Bait and switch law school
July 18, 2011
Self storage, first month free!
Giving away storage free for a month may seem like a bad business practice. Why would you ever give away the only thing you sell when you’re a for-profit business? How many gas stations or grocery stores do you see doing this?
It’s actually a very clever technique, and it works well anytime a customer makes a long term commitment to a vendor. It’s the same reason law schools give away so many merit-based scholarships to incoming students.
They get you in the door, using their services, and then poof! You have to start paying huge cash – or change your lifestyle. Whether it’s a lifestyle change that involves spending a weekend or two emptying out a storage unit, or dropping out of law school – which I did recently – it’s not something anyone would really prefer to do.
I was given a merit based scholarship when I got into the Seattle University School of Law, for not quite half of my tuition (a fact which typically escapes the attention of giddy newly admitted students, confused by the long, tenebrous process of law school admissions). But to keep the scholarship, I’d have to be near the top 10% of my class. Grades are obscenely competitive in law school, and in my opinion, anyone who hasn’t failed out has performed admirably. It’s a mathematical certainty that 90% of the class will finish below the top 10%, and when nearly 100% of your student body has scholarships like mine (which I think is a reasonable estimate, at least for Seattle) the school comes out ahead like a casino.
The dean of a similar law school recently said that “with hard work and good luck, students will be able to retain their scholarships.”
The carrot of competitive drive - Oh, if you work hard and really apply yourself, you can do it. With a little luck and hard work, you’ll keep your scholarship. Just work work work, and maybe the dice will come up in your favor. Are you up to the challenge?
Of course you are.
This is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to rich law schools scamming the growing social class of impoverished students. To me, it exemplifies the overarching shift of wealth we’re seeing today in American society. The next group of articles on this site will set up a moral backbone for the broader logic-based argument that this shift is unhealthy for society, and detracts from the collectively available reservoir of free will in our world.