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May 23, 2018


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Deep State Special Legal Counsel

I am torn by this. I don't like these junky law schools either. However, in this climate we need every lawyer we can get to fight all of these tyrants rearing their ugly heads. From that Border Patrol Agent in Montana who detained two women at a gas station mini-mart speaking Spanish miles from the Border, to those Kansas coppers who saw "vegetation" in the window molding of a Black man's car and to Pruitt for manhandling reporters at an EPA meeting. The Southern Poverty Law Center said it best, we are being "Trumped." We need armies of lawyers to stand up an fight even if they come from suspect schools. At the end of the day, no client or judge or court really gives a shit where you graduated from.


David, I might take your posts more seriously if you didn’t pepper them with so many gratuitous self-congratulatory comments.

Prof. Smith

No one is taking you seriously anymore, David Frakt. You went from writing weekly about how bad Infilaw and Florida Coastal because they kicked you off their campus (you couldn't take it) to now writing and defending them in a twisted way. I'd question if Infilaw and Florida Coastal reached out to David Frakt via emails seeking a favorable voice.

Why would someone graduating from Harvard law school seek to be a Dean at a bottom tier law school ? That is the question.

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

Prof. Smith^^^^Stop getting all Trumpy here. The only thing missing from your post is "Shit Hole." Thanks for being slightly more civil than the President who lost the popular vote.

It seems to me that Professor Frakt is doing what he was trained to be, a lawyer. A good lawyer can see both sides of the argument and anticipate its application. Seems simple to me. I like reading his presents both sides in a fair manner. Nothing wrong with that.

David Frakt

Dear AnonProf,

I might take your comments more seriously if you had the courage to identify yourself and your affiliations. No one pays any attention to anonymous ad hominem attacks.

David Frakt

Prof Smith,

Let me be clear that no one from InfiLaw or Florida Coastal has ever asked me to say anything favorable about them. I have never had any communications with anyone from InfiLaw, other than their outside counsel, when I was representing faculty members with wrongful termination complaints. The Dean at Florida Coastal, Scott DeVito, has graciously agreed to answer my questions about Florida Coastal, to ensure that I am reporting accurate information. He has never asked me to write anything or placed any conditions or restrictions on the information that he has provided to me. Neither he, nor anyone else at any school has ever offered me anything in exchange for favorable coverage.

You seem to be suggesting that I am somehow being intellectually inconsistent. I have consistently called out not only InfiLaw schools, but many, many other schools in my posts on TFL when they have engaged in exploitative admissions practices. I have also consistently called out law schools for hiding, or seeking to keep secret, negative information about their schools, which would benefit current and prospective students to know. I have also consistently prodded the ABA to take action against schools that exploit unqualified students. I have praised the ABA when they have done so, and I have criticized the ABA when they have failed to do so. I have also consistently urged both law schools and the ABA to be more transparent in their operations. My goal is to get all of the stakeholders in legal education to be fair, honest and transparent, to students and each other, and to act ethically. When law schools, or the ABA, act in an opaque and ethically questionable fashion it harms the reputation of the legal profession as a whole, and discourages smart and ethical people from entering the profession. So, I believe I have been entirely consistent in my approach to these issues. Occasionally, as in the case with Standard 316, I have come to the conclusion that my prior opinion on a subject was wrong, and I have written about my changed or evolved position. I don't consider that inconsistent. And if anyone ever notifies me of an error in a post, or I learn of one on my own, I instantly make a correction.

Your question as to why someone graduating from Harvard Law School would seek to be a Dean at a bottom tier law school is elitist and insulting. There are many fine Deans from elite law schools at non-elite law schools. Being a Dean at any law school is a great honor. My father was a law school Dean at Rutgers (Associate Dean), Loyola-LA, and Widener (both campuses). All of these jobs were highly challenging and he found them very rewarding. I aspired to be a Dean because I aspired to be like my father. Unfortunately, because of elitist attitudes like yours, even a Harvard Law graduate can become tainted if they are associated with a bottom-tier law school. Having started my career at Western State and then moved on to Barry Law School, there are few law schools outside the bottom tier that would even consider me to interview for a Deanship. I know this because I have been invited to apply for Deanships at several law schools by search consultants who consider me to be an excellent candidate. But, aside from the University of Montana and Florida Coastal, I have never even made it to the interview stage of any law school Deanship. With respect to Florida Coastal, as I explained at the time, I applied for the Deanship there at the invitation of my former Dean who was heading the search committee. I thought that the law school had a genuine interest in turning itself around and becoming a respectable institution, and made it clear that I would only consider accepting the position if the school were willing to commit to major changes, including returning admissions policy to the Dean and faculty. As we know, the leadership of Florida Coastal was not interested, at the time in pursuing my approach. My goal in criticizing Florida Coastal and InfiLaw over the years was either to get the ABA to force them to stop their exploitative practices or to convince them (or perhaps shame them) to do so voluntarily. Over the last two years, Florida Coastal has essentially adopted and sought to implement the plan that I had proposed to turn things around back in 2014. I see nothing intellectually inconsistent about giving them credit for changing their business model and stopping the exploitation of unqualified students.

