Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wall of Shame: Getting Paid to Herd Lemmings Into Law Schools

There are a few things I would never do: (1) accept money for sex, (2) kick a dog and (3) join the legal industrial complex. Ann Levine feels differently.  She has made a career of grooming pre-law lemmings students for admissions to law school.  Here's a video post from her blog:

How can she sleep at night?  
Well, I kind of lied.  Before the shit hit the fan, I taught the LSATs to lemmings.  This was in the early 2000s.  Even then, I felt dirty and filled with shame.  Most of my students weren't "law school" material and were leaving decent jobs upon their admission to law school.  I guess I felt like a prostitute.  But, I taught them as best I could--but insisted that they should go to a Tier 1 school (1 to 50 back then) or give up on the dream.  Lemmings have tunnel vision, so most of them went to law school.  Law school is like love, there's someone for everyone.  
I'm happy I didn't keep in touch. I wonder how many of them are unemployed now.  How many of them lost their spouses because of the stress and the debt?  I only taught for a year and I feel bad for having done it.  
I combed Ann's site, looking for some sort of guarantee of admissions into a T14 or something that would justify this sort of service.  Instead I found this:
Direction for answering application questions about writing experience, why you want to attend a certain school, and how to explain away issues including a leave of absence, a prior poor LSAT performance, low GPA, and character questions.
That is just one of the "services" offered as part of a package called "The Works"--which costs a mere $3,495.00.
I've said it before and I'll say it again--if you have a poor LSAT performance or a low GPA--you probably have no business going to law school.  You will not be the next Matlock or a dude from The Practice.  Ms. Levine may be able to get you in the door, she boasts of assisting 1500+ law students through the process, but she can't insure that you'll be successful at the end of the day.  There must be better things to do with $3,495.00, right?
It's hard to keep up this blog with so much evidence that the lemmings don't get it.  There have been several stories in the last few days about the oversupply of attorneys, yet law students are hiding out from the Recession in law school.  They know full well the debt load and the lack of prospects for lawyers post graduation.  
Still, the harsh realities of being a young lawyer have not stopped thousands from enrolling in law school during the recession. Veritas Prep, a graduate school admissions consulting firm, found in a recent survey that four in five prospective applicants still plan to apply to law school even if "a significant number of law school graduates were unable to find jobs in their desired fields." Only 4 percent were dissuaded.
No wonder lawyers are an unsympathetic bunch.


If the infamous slimy Dean of NYLS had this to say:
Students simply "cannot earn enough income after graduation to support the debt they incur," wrote Richard Matasar, the dean of New York Law School, in 2005. "Even those making the highest salaries find that the debt that they have accumulated while in school may tax them for years."
What business does anyone have going to law school?
However, we are going to keep reaching out to potential law students to dissuade them.  It's a sad fact that some of the BIDER readers will click on the link for Ann Levine's services and hire her.  However, I am sure that the brighter ones heed our advice and not pursue the dream of becoming an attorney any further.  
It's going to take a life time to take down the legal industry's good reputation.  I won't quit until people hang their heads in pity when I tell them I'm an attorney.  It hasn't happened yet.  I still dissuade 3 people on average a week--in person.  Just this week, it was a paralegal at my law firm, a classmate from middle school, a hood rat single mother at Family Court in Manhattan and a client.  
I guess we're in it for the long haul.

39 comments:

  1. You can take a nice cruise for less than $3,495. While the trip may be fleeting, you can at least enjoy some good memories. You shouldn't need to take out any credit. (Even if you pay for the entire trip with a cc, you can wipe this away in bankruptcy.)

    Also, you will not be stressed out, and you will not have pissed away three years of your life.

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  2. OMG

    you found the the queen shill....

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  3. Every time I watch it I think she's gonna strip. It can be five minutes later, and my hopes are dashed again. I wonder what she would do for $3495 dollars? Moose stuff?

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  4. Why would you want her to strip?

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  5. Angel - in defense of readthis, my overly-male thinking is that in all Ann Levine's contracts with Satan, there had to be some sort of clause to get her a body that's worth looking at.

    In reality, I want this woman to keep her clothes on. Better yet, repent - REPENT - and join a nunnery.

    If anyone out there is reading this, I will gladly give out my law school admissions expert advice for only $1,750 - a 50% discount!

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  6. Cuz that's what ho's do. Why would I want her to strip indeed.

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  7. Oh man... now I know what I'm doing with my spare time. My original plan was tutoring bar prep for evening students in California, but if I can make $3500 a pop for getting students into law school... wow, I'll do it for $1000 each.

    It's the same reason I'd sell crack to a 13 year old... if I didn't do it, someone else would. I might as well make the profit.

