Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two Million Americans Over 25 With At Least a BA Are Unemployed. Are You One of Them?

Illustration by Graham Roumieu for Good

If you are staying in this weekend and want to catch up on a real-life horror story, watch Frontline's College Inc. on the booming for-profit higher education system. I mentioned College Inc. to BIDER readers in the Spring, but never got around to embedding the video for those of you who missed it on television.

Some of the facts mentioned in this Frontline program are frightening. The University of Phoenix enrolls close to half a million students, more than the entire University of California system and all the Ivy League schools combined. Mass producing education doesn't make our country smarter or better equipped to compete in the global job market. All it does is sink our country further into debt to obtain a crappy education and a worthless degree. The only people who benefit from the higher education scam currently in place are the scam artists who run the system, their business partners, and their friends on Capitol Hill.

The law scam blogs received a lot of traffic this week from a Slate article that became the most read article on the site for at least several days. I received a letter from one person who found our blog through the Slate article:

I stumbled onto your blogs from the article today and thought I would write you both.

A little background first. I graduated spring of '08 in California and finished my thesis about 3 weeks before all hell broke loose. Just to let you guys know, jobs aren't better anywhere. I was unemployed for 8 months and got a job with a large defense contractor. I had to stand in line with 3000 other applicants for whatever they had; think 1930's soup line. The offered me one in Philly and off I went. At this point I think I had applied for about 250 jobs. About 3 weeks into that job, I realized it was largely fraudulent and so decided to continue looking elsewhere. 2089 job applications later, I got a great one out here in Colorado.

I want to highlight that for you. 2089 job applications. It took me 2K applications to get to an interview which was successful. I applied in every major metropolitan area in the US for every job that was even close to my experience in everything that was online or in the classifieds. I mean I cold-called, I faxed, I emailed, I worked it hard. My resume is alright, I can send it to you if you'd like to see. (hey, you never can stop looking these days) But it took 2000 applications to get another job.

I want you both to know that. It is bad out here, and you are not alone in the law profession. You decision to go into law made no difference. It is largely luck and contacts that get you work.The engineering job market is just as terrible, hell, all the job markets are terrible. Every week the Times comes out saying that it's ageism, or sexism, or reverse racism. Fact is, it just sucks period.

So don't get down. Getting discouraged does you no good, You gotta attack it every day. Insert pop-psychology statements. Really, though, it sucks, we all know, but you gotta go for gold.

Good luck to you both. I hope for the best for you and keep up the blogging, I appreciate the work and the words. Thank you.

Thanks to this new BIDER reader for taking the time to write and comment on our blog. I am glad to hear that hard work and perseverance still pays off for a few people out there. I encourage everyone to stay motivated and keep applying even though I know how difficult it is to maintain any energy or hope after being unemployed for a year, two years, or longer. But I also realize that some of our readers will send out thousands of job applications and still never get even an interview. Some will get lucky or have a contact that will help them, but I believe the majority will lose out and end up unemployed for years or in a menial job. That's the risk our generation takes when they invest $100-200k in an education that may or may not help them find a job after graduation.

I stumbled across an article,"Young, Educated, and Unemployed: A New Generation of Kids Search for Work in their 20s", at Good. It just shows that millions out there, even with a degree from a good school, cannot find an entry-level job suited for their level of education.

Since January, for 35 hours a week, at a rate of $10 an hour, Luke Stacks has been working for a home-electronics chain. He answers the phone and attempts to coax callers into buying more stuff. This is not how he imagined he would be spending his late 20s.

Like a lot of us, Stacks was given a fairly straightforward version of how his life would unfold: He would go to college and study something he found interesting, graduate, and get a decent job. For a while, things went pretty much according to plan. Stacks, who now is 27, went to the University of Virginia, not far from where he grew up, majoring in American Studies. He later enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa, with the eventual goal of becoming a professor.