As to your comment that "No one is taking you seriously anymore," it would appear that you don't read very widely. In recent weeks, I have been repeatedly quoted in the ABA Journal, the National Law Journal, Bloomberg Legal News and several other media outlets, and my posts are regularly reposted or quoted on other influential legal education websites. Rarely a week goes by that I am not interviewed by one journalist or another.

But why I am justifying myself to some anonymous jerk at all? Good question. I guess I am just tired of all the anonymous jerks who write in with personal attacks, but never offer any constructive comments or criticism, or counterarguments, or data that undermine my conclusions. I put a lot of time and effort into these posts. No one pays me a dime for any of this. I do it because I believe I am performing a public service. If you don't like my posts, why do you keep reading them?

In conclusion, while I welcome thoughtful comments, as my mother used to say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut."

Brian Tamanaha

Thanks for your efforts, David. Your posts are highly informative and for the betterment of legal academia.



While I agree with your defense against what appear to be unfair attacks, I must take issue with a few points:

1. YOu have attacked this commenter, alleging an obsession with Golden Gate. Yet, in my analysis (go back and read it if you don't believe this) I merely cited the actual data, pertaining to several schools, and noted the inconsistency in YOUR analysis. As it turns out, at least for now, the ABA has noticed this too, and my belief that Golden Gate is WAY out of compliance has, at least in part, been addressed. Indeed, you continue to ignore factors such as attrition and bar passage rate in your recent analyses, focusing inordinately on only one factor (LSAT score).

2. Attacking someone in this context for posting anonymously is a cheap shot. I'm sure you can fathom the reasons that someone might not wish to post "name and affiliation" in this context. Your ruthless and nasty response to the mere fact that someone has posted anonymously is unseemly. Such posting is permitted here. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the web site, not commentators.

3. You do blow your horn a lot. (See, last comment above.) We get it, you are great!

Finally, again, I totally understand your wrath at vicious comments directed at your lengthy post that did not really address the issues at all. However, when you respond so emotionally, you undermine, IMHO, your credibility.

If anonymous comments aren't worthy of your attention, then ignore such comments!


Two further points:

1. The post above is informative and comprehensive and a worthy contribution to the debate, IMHO. It isn't perfect. Nothing is. But, that isn't to say in any way that the post is not informative and a beneficial contribution.

2. When it appeared to some that you were using your privileges here in the FL to advance your interests as an attorney, I did begin to wonder whether an issue of your self-interest might be implicated in your frequent contributions here in the FL. Some came to your defense at the time (as I recall) and noted that attorneys can use the media to advance a client's case. True enough. But it seemed to many of us, I think, that somehow your role here in the FL was blurred.

It wouldn't be germane to the post above to respond to this perception now and here in this place, but, at some point, this reader would be interested to know your views about how your personal interests (gaining a position, perhaps in academia, clients, money) are affected, if at all, by your crusade here in the FL.

This would be a standard sort of disclosure, perhaps, in other contexts, albeit perhaps not in legal academia or the contexts in which you write.

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

Listen folks we are all members of the same profession. These arguments and name calling appear frivolous considering that we live in dreadful times. We elected a bigoted leader who attacks and undermines the Press, attacks independent prosecutors and judges. We now have fellow citizens attacking democratic norms, values, language, and civil discourse as "political correctness. I didn't spend 100K for law school to see everything undone by a two bit grafter real estate salesman.

David Frakt

Brian Tamanaha -

Thank you for your kind words.
Others, I am reverting to my former policy of ignoring anonymous comments that do not contribute to the discussion.

