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February 09, 2016

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JM

I still find it incredible that over 40% of law school applicants figure to send their applications in after February 1. Most rational people would want their applications completed by January 15 at the latest so that they can negotiate money and plan for the upcoming year.

anon

If 70-90% of those taking the LSAT did better than you did, your strong suite is probably not logic.

Jojo

I still foresee a surprise to the downside. What will push continued increases in late applications (post-February)? I think it especially unlikely this campaign year. If you are a 22 year old with no plans but an interest in policy and law, why not join a campaign?

anon

It's good to see that things continue to stabilize. Now, let's see if the reforms and changes stick, followed by additional positive reforms.

JM

"It's good to see that things continue to stabilize. Now, let's see if the reforms and changes stick, followed by additional positive reforms."

How can a system stabilize where at any given school outside of the top 50 a student has less than a coin-flip chance of ever practicing law and will graduate with ~$150k in debt?

How can a system stabilize when entry level salary has remained flat at the high end for a decade and has decreased on the low end to essentially a living stipend?

How can a system stabilize where the next three years will yield record setting numbers of bar exam failures, and a corresponding flood of bad press?

How can a system stabilize when the unprecedented flood of incoming law students that barely have the aptitude to graduate from high school continues to erode any prestige associated with the profession?

How can a system stabilize when at any time student loan reform could diminish the forgiveness aspects of PAYE/IBR/PSLF, which is a likely occurrence when the full ramifications of default come to light?

Anon

This blog has become tiresome, with the same rants by the same people.

tinyviolen

"Same rants... tiresome."

Can't we all just go back and pretend that everything is hunky dory? After all, I have to teach 3 credits this semster and get my article on the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria out for tenure.

Where is the sympathy?

anon

tinyviolen

One suspects that "Anon" isn't worried about getting tenure at this point. And, one also doubts that "Anon" has any interest in "evidentiary procedures" ... a study outside the law is probably this "Anon's" bailiwick.

JM

Anon @ 10:50,

As far as I am concerned the transparency movement could only achieve one goal, it would be to show prospective students prior to enrolling how absolutely dismissive faculty and administrators are about their livelihood. Issues of job placement, bar passage and debt burden are "tiresome" to you. Your students deserve to know that.

Jojo

JM,

Law schools don't exist to produce livelihoods. They exist to produce scholarship!

Who will discern the universal truths about law, society, politics, and philosophy from judicial opinions and statutes that the judges and officials unintentionally intended when authoring said decisions and statutes if not the scholars??!!!

Consider this: Obtaining a law degree magically converts one into an expert in every field except law practice.

anon

Yawn...

(different anon)

JM

@ anon 2:55,

Remind me to *yawn* when your unranked school has a strong round of layoffs and you never work in the legal field or academia again.

Anon

Wrong again, JM. This yawning anon (me) (1) doesn't teach at an unranked school and (2) is in no danger of losing his/her job. Sorry to disappoint.

My boredom, by the way, isn't regarding the serious issues facing our graduates and the profession. It's rather a reflection that, unlike you, I actually am in a position to, and try my best to, do something to be helpful in that regard rather than just venting my spleen in blog comments. I therefore am bored and unimpressed with the same recycled comments from the same handful of people over and over. And over. Basically, given any topic regarding law schools, a spam 'bot could basically at this point write JM's, Brackets, Jojo's, and others' comments for them.

Jojo

Anon,

Outstanding! What are the ideas to help graduates and the profession? Can you post them? How are you going to sell it to any insiders who may be reluctant to change or self-sacrifice? We need more decent fellows like you in legal academia.

JillyFromPhilly

Anon 9:36,

If there is a legitimate counter-argument to the "recycled" comments you are so sick of, why don't you make it? Brophy's series of posts regarding applicants/applications to law schools seems to invite speculation about the reasons why interest in law schools has fallen off a cliff in the last 5 years. What is your problem with commenters offering their take on the reasons?

dupednontraditional

Kids, if you ever needed a reason why law school is a bad idea for you, check out Professor Anon 9:36PM. The casual arrogance, disdain, and self-congratulatory demeanor, in the midst of financially damaged lives, is thick enough to be cut with a knife. Welcome to the world of the 1%.

Now respect your Promethean Betters, everybody, and hand over that tuition. They deserve it.

Matt Bodie

Seriously, here's something anyone who cares about this stuff can do -- nominate yourself or someone else for the ABA Legal Education section:

http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/council_reports_and_resolutions/2016_call_for_council_nominations.authcheckdam.pdf

Now, you might have to sign your real name to the nomination. But if enough people nominate a person like, say, David Frakt or Kyle McEntee or anyone else who wants to carry the banner, then maybe that person will actually get appointed to the committee. The website is sitting right there! And I'm not talking about flooding the website with fake and/or vituperative nominations. Choose a candidate, rally around her/him, and put the ball in the ABA's court. You have until April.

Anon

So either you agree with every repetitive comment of the spammers here, or you are a arrogant, disdainful, jerk? Have I got that right? Just wanted to make sure what the options were - thanks for clearing it up.

JM

Yawning Anon,

1. You are in danger of losing your job, even if you have tenure. If you work at a low-ranked, tight budget school like UNH, Drexel, Denver American, Seton Hall, Santa Clara, etc., then financial exigency could always force reductions even in tenured faculty. Only faculty at top 50 schools are likely immune from this threat, and they, for the most part, don't bother posting on this site, so I'm guessing you're among those in danger. If students stop paying (either through scholarships or attrition) then where will the money come from to pay you? You may have tenure, but your job isn't backed by the full faith and credit of the United State.

2. I doubt you are in a position to help any students. Have you been able to regularly get students jobs through connections? Do you lobby for lower faculty pay to mitigate the tuition/debt burden? Have you suggested faculty double their teaching loads to return to the historical norm? Those are the only things that help students. Your "inspired" teaching and revolutionary changes to legal curriculum aren't doing anything to change matters and certainly don't help your students, however these are the only "helpful changes" faculty like you will ever consider because they don't require giving up anything you care about (hint: money and free time).

3. The comments here (including my own) are frequently repetitive and dull. That is because the problems in legal education are simple. It is like feminists repeating the slogan over and over that they want equal pay for equal work. That's repetitive and dull too, but 100% correct, and I don't expect them to stop until the problem is addressed.

TJ

To me, Anon 9:36's comments reflect someone who does seem to recognize an issue and makes some effort to further improve the situation (the tone he/she uses does appear a little hostile and I think the frustration is being mistaken for arrogance). There's nothing wrong with pointing out that the same points have been stated by the same group of people numerous times in numerous threads - that's actually an accurate characterization. I also see how it can be frustrating for professors engaged in efforts outside public view to read the same characterizations of all professors as nothing more than lazy and privileged one percenters.

So to those of you making these comments, I hope you do realize that you do not actually know everything going on in individual law schools. And, regrettably, I also hope you understand why the tenor of these comment threads does not make people in the know particularly anxious to share.

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