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December 02, 2015

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Kyle McEntee

I'm the only paid employee. I did not make enough this year or any year to necessitate a payment of more than $0 on my student loans. Our revenue this year has come from a few donors (all small amounts), service fees for prelaw advisors, and sponsorships for our podcast.

If someone can figure out who has an incentive to give us enough money to operate properly, I'm all ears.

ML

Some random thoughts:

1. Its pretty clear (judging from LST's advocacy of using higher bar pass rates to limit accreditation) that LST's goal is to set a much higher bar to admissions to law school (and probably eliminate a huge number of law schools). Who funds LST? What interests is it serving?

2. Given the assumption that LSATs and UGPAs predict bar passage (an assumption I suspect is pretty much right) why bother to even have a bar exam? Or from the ABA's standpoint (assuming that the ABA lacks power to get the bar exam repealed) why shouldn't the ABA ignore bar passage but set minimum LSATs for law school admissions? It seems to me that this would reduce the "teach to the test" culture that is swallowing up law schools, and solve the alleged problem.

David Frakt

Dear Anon,

It is not appropriate to use the cloak of anonymity to launch repeated and unfounded personal attacks on me, Kyle McEntee or LST. Despite your hectoring tone, we have graciously answered your questions. You have asked that I disclose my bias. I admit that I am biased against law schools that take advantage of unqualified students by admitting droves of applicants knowing that they do not have a reasonable prospect of becoming practicing attorneys. This includes, but is not limited to, the three InfiLaw schools.

I am asking you to reveal yourself so that the readers can evaluate your biases. It seems obvious that you have strong personal animosity towards me, and total disdain for LST. It appears likely that you are an employee of, or otherwise closely associated with, Florida Coastal School of Law, or InfiLaw. Florida Coastal and InfiLaw have received a lot of negative publicity in recent years, including from me and InfiLaw. It would help our readers to interpret and evaluate your comments if they knew more about the perspective from which you are writing, particularly if my assumption is correct. I suspect that you realize that your comments are completely undignified and beyond the pale, and are therefore too embarrassed to admit your true identity. That makes you not only a bully, but a coward.

I have left your comments in place, rather than moving them to the spam file where they belong, because they are very revealing about the kind of people that oppose the work of Law School Transparency, but you should realize that you are not doing yourself, or your institution any good.

Incidentally, I want to make clear that neither I, nor LST, are criticizing the educational program at the law schools we have identified as high risk. Virtually all of these schools have highly qualified and dedicated faculties and I have no reason to believe that any of these schools are providing a deficient program of legal education. LST's main quarrel is with the trend over the last five years of admitting ever larger numbers of students who are unlikely to be able to benefit from such an education by completing their J.D. and passing the bar exam (or to find a decent job if they manage to do so).

Dave Garrow

As someone who has great professional regard for both David Frakt and Debbie Merritt, I'd like to again suggest to Al & the other "powers that be" here that TFL would be an even better platform for intelligent professional discussion if anonymous commenters were banned.

David Frakt

ML -

LST does not have a specific goal of eliminating a huge number (or any number) of law schools. LST's goal is to make existing law schools act ethically, responsibly and with greater transparency. The mission of LST is "to make entry to the legal profession more transparent, affordable, and fair."

LST seeks to serve the interests of the potential and current law student, the legal profession, and the general public through efforts to reform legal education, increase transparency and consumer information, and through appropriate accountability.

I encourage you to read more about LST's Theory of Action here: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/who_we_are/theory_of_action/

Anon

The racial impact of relying on the LSAT is widely known:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/education/11lsat.html?_r=0

It is hardly ad hominem to suggest the authors of the alleged "study" do not know what they are talking about and have refused to disclose (on the page where the study is published) the obvious conflict that Mr. Frakt has.

Btw, there are more than one Anons commenting here. Calls to ban them came long ago when defenders of law schools were the subject of criticism by various hidden "scam" commenters and those were ignored. So, now that the shoe is on the other foot....

anon

I am an anon who asked about how LST is funded. Nothing more. And I will continue to remain anon but respectful. I do not believe I have abused the platform and am interested in an intelligent discussion.

I asked about how the organization is funded because it is a fair question to know what conflicts of interest exist behind an organization producing time-consuming research papers. (i.e. Simkovic's million-dollar law degeee paper receiving funding from LSAC)

Kyle's answer is interesting: If his salary is so low to not require a student loan payment, it would seem that he personally might be eligible (as an employee of the non-profit he self-created) to receive significant federal loan forgiveness after 10 years (2019 if his employee status started when LST was founded). Perhaps this non-taxable loan forgiveness would be to the tune of $400-500k? If this is so, LST is effectively being funded by a tax payers funded student loan safety net.

Jojo

I really do not understand the academic hate for Law School Transparency.

Is there anyone who is against transparency in law schools? Is there anyone who doesn't think the 509 disclosures are net good for students? I get that it has hurt revenue, but aside from hurting revenue, why the hate for LST?