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  8. You want to make money AND screw over the existing legal establishment? Here's an idea I've been thinking of for the last...oh...3 or 4 minutes. Draft up contracts and sell them at a bargain rate. The contracts would be generic in nature, but with enough pop to make anyone wary of signing them. For example, arming the general public with a contract that they take to the Doctor's office...to cover them in case of malpractice. Can you imagine the legal issues arising from this? How about the lost time? I can see a cottage industry revolving around these contracts. Every mook out there thinks she/he is a lawyer anyway, because they watched Law and Order for the entire hour. You can have folks come in with contracts for auto repair, pet care...anything you can imagine. Of course if the other party won't sign, they won't...then you have lawsuits arising out of this. I can see lots of work from these little contracts. Or am I wrong?

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  9. The only reason I can think to go to law school is that someone feels a calling much like those who enter the clergy. This must, however, be limited to those who want to do criminal law or family law.

    Perhaps someone could find fulfillment in defending scumbags because they know they are ultimately defending the constitutional process which protects all of us from overbearing gov't authority. Or, the obvious prosecutor who wants to put the bad guys behind bars.

    And it would sorta make sense for these people. They would probably qualify for assistance to pay off loans. They would still be poor though. Like I said, its a calling like a religious one where the compensation is not money.

    Maybe some family lawyers feel this way too. Especially if you really hate the opposite sex and you could build a niche practice destroying ex-spouses lives. It might serve some latent sadistic impulses, and it certainly raises questions about one's stability. But this wouldn't be for people who want to "help other people". It would only be for the real sick-o's.

    But for anyone else law is a waste. Why would someone want to be a corporate lawyer instead of an investment banker. the hours are about the same but the compensation is wildly disproportionate in favor of i-bankers. Or for that matter, a commercial litigator. What pray tell could anyone find rewarding about that? grinding through boxes of documents and bickering about one big company not being paid by another? That sounds like a circle of hell, not a profession. For crying out loud, I'd rather be a realtor!

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  10. @ 4:30

    Creating superfluous legal work is a scam known as government. If you copy the idea and make it a privately run enterprise, there will be many more lawsuits alright- all directed at you, and probably criminal charges too.

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  11. November 2, 2010 4:44 PM

    Exactly.

    There is a poster on another blog who is trying to "pep talk"/shill the other despondent posters into believing that, with enough sweat, stress, toil and struggle, they may actually be able to make a living with their TTT degree as an attorney.

    Who wants THAT? What the hell kind of life is that, unless you're nuts enough to find law practice fun. Sifting through reams of paper stacked in crates amidst a dispute between two loathsome business owners really sounds fun, huh? That's nuts. Law is not fun to begin with, as many of us found out, let alone worth making yourself ill over. Not when you can do other things, like your investment banker example, with likely better compensation and without the rigors of having the bar association breathing down your neck ethically at every turn.

    Lemmings-to-be, you really need to talk to some people about what law is really like to practice, and weigh your choices severely.

    Law sucks.

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  12. I actually chose law school over chemical engineering after actually touring chemical plants and realizing that they were not the safest places in the world.

    I've already had disability client whose lungs are shot from spending too much time around dusty chemicals, so I'm satisified with that aspect of my law school decision.

    And as to law school loans, the key is to live on absolutely nothing until they are paid off. That was the approach I used. It hurts a lot, but then it's over.

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  13. I made a middling salary back in 2000 (starting at $80,000) and it took me 4 years to pay off my debt at a rate of $40,000 per year.

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  14. Yes, she really is a whore. Check out this post:

    ____________________

    Very Low LSAT scores?

    While I don’t want to give false hope to those of you struggling with LSAT scores in the 130s and low 140s, I do want to give you a little encouragement. While you face an uphill battle, it’s merely a battle and not a suicide mission. (Bad analogy? I’m sorry.)

    For example, one of my clients (141 = high score) has already been admitted to 2 ABA law schools for Fall 2007 and is still on the wait list at a top 25 school. (She applied 2 years before with the same score and didn’t get in anywhere). I’m not kidding or lying, and she has not saved the universe or overcome paralysis. It is absolutely possible.

    Another client with a 142 and an arrest record to explain was admitted to her first choice law school.

    _____________________________

    http://tinyurl.com/yb2wmpo

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  15. Hey Angel. It's amazing how much new material has been released just in the last week or two. ALL of it points to "law school isn't worth it".

    Yet, nobody seems to be listening. On top-law-schools.com you occasionally see a 0L joke about the bad economy and not getting a job. Nobody takes it seriously though, it's just a joke. Even the people not going to a t14 aren't heeding the deafening cacophony of warnings.