Flash forward to the fall of 2008, when the stock market crashed. There were never enough jobs for newly minted Ph.D.s to begin with, and now the likelihood of landing a tenure-track teaching position in the humanities was slim. Academia stopped looking like such a sure bet and Stacks grew disenchanted with his program. Even if he were to finish his doctorate, he reasoned, a job was in no way guaranteed to follow. He wondered, “How bad could it really be out there?” Turns out, it’s pretty bad.

So, in May of 2009, equipped with a master’s degree and a decent amount of courage, Stacks changed course. Shortly after graduation, he moved back in with his mother, who lives in Chantilly, Virginia. And from a desk in his bedroom, still littered with childhood toys and posters, Stacks started over.

What confronted him was not exactly pleasant. What once thrilled him—curating museum exhibits, making comic books, being a curious person—now seemed to make little financial sense. “I’m not confident that schooling has a direct connection with employment anymore,” he says. “But if I hadn’t received the kind of education I did, I would be less of an active citizen and less engaged in the world in ways I would not have discovered on my own.” And while passion and intellectual curiosity can’t be measured in dollars and cents, he expected they might at least secure a paycheck.


Andrew Sum, an economics professor at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Labor Market Studies, has discovered that many college graduates are falling back on jobs that don’t require a college degree: waiting tables, bartending, working in retail. Using federal labor statistics, Sum has found that of the more than 2 million college graduates under the age of 25, about 700,000 have a job that doesn’t require a degree. And while unemployment and the lack of full-time jobs are problems, Sum says that having a job for which one is overqualified is worse. People with a job that does not require a degree—even if they have one—earn up to 40 percent less than college graduates whose jobs require their schooling. What’s worse, the longer one spends in a non-degree job, the less likely one is to ever join the college-educated labor force.

And the economic effects aren’t temporary. Lisa Kahn, an economist at Yale’s School of Management, tracked the wages of white men who graduated from college before, during, and after the 1980s recession. Over a 20-year period, those who graduated in the peak of the recession earned $100,000 less than those who finished college before or after the economic downturn.

“Young college graduates are vastly underutilized. They go ahead and complete school and we don’t have anything to offer them once they’re out,” says Sum, referring to the young college graduates who are without work. In the more than 20 years that he’s been studying the issue, Sum says that the current downturn has negatively affected young people the most—and not just in terms of their take-home pay. For some people, the recession has forever altered perceptions of how the world works, creating the impression that success has more to do with luck than with hard work.

For Stacks in particular, the most severe toll hasn’t been a loss of income, but feelings of estrangement and isolation. It’s fair to say that Stacks doesn’t exactly have a lot in common with his coworkers. Many are still in high school. Most of the older ones haven’t gone to college. In general, Stacks veers away from conversations about his education or the number of degrees he has acquired, worried that they’ll think less of him because of it—or worse, think that he thinks he’s better than they are.

Despite his best efforts, the details of his past life have slowly seeped out. “People kept asking me, ‘If you have a master’s degree and you went to UVA, why are you here? Shouldn’t you be somewhere else? Shouldn’t you be more successful than you are?’” The answers don’t come easily. “My younger coworkers want my advice but they think my advice probably isn’t worth that much since we ended up in the exact same place and they don’t have a college education, let alone a master’s.”

This is a must-read, so go over to Good and read it in its entirety. Meanwhile, thousands of students unwilling to imagine that this will likely be their future in four years, continue to flood for-profit colleges and TTT law schools at $30k yearly tuition. This situation is like an ongoing nightmare that will never end.

Have a Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Paul H. Kicks Ass!

I heard about this gentleman, a lawyer, who has taken on Educational Credit Management Corporation, a lender, for us all!  Why hasn't anyone thought of this??? Well, Paul is notable for many reasons, but the main one being that his writing style is rather unorthodox.  Here's some choice lines from his Petition for  Rehearing:

"Plaintiff has news for these slime ball pieces of shit, ass clown judges (Bowie, Canby, Thomas and Fletcher-this means you) that think they are going to rig the system and railroad the poor and innocent- such as blocking the discovery process of the poor that cannot defend themselves,
commit perjury in their orders and a host of other constitutional violations, and do it with impunity that is simply not going to happen in this case. You cock suckers are now on notice."


