billed is not $100/hour in my pocket), many poor people have a hard time coming up with even a bargain rate retainer of $500. Donations to the providers of legal services are the best way to help the future of the profession and the rule of law.

Is there anyone outside of law school (or inside law school for that matter) who do not think that this is more worthwhile than funding a law school? Especially when you consider that such donations do not reduce tuition. Rich people considering donating to law schools: don't do it! Fund legal services for the poor instead.



Or, almost anything else.

These donations won't help students a bit. Even more obviously, these donations won't benefit the legal profession in any way whatsoever.

The money will be used construct monuments to ego, both literally and figuratively (resulting, at least, in something tangible, but see San Diego), and to line the pockets of already engorged faculty and administrators (who will invent ever more creative ways to divert the money to themselves (via expense accounts, travel budgets, research budgets, research stipends for performing pre existing duties, vanity centers, etc.), leaving nothing of value in return for the funds but vague and sort of risible claims of contribution based sort of obviously on delusions of grandeur).

It is hard to imagine anyone with that much money spending it so foolishly and unproductively.

It is hard to imagine those who preach so pompously about income disparity so greedily seeking and accepting it for the purposes to which it is likely to be put.

To the expected response: "But don't all great law schools rely on endowments, which are nothing more, mainly, than the accumulation of the largesse of the uber rich?" the answer appears to be: well, yes. Hundreds of years of such accumulation buys a law school a spot at the top of the USNWR rankings, as well.

Everybody happy with the system?


There is such a disconnect between the real world and law schools. Deans and professors should be required to spend some time outside of the ivory tower so they see the magnitude of the disconnect.

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