    Go to med school, PA school, nursing, PT, etc. There are sectors out there that are actually *growing*. Positions are actually in demand and so you don't need a minimum IQ of 130 in combination with an obsessive workaholic personality.

    If you really want a doctorate but med school is intimidating, go to pharmacy school. Get your PharmD. They ALL graduate with jobs and 110k is the norm. That's what your CVS pharmacist gets paid!

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  16. Should you choose your college/major with grad school in mind?

    Generally speaking, freshmen year of college is early to begin choosing graduate schools. Research

    interests develop and change; applicants should select a graduate school based on specialization and

    specific research area in which they are intersted. PhD students, in particular, should select a

    graduate program with specific professors in mind whose research interests are compatible with their

    own -- and then target their applications towards those professors. It is highly uunlikely that a

    high school senior will know enough about the field and have read enough to be able to choose

    potential gradute programs.

    school scholarships

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  17. I disagree. People are listening. It's gone viral. If your end game is to stop everyone from going to Law School, you will not be successful. People make bad decisions all the time. They will continue on making bad decisions. Put the information out there, as you have been. You ARE making a difference.

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  18. Shame on you! Ann Levine is helping people accomplish their dreams. I paid for Ann's services. Yes, I did it and she NEVER said she could get me into law school. Hell, I don't want her to get me into law school. I want her to help me package myself and my merits in an attractive manner.
    Have I been accepted to law school yet? No and I might not be accepted. At the end of the day if I don't get in, Ann will be able to sleep at night knowing she helped me. Ann spends everyday of her life thinking about others and most importantly helping others. I spent $3,450.00 on a lifelong dream, sorry if you disagree.

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  19. Take the money and go to the track instead -- that's what I should've done. Don't go to fuckin' law school, and if you're already there -- quit now! Don't do what I did -- get a master's degree, then a JD (law review too)...don't pass the CA bar on the first try or finish law school in two years as I did....

    Maybe you won't end up like me -- defaulted student loans, two Ch. 7 bankruptcies, unemployed/underemployed (severely) for decades...a negative net worth...dependent on my wife and elderly mom for financial survival...
    WITHOUT A FUCKIN' POT TO PISS IN!

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  20. @2:24:

    People who pay $3,450 to have this crazy shill "help them package themselves" are not intelligent enough to do well enough in law school to win the job lottery.

    If she really wanted to "help" people, she would give them sound advice instead of charging them $3,450 for lousy advice. Put another way, I care about prospective law students far more than she does. Why is this? Because I am honest.

    I have a lifelong dream to run the Playboy mansion and have a harem of busty blondes worship my manthing. Guess what? I've had to face reality. You may think that's ridiculous, but I feel the same way about all you 22-year old yahoos thinking you're going to be the next Ally McBeal and/or Alan Shore. You're far more likely to be Lionel Hutz.

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  21. I've never posted on a blog before, but these are strange comments people are writing. So much hatred and venom towards law and law school and Ann Levine. I check out Ms. Levine's website--I never used the service when I went to law school, but it seems like she provides a perfectly good service for people who want it. And much less then other people charge. There are many services I don't buy--like pedicures--but I don't begrudge people who get them or the people give them for a living. Law can be a perfectly noble profession. Or it can't be. It's up to you. With all the horror and cruelty in the world, Angel the lawyer picks on Ann Levine, a person who provides a quality service to thos who want it? He's a weird guy.

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  22. The premise of this blog is that law school is worthless as compared to the tuition. Unless and until you accept that premise, you will not understand most of our posts or our humor or why our readers write comments filled with venom. I'm no man, fyi.
    Ann Levine is the subject of our ire because she offers a service to people that probably shouldn't go to law school. Iow, if you need to hire her to "fix" your undergrad issues--you should reconsider going to law school. Do you understand now?

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  23. I guess I see your point Ma'am. If you think law school is not a good use of money, I guess that's valid. I went to law school and I love my job, but perhaps that's unique. I just don't understand why everyone is so angry at Ann Levine, instead of the high price charged by law schools. She has nothing to do with that. I imagine most of her clients are going to apply and go to law school regardless of whether they use her service, she is just helping them be the very best they can be. I was very lucky when I applied--I had many people around me who were able to offer advice and look at application to offer feedback. Not everyone is so lucky--I bet for them Ms. Levine's work can be very helpful.

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  24. My beef with her is that she is feeding the industry. If someone is not law school material and she helps them get it, that doesn't guarantee that they will finish and find a job. So, they'd be better off without her. She makes her living off of the back of our future compatriots (loosely used of course because I went to a T1 and had a decent career before the recession).