"You little bitches are not going to make outrageous lies like that when Plaintiff worked his ass off getting hired in a very tough and competitive education field, not once, but numerous times--only to have his employment interfered with by the CTC. If you motherfucking liars don't understand that, then you're not going to understand the civil unrest that will be coming to your doorstep. Fuck you and that ridiculous lie."

His writing has a way of sticking with you.  He makes a lasting impression.  Paul, I know that you've emailed me in the past and I'm totally behind you on this.  I was taken aback when I made the connection between you (my Facebook and email friend) and this Petition.  Believe you me,  I wish I could tell a few judges to suck my non-existent cock.  But why not try to be nice first?
Just a thought and I would LOVE for you to comment.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seize and Desist Slandering Me on Facebook or I'll Sue Your Ass for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Cause My EGO is Injured!

Sometimes it's best to turn the other cheek.  Not Jonathan Goldsmith--a 2009 University of Las Vegas Law School Grad and Nevada Lawyer, who advertised on Facebook.  Apparently, publishing written comments such as "faggot" and "pedophile" constitute slander per se?  Am I missing something?  Dare I say, the truth is an absolute defense to allegations of slander?  I am kind of scared that I typed that.  Will he sue me next?
Anyways, he's not even representing himself and this complaint is wrought with errors in my opinion. However, this isn't the type of case that I would take on.  The author of this article points that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is an absolute defense to Facebook.  For those of you, like me, that never heard of it: Section 230 basically says that you cannot sue a site like Google for any content posted by a 3rd party.  Section 230 provides protection for online service providers and users from action against them for the actions of others, stating in part that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."  I do feel kinda stupid not knowing about Section 230, but does anyone out there have any idea how many laws are out there?  I knock Goldsmith's firm for not researching the issue before drafting the complaint.  And that slander-libel subtle distinction.  That's kind of Torts, 1L year to me, don't you think?  Here's the complaint for your perusal if you'd like to have a good chuckle:
Goldsmith v Cooper Complaint
Ta dah! Thanks, Tipster!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wall of Shame: Fox News Sells Out to Cooley

Warning to those with weak stomachs, irritable bowel syndrome, or a gag reflex.  You will feel ill when you click on the link below!
This has got to be the biggest load of shit fluff ever.  Law Students are smart. They work hard by studying 3 hours for every 1 hour in class and they are rewarded with As at Cooley.  Wow.  You can really use the law to help people.  How will these guys ever live this down?  I always hated Fox.  It's the Non-News News Network.
Go Cooley!
Thanks Tipster!  Keep them coming.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Too Much Time on My Hands: Angel's First Xtranormal Video

You likey?

Xtranormal Takes the Higher Education Scam Mainstream

Here are several more xtranormal videos. I'd like to see more of these videos follow in the footsteps of the "So You Want to Go to Law School" video that has gone viral and received 660,000 hits in the last week. I'm glad to see unemployed graduates putting some of their free time to good use by creating these creative and humorous videos that will hopefully save someone from a similar fate. Enjoy and pass them along to a real life lemming contemplating law or graduate school. You could save a life.

Monday, October 25, 2010

BC Non-Grad Gets Flack Over at The Consumerist

Thanks for the tip, Jerry.  The comments on this article made me sick to my stomach.
Here's a few to turn your stomach:

A college degree grants you the opportunity to obtain careers beyond what the degree is for.
The guy hasn't even tried yet, and he doesn't actually have a degree.
If after 2 years he can't get a law job, THEN he can whine about it.

This is someone who didn't do his research before law school. With such poor research skills, it is no wonder he can't find a job!

It is obvious why he has no job prospects. The guy failed in what he actually contracted with the school to do. The school agreed to allow him to attend classes and gain knowledge in exchange for money. Nobody forced him to take out loans, get his degree in law, or anything else. They also never promised him a job, or a salary upon graduation.
Grow a set and be a man. This is just an idiot looking to garner attention and probably some money along the way., If I were BC, I would have said, we do not agree to the terms of your offer. Good bye.

