Top 4 Ways to Fix Legal Education in America

October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011

Legal education in the United States is in extreme crisis.

Schools are lying to prospective students about employment figures, and are trying to make the picture look better than it really is.  But when you’re recruiting for an organization that uses 70+ hours of weekly work to beat people down, lying to attract extra students becomes doubly immoral – not only have these students been tricked into being a lawyer, but they’re now locked into indentured servitude for over a decade.

In the developed and law abiding world, I see nothing more resemblant of a slavecatcher than an admissions officer touting inflated job data.

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Class Action Suit Against Law Schools

August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011

It’s a bad sign for a school when instead of receiving donations from graduates, they get served.

A group of law school graduates have filed a class action lawsuit against their respective alma maters aleging fraudulent marketing practices.  The Thomas M. Cooley Law School and New York Law School are named as defendants, and the two lawsuits are filed in New York state court and in a Michigan federal court.

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Bait and switch law school

July 18, 2011

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.

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Sir, I challenge you to a duel!

July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011


Andrew Spillane, I slap you with my white glove and throw it down at your feet – you have been challenged to a duel!

Spillane’s article came out a few days ago.  This was his “Hello world” article, having never posted before on the anonymous, public walls of the blogosphere, and by his own account, he seems to have things pretty well figured out.  Presumably, he’s being paid to write this, which, I gather, is the source of his apparent confidence, evidenced by his commands and orders to the rest of the blogging community, with which he has not once previously interacted.

Both sides of this debate admit that law schools inflate employment statistics of their alumni networks, by doing things like counting a barista at a cafe as an employed juris doctor.  This is standard practice.

Apparently, swear words in the blogosphere are a bigger threat to his precious “professionalism” than things like honesty or fraud prevention.

Spillane thinks the blogging world is a courtroom, where no one swears, where things are civilized, sensible, and professional, and whatever else this clown thinks he’s talking about.

Spillane, if you’re such an expert on blogging, dealing out advice right and left, then why don’t you answer some of this smacktalk with a rebuttal of your own?  Come on down and brawl with the rest of us, my friend!  Isn’t that what lawyers are best at?  Or are you just a cute little lap dog barking from the porch of the establishment at normal people going about their daily activities?

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Law School or Not?

January 9, 2011

Published: January 9, 2011

Part One of a Three Part Series

Someone, somewhere in law school needs to back out.  There are too many students, and there aren’t enough job openings.

After one semester at the Seattle University School of Law, I hereby volunteer.

My decision, cemented as I write this post instead of doing the reading for the semester’s first class tomorrow, coincides with an explosion of information and discussion on the topic of law school and student loans.  The New York Times published two articles this weekend, the first is likely the most comprehensive and up-to-date piece of journalism on the issue.  The second is a more shortsighted editorial written from the armchair of a casual observer of the fray, passively and smugly judging those whose lives and families are being slowly and inexorably pulled into the thresher to which we commonly refer as the “credit industry,” or more colloquially, sharky debt collectors. read more