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  25. "I just don't understand why everyone is so angry at Ann Levine, instead of the high price charged by law schools. She has nothing to do with that."

    Uh...yeah, she does. I know lawyers are bad at economics, but ever hear of supply and demand? Well, Ms. Levin's business is feeding off of (and therefore increasing) the demand for law school seats. What happens when demand increases? Price (tuition) goes up! What happens when demand goes way up? The cartel increases the supply (seats) and the price (tuition), which means people like Ms. Levine can increase demand for their middlemen leech services by showing how she helps people get into law school ("last year I got a 150 LSAT into [Random T3]." Well, of course you did, since all T3s increased in size to meet the artificially high demand.

    So she's a part of the vicious capitalist cycle here, see? And I don't care what other people charge, $3400 to help people get where 95% of them are going anyway is a con. It may have nice curtains and a shiny floor, but grifters and grifters; they've all read the same book.

    For anyone reading, I'll do the exact same service for $1,000 AND you'll get my honesty for free.

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  26. So the premise of the blog is that no one, on any account, should go to law school? The next time I buy property...start a company...or heaven forbid, end up in court... I'll sure hope SOMEBODY'S qualified to assist me. And I'd hope they were passionate about what they do, and if they recruited advice and help along the way, more power to 'em: No one questions the logic of SAT prep for those who choose it. The hostility of the posts here--some frankly offensive--seem less like the house brand of "humor" and more like the snotty bitching of people who failed at something and insist on blaming the Something, exclusively. Jeez.

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  27. I wonder if the IP address of the poster in defense above is from the same place as the subject above. Smart moneys says...bet on it.

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  28. 5:55: Not necessarily true. These attitudes are widespread enough that it could be a random person. If that were not the case, there would be no point to blogs like this one.

    1:50: You're wrong to think that hostility to the industry is limited to people who have "failed at something." Law school has worked out very well for me personally (I went to a top school, now work at a top firm, and I have more in the bank than I do in student loans), but I still agree with the majority of what's being said on this blog. It's not that no one should go to law school--I still think that my decision made sense given certain factors that made it much less expensive for me than it would have been otherwise and the fact that I actually want to be a lawyer--but given the enormous cost, it doesn't make sense for the vast majority of law students.

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  29. 7:32 typical elitist. All lawyers are elitists in one fashion or another. Look at Angel above. She writes this blog, but still manages to fit in that she went to a T1 every 5 minutes or so. You felt the need to tell everyone that you have money in the bank and how well you are doing. I know you were trying to prove a point, but I think you let that shit slip in on more conversations then you don't. It starts with what your LSAT numbers are. Then what school you went to. What pretty young man/woman you are banging. What car you drive. How much money in the bank. Elitist pigs every last one. Lawyers always feel the need to prove how smart they are, and how inadequate they want you to feel. I don't mind the elitist, I just can't handle the hypocrites. If you think you're better than everyone, I don't care. However, be up front about it. Stop hiding under the veneer of trying to help the up and coming law students.

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  30. No. That's not it at all. People often comment on my posts that I'm a loser and wasn't a good student,etc. etc. So, on occasion, I drop mention of my accolades, so that people think "Well,if this is her situation and she is X,Y and Z--then it may even be worse for me." So, we're all in the same boat... T1, T4, Graduates from 10 years ago and today.

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  31. Dear 8:12,

    Whether or not I'm an elitist does nothing to undermine my point that one need not necessarily have "failed at something" in order to agree with much of what this blog says. Feel free to explain why if you disagree.

    -7:32

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  32. If you had "done everything right" you would have acquired some understanding of copyright law. That video does not belong to you you and you have no fair use rights to put it up..

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  33. Dearest 7:32;

    Point taken, and scored. Life is funny that way. Some folks have the best of luck. Right place, right time. We all know them, you might be one of them. Everything they touch turns to gold, and what doesn't work for most people...does for them. Other folks, of equal or greater intelligence, have bad luck happen. I know some will say that you make your own luck, and to a certain extent that's true, but sometimes shit really does happen. So as not to belabor the point, keeping it to the strict confines of "not having to necessarily fail at something," to agree with this blog...you are correct.

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  34. WOW. Did anyone realize that Ann removed this video? I actually feel pretty badly about that. Although I'm critical of her and the law school admission industry, I thought she's appreciate the free advertising. UGH. Sorry Ann!

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  35. It's hard for me to have sympathy when there's so much unnecessary misogyny going on here.

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  36. Ann Levine is definitely a complete scam! She encourages people to apply to law school who can never get into any law school but maybe a T3/T4. She makes money by exploiting desperate people-shame on her!

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