Yeah, what a real tempting offer... skip out on paying for 2 1/2 years of education in return for not using the last half-year. *sarcasm*

Boo freaking hoo. No college guarantees you a good job upon graduation, no matter your degree. And they CERTAINLY don't promise your career will be fulfilling.

Here's some free career advice from me to college students everywhere: Your career is YOUR responsibility. It's not your college's, it's not your boss's or employer's (once you have a job), it's not the career center's, it's not the government's.

Yes, you can get help from all of those sources, but in the end it's YOUR responsibility to find a job you want.

I'd love to be able to use his reasoning every time a product or service didn't fulfill my expectations. What did he think was going to happen? That he would just be able to rack up a couple hundred grand in student loans and then magically there would be a job paying seven figures waiting for him when he got out and he would be able to pay it all back? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! yeah, not likely. I know more starving lawyers than starving artists. People seem to forget that the reason doctors and lawyers charge so much is because they have MASSIVE amounts of debt and insurance to pay for. They typically don't make that much money. Sure there are a few who finally make it, but I'd love to see the statistics for the lawyers who wind up getting $40K jobs as paralegals because they can't afford to be a lawyer and they are being crushed by student loan debt.


My conclusion upon reading this is clear to everyone who "knows" me.  You know that I'm mad.  He made a real attempt to cure his woes--the only way to do it actually-- and he was shut down hard by these asshole commentators.  Unfortunately, consumer debt and even gambling debt can be forgiven at the drop of a hat, and those that try to better themselves are punished for life.  What is wrong with this country?  They act like everyone is stuck with every stupid financial decision they make.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Everyone except students can put their financial indiscretions behind them.  Either we revise the bankruptcy code to eliminate bankruptcy as an option to everyone for every type of debt--or we open it to those that are just trying to better themselves through education.  Either method would result in a better system than what we have today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BIDER Double Header: Cooley Prof Fired and BC Law Student Seeks Refund

Poor, poor Cooley Professor.  A tenured Cooley Professor was fired without a hearing and (SURPRISE) sued! Welcome to our hell, Ex-Professor Branham.  She was fired for a simple reason, failing to teach classes:

"The law school assigned a tenured faculty member a normal and contractually permitted set of courses to teach. The faculty member refused to teach them for reasons she deemed proper, but that the law school did not. ... Indeed, it would lead to academic chaos if tenured faculty could, with impunity, refuse a lawfully and contractually permitted teaching assignment of the institution."
Branham, an associate dean, sued in 2007 after she was fired without a tenure hearing. The law school said no hearing was necessary because she "effectively abandoned her job" by refusing to teach assigned courses and moved to Illinois, where she took another job.
Oops.  I guess she found another job so she won't be joining us in unemployed and underemployed purgatory.  The issue is, why the hell did she need to teach to at Cooley if she has another job?  And why did she bring a lawsuit about it?  It boils down to this:

She claimed the school inflicted emotional distress and violated state and federal laws to protect the disabled.

I want to join this gravy train.  Being disabled comes up often when dealing with Cooley.  Can I claim a disability and sue Cooley?  Well, she lost.
Someone emailed me once and asked me if she would be wise in asking for a refund.  I told her to go ahead... why the hell not?  Well, maybe it was my advice prompted this story.  A Boston College law student asked for a refund, via anonymous letter on an on-line publication:
The student offered to leave law school without a degree at the end of the semester in exchange for a full tuition refund — a move the erstwhile aspiring attorney says would help BC’s US News ranking because it wouldn’t have to report another graduate’s state of unemployment.
There's something in it for them.  I guess they don't think so or they might have been open to the idea.  We all know that they lie about their stats anyway:
The law school said in a statement yesterday it is “deeply concerned” about its students’ job prospects but no institution of higher education can guarantee a job after graduation. “What we can do is provide the best education possible, and work together to provide as many career opportunities as possible,” the statement said. 
I wish we could work our education like a real estate deal.  I would like to put our tuition in escrow and it would be released to our alma mater upon landing a viable job and keeping it for over 3 years.  Ha.  The money would be in escrow forever!  IOLTA funds would soar.  Dream a little dream.
Thanks Tipster!