Anon

Different anon here than the most recent one, but to Jojo's question:

I don't hate transparency not do I myself "hate" LST. I just am skeptical of them for two primary reasons:

(1) I find their constant insults and tone of righteous indignation tiresome, as I stated up thread (and as reinforced by Prof. Frakt's most recent comments above calling a different anon a bully, a coward, etc), even though not directed at my or my school. I therefore find it hard to wade through the vitriol to engage the substance. More bluntly, I don't currently think it's worthwhile to engage the substance because it strikes me that they're more interested in blame and name calling than information. That's fine - it's their organization, they can do whatever they want - but it limits their reach in my opinion.

And

(2) Per my earlier point, the vigor of their advocacy of transparency is applied selectively: objectionable and non-transparent practices at highly ranked schools apparently get a pass from LST, but objectionable and non-transparent practices at low ranked schools are the scourge of humanity).

I've yet to hear the members of LST on this thread respond to either point.

randomanon

A characterization of LST as 'vitriolic' seems absurd, as I'm sure it does to most other readers and those familiar with its work and representatives. Likewise the accusations of 'righteous indignation' and 'being more interested in blame and name calling than information'.

None of those characterizations seem the least bit apt to me. But I suppose it's an attempt to frame the narrative, albeit a poor one.

Anon

If you say so. Bully, coward, reprehensible, etc., strike me as more heat-generating than light-shedding. But it's no big deal to me personally either way.

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

Anon - project much?

Your posts on this thread have been a series of own-goals and a remarkable demonstration of a lack of self-awareness. Your school lets you teach! wow, what those kids are learning!

terry malloy

"objectionable and non-transparent practices at highly ranked schools apparently get a pass from LST, but objectionable and non-transparent practices at low ranked schools are the scourge of humanity"

you. . . you don't see the difference in outcomes between high and low ranked schools.

Do you understand data?

Anon

I understand data. Do you understand English?

I did not say the outcomes between elite and non-elite schools are the same or even comparable. I asked why LST spends little to no time as far as I can tell on objectionable practices at highly ranked schools. Do their better outcomes immunize them from criticism?

(Note that, on the employment front, some highly ranked schools' outcomes actually aren't better than middle of the pack schools once you subtract school-funded jobs. Similarly, were credentials of transfer students reported (ahem, transparency?) and factored in to their reporting, their student body credentials would look far less impressive.)

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

The logic of this one:

"Do their better outcomes immunize them from criticism?"

Yes - at least the criticism that their graduates are paying large amount of borrowed money for what are objectively bad outcomes - as you said, they have better outcomes. Bad outcomes is what the controversy is about.

As you said, "Do you understand English?"

Self evidently, not very well in your case.

Anon

This'll be my last attempt to engage with you "Mac," because my questions were actually posed to LST, not you.

Let's try one more time:

My question as asked was about whether LST fully engages with non-transparent and objectionable practices occurring at elite schools. Not whether elite schools are the same as non-elite. Not whether elite schools have better student outcomes (with my caveat that, in some cases, the actual outcomes and credentials at some of those elite schools are artificially inflated). *Even granting all of that as true*: LST's stated mission as I understand it is advancing transparency and providing a student-outcome-focus med series of metrics for evaluating law schools. That's great (really). So, is there some magic that makes GW, Georgetown, Emory, W&L, et al, immune from similarly loud criticisms from LST in service of those same goals?

randomanon

"I asked why LST spends little to no time as far as I can tell on objectionable practices at highly ranked schools. Do their better outcomes immunize them from criticism?"

As someone not associated with LST I cannot definitively answer that, but I could suggest that because, as Kyle noted above, he is the only full-time employee of the organization, it could be a matter of prioritization and limited resources. Which seems more than reasonable.

And I believe that LST's quest for more-accurate employment data applied equally to all schools.

twbb

Anon@2:37:

The fact that David was willing to publicize the fact that Florida Coastal and its ilk are admitting students who will likely not pass the bar during the Florida Coastal dean search when expressing that opinion was likely to work against his interest (as it in fact proved to be) makes his similar statements here more credible, rather than less.

twbb

Anon@2:37:

The fact that David was willing to publicize the fact that Florida Coastal and its ilk are admitting students who will likely not pass the bar during the Florida Coastal dean search when expressing that opinion was likely to work against his interest (as it in fact proved to be) makes his similar statements here more credible, rather than less.

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

Anon - what you have posted is a series of transparent "straw man" arguments, that have systematically collapsed, whereupon you dug into ad hominem attacks. You have dodged the fundamental question, instead questioning motives. You profess to be a law professor - to be blunt, I do not think you should be teaching law, and based on your performance here, definitely not practicing.

It is pretty obvious that you are horrified at the employment consequences of the current law school crisis. It is also, objectively, obvious, that you concerns would be better addressed by being more proficient lawyer or law professor.

To be absolutely blunt, stay anonymous - even to the law school boosters your performance has been disastrous.

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