Thursday, October 29, 2009

Minnesota: Hear It From the Horse's Mouth!

Someone actually sat a bunch of Deans down to talk to them about their students' grim futures.

Here is what U.S. News and World Report has to say about these schools:

So, putting it in perspective, University of Minnesota is the only decent law school on the list and the other ones should be ashamed at charging what they do for a lousy education and (by their own admissions) dismal job prospects. Over 30K a year for a 3rd and 4th tier school is criminal. Bernie Madoff has nothing on these schools. They rob poor students of millions of dollars every year.

Some notable quotes include:

"We really think that our students are well-situated to be flexible in this economy."--William Mitchell Dean

"Students who have initiative, who are accustomed to being self-starters...gritty.. can hang out their own shingle... are the ones who will ... succeed."--William Mitchell Dean

"Second Year Students ... are working in some capacity and may not be law-related jobs."--St. Thomas Dean

"Our graduation statistics are usually a little under 50% employed at graduation and we're down about 8 to 9 points from that."--St. Thomas Dean

"We're being aggressive ... bringing in programing on alternative [non-legal] forms of employment."--William Mitchell Dean

"This is about a career that will extend over the next 30 to 50 years... and you're going to have to be more creative."--St. Thomas Dean

"Networking"--Hamline Dean

As you can tell, I find what the 3rd and 4th Tier Deans say particularly offensive.

Let me cut through the bullshit for you...

The Deans of ALL 4 schools are admitting that their graduates will not get hired through traditional means if at all. Rather, the students will have to rely on nepotism (aka networking) or will have to volunteer for a little over a thousand dollars for the experience. Fyi, volunteering under the Dean of Hamline's proposal does not lead to permanent employment. Prospective lawyers may even go to law school to find out that their school's great solution to the shortage of legal jobs is to put you into a position that is not legal (i.e. a job you could have had without going to law school). The one thing that all schools could offer to help their graduates, they are not mentioning--forgiving student loans.

I realize this is just one state, but all of the Law School Deans in that state are admitting to the same failures. The only difference between these Deans and those of the other 49 states is that no one has interviewed the other ones yet. Trust me, things are not drastically different in the state wherein my alma mater lies.

Knowing all this, from the horses' mouthes, why would anyone with half a peanut of a brain go to law school? The only good that can result, is the experience of a nonsensical intellectual exercise and working for a few peanuts.


  1. Notice how they're all very fidgety and tense in these interviews.

  2. You know what you and nando should do? You should ask for interviews with the Deans in your area... something like this.. and ask them legitimate questions about how they are dealing with the recession and post those videos. How can they say no? You guys are press as well.

  3. I have always wanted to ask the "associate dean for admissions and financial aid" at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, Reyes Aguilar, about employment figures.

    Here is a good, but slightly-dated link, which explains how USNWR and the law schools reach their "employed within 9 months" figures:

    Now, please tell me how this isn't fraud! Apparently, if the national regulatory/accrediting body (the ABA), the state regulatory bodies, the legal "profession", and the universities do not hold the industry (law schools) accountable, then this is not considered fraud.

    The deans from these MN schools are grasping for straws - they know the law school bubble will soon come to a head. They are nervous, because if this happens soon, then these babies will have to leave their cushy, over-paid jobs as law "professors" and will need to return to the industry that they couldn't wait to leave!!



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