You Can't Reason With a Law Lemming

This is hilarious because this is exactly how the law lemmings of today sound like.
I'm really excited about becoming a lawyer. I want to help people. I love the Constitution. I want to try criminal defense too. I'm not doing this for the money. I can't wait to make new friends in law school.

Ha. Good luck finding that time machine.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ABA: All Aboard With Transparency!

Finally, we're making headway.  The new pres of the ABA, Steve Zack, is considering a proposal wherein Law Schools would be required to provide accurate statistics to admitted students.  Since the ABA is the face of the legal industry, requiring law schools provide accurate data to students  is so long overdue.... and such a "duh" request.  Stop engaging in fraud.  Come on. The news makes me smile.  It makes me hate the ABA slightly less.  It makes me forget about Lamm.  Lamm was such a bad nightmare.
I remember her half ass attempts to reach out to solos... by doing crap like reducing membership fees.  Any amount is too much to pay for an organization that reams you like a prisoner in a group shower by shipping your bread and butter abroad.  Thanks for that, Lamm!  Now, with Zack, maybe the ABA is turning a new leaf.  However, I must dissect what he says and evaluate the effectiveness of the ABA's potential plan:
The president of the American Bar Association, Steve Zack, told a gathering of law school deans and professors last week that the organization is considering requiring law schools to disclose cost and employment statistics to all accepted law school applicants. According to this story in the National Law Journal, Zack hopes the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division will consider the proposal in February.
First, let's note that he's considering it.  About 200+ Deans are about to start a campaign to make sure this doesn't happen because of all the usual reasons: it's "burdensome, inconvenient, impossible, etc." I call "bullshit."  It's really bad for business to tell the truth about the legal industry.   So, surely the Deans will weigh in on this issue.  Let's see if this proposal survives that attack.
Secondly, for some reason, the transparency will only extend to accepted students.  Why not the general public?  Well, it's my guess that they efficacy of the information will be nil on students that feel "invested."  There is a strange phenomenon among young lemmings.  They seem to think that they are too far gone because they geared their college major towards going to law school, took Kaplan LSAT Prep Classes, and spent time and money in the application process.  The sweat and money spent on the pre-law school process is a drop in the bucket compared to the 100K+ that you will sink in law school.
So, their "logic" (ha!) is--once you've applied and been accepted--it's way to late to actually consider the stats of your prospective school and turn back.  I'm sure that Mr. Zack knows this, hence the truth is only offered to these students who wrongly consider themselves too invested to turn back.  Brilliant.  Add to that, the admitted students will be uniquely situated to keep the nasty secret as they will try their hardest not to mar the reputation of their future alma mater.
So, this is a step in the right direction, but not a big enough step.  I love how law schools, the bastion of the American Legal System, are somehow exempt from common law fraud, the consumer fraud act, and the general principle of honesty.  Their ship is sinking, but I'm wondering if they plan on telling the passengers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Want to Go to Law School Because I Was On the Debate Team. Sound Familiar?

We've all come across that person who goes straight from college to law school because they think four years in College Toastmasters and winning the best debater award on the high school debate team is sufficient experience to do well in law school. As you all know, good grades and success in law school has very little to do with oratory skills. Other than optional extra-curricular activities such as moot court and clinical programs, law school has nearly nothing to do with debating and public speaking ability.

A former high school debater asked whether he should start law school immediately after college:

Q: I'm a college senior and wonder what you think about my going to law school right away, after I graduate next year. I've been interested in becoming a lawyer since high school, when I was in the debate club. My friends who are planning to get their MBA are going to work for a couple of years first. Is that something I should do, or should I stick to my plan of starting next fall, assuming I'm accepted?

Also, any thoughts of where I should apply?

And here is a portion of the B.S. response from

A: Dear Sooner or Later,

Some individuals find it beneficial to obtain work experience for a year or two, or more, before they attend law school. Others continue their education without a break. Their choice of whether to jump right in or wait, like yours, may be influenced by many different issues.