Rick Bales

Keep up the great work, David. Your bringing hard data, and not just pontification, to a difficult subject adds tremendously to the discussion.

Steven Lubet

Your posts are extremely thoughtful and informative, David. I always look forward to reading them.


Steven Freedman


I also appreciate your excellent posts on TFL and comments elsewhere. I do not sense motives of self-promotion or self-aggrandizement. Instead, your posts are factual, honest and serve the purposes of this website which is to further thoughtful discussion. I look forward to reading more of your work and am sure my thoughts are shared by numerous readers here.


David, agreed that your posts are relevant and well thought out. Unfortunately, speaking truth will invariably put other sub-groups in indefensible positions, thus the needling, sniping responses from some corners.

The truth will set you free, but it may not always be comfortable in the interim.



With all due respect, you should refrain from name calling just because you disagree with opposing views. Calling others Jerks isn't right. Why do you always have to praise yourself ? What are you trying to achieve here ?

"My goal in criticizing Florida Coastal and InfiLaw over the years was either to get the ABA to force them to stop their exploitative practices or to convince them (or perhaps shame them) to do so voluntarily. Over the last two years, Florida Coastal has essentially adopted and sought to implement the plan that I had proposed to turn things around back in 2014."

I agree with some of what you shared in this article but I do not agree with the way you reply to criticism, it only proves that they are right and you are wrong, especially when you get angry over words.

Your name came to be known because of Paul Campos' Atlanta Article but before that, you were not known or even a member of Law School Transparency. Hence, I'd question what contribution have you made in any shape or form in law schools reform ?

Yes @dupednontraditional "the truth will set you free."



The fact that you deleted my previous reply which was shared in a respectful manner, proves my point. You do not like the truth. You have no right to delete anyone's comment if you disagree with a respectful opinion.


This sort of self promoting and seeking attention is obvious in the pattern of all your article here on Faculty Lounge.

"My goal in criticizing Florida Coastal and InfiLaw over the years was either to get the ABA to force them to stop their exploitative practices or to convince them (or perhaps shame them) to do so voluntarily. Over the last two years, Florida Coastal has essentially adopted and sought to implement the plan that I had proposed to turn things around back in 2014. I see nothing intellectually inconsistent about giving them credit for changing their business model and stopping the exploitation of unqualified students."


KJ -

Actually, David Frakt (a former colleague of mine) was well known long before Paul Campos' article as an incredible advocate and champion of human rights, for the exceptional work he did as a defense counsel at Guantanamo before the military commissions. In fact, he was the first military defense counsel to get all of the charges dismissed against his client and win a habeas corpus petition to get his client released. He took a voluntary leave of absence from teaching to return to active duty to take on this important role. For his courageous efforts, he was honored by the ACLU as one of few military personnel who stood up against torture and invited by Salman Rushdie to speak at the World Voices of Literature Festival in New York on the theme of Bravery. His "Closing Argument at Guantanamo" , which was reprinted in an annotated edition in the Harvard Human Rights Journal, was greatly admired in human and civil rights circles and widely circulated. It was quoted favorably in the Washington Post and New York Review of Books and David was invited to read excerpts of his argument on the Fourth of July on the public radio program "The World". Another argument he gave at Guantanamo was reprinted in the PEN Literary Journal. David also appeared multiple times on the Rachel Maddow Show and was regularly quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post and many other leading publications about Guantanamo, torture and detainee issues. He debated General Michael Hayden (and beat him) on the Intelligence Squared Debate series, and was invited to speak all over the country, including at the Clinton Presidential Center, Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, Duke, NYU and many other schools. He was also invited to testify before Congress and invited to brief President Obama's transition team at the Pentagon. So, I hardly think David is writing about law school accreditation to inflate his ego. He is just one of those people who fights tirelessly for what he believes is right. He would also give anyone the shirt off his back. Over the last couple of years, David has spent countless pro bono hours representing black defendants who were wrongfully convicted of serious crimes in Florida courts. He has had a 30 year sentence overturned and a 50 year sentence overturned. He also volunteers at the Arab American Community Center providing free legal services to refugees, battered women, and others in need of legal help. So, all you amateur psychologists out there who think you understand David Frakt should talk to some people who actually know him before you start casting aspersions on his character.



What you have written has nothing to do with the 'Law Schools Reform Movement' that started back in 2010. I am sure everyone here has a nice list of achievements to tell.

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