Ask yourself, first, whether you are ready for law school. Take into account not only your state of mind or eagerness to start on your career, but also your skills. Think about your abilities in all areas including research, writing, oral communication, analysis, judgment, leadership, negotiation, project management and organization. Assess whether they are at the level expected of law students. Consider, too, potential benefits of work experience that enables you to refine those skills.

Working may have other advantages. If you work and can save a portion of your earnings, you can defray some of the cost of law school or, at least, cut back on the amount of financial assistance that you may need. You may also start repaying any loans that you may have received for your undergraduate education. Leaving law school with less debt would be a plus.

Being shy certainly won't help you in the classroom when the professor uses the Socratic Method, but that doesn't mean you can't get the best grade in the class. A friend from law school was a poor public speaker and still graduated law review and cum laude while many of the slick, Billy Flynn wannabes had mediocre and poor grades.

Here is a word of advice. Don't worry about the loud mouths in class who try to intimidate everyone. It is usually the people who don't say anything and quietly go back to their rooms to study instead of running their mouths on campus who graduate at the top of their class. Law school does not prepare you to become a lawyer or argue in court. The only thing law school tests you on is your test taking ability on one exam at the end of the semester, not how well you can speak to an audience. Most lawyers will never argue in court, so the only reason I can come up with as to why law lemmings continue to believe that success in law school is strongly correlated to the debate team is due to the glamorization of the legal profession by shows like The Good Wife, Law & Order, and The Defenders.

Where to apply should be a no-brainer to anyone who reads BIDER. Simple answers to simple questions: Yale or Fail or full scholarship to a T14.

Pillsbury Sweet Moments Giveaway (CLOSED)

* Congrats to Elaine! You will be contacted shortly. *

Ever since I was a girl, I've been in love with the Pillsbury doughboy. I even have a doll of the Pillsbury doughboy in my bedroom from when I was little. Isn't he the cutest? It was also a great marketing ploy for me to encourage my family to buy Pillsbury products because of the little doughboy on the package. Twenty years later and I'm still in love with Pillsbury products including their new Sweet Moments Bite-Size chocolate brownies.

Pillsbury introduces two new ways to enjoy life's little luxuries with Sweet Moments Bite-Size and Molten Lava Brownies. Pillsbury Sweet Moments, now available in the refrigerated baked goods section of your local grocery store, are perfect for indulging any time of the day. The Bite-Size Brownies, which are layered with either rich caramel or fudge and chocolaty coating, are just the right size to grab and go for a quick pick-me-up. They're ready to eat, so are ready right when the craving strikes - no preparation necessary. And, at 60 calories per brownie, they're just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

And to reward yourself for a busy day well spent, try a Sweet Moments Molten Lava Brownie, which are served in single-serve bowls and are also available in rich caramel and fudge varieties. Each are covered in decadent chocolate or creamy caramel and topped with a chocolatey drizzle. After only 15 seconds in the microwave, the brownie bowls are warm and ready to enjoy. When chocolate bliss is this easy, how could you resist pausing for a Sweet Moment at the end of your day?

We will send one lucky winner a "Sweet Moments" prize pack that includes a VIP coupon for the new Pillsbury Sweet Moments and a chocolate spa kit.
Mandatory Entry:
- Comment with which of the new Pillsbury Sweet Moments desserts are you most excited to try?

Extra Entries:
- "Like" or "Follow" Pillsbury on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news from Pillsbury. (1 extra entry each)
- Follow our blog. (1 extra entry)

US residents only. Contest ends November 1, 2010.

Thank you to Pillsbury for providing me with a free product to review, information, and a prize pack to give away to a reader through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, October 15, 2010

55,000 Victims Took the LSAT Last Weekend...

Yes, that is 55,000 more people buying into the Ponzi Scheme that is called the American law school system. It took AOL News - not the New York Times - to reiterate everything Angel and I along with the usual folks like Professor Brian Tamanaha and Ellie Mystal have warned our readers about the pitfalls of law school for nearly two years:
You don't need a law degree to know that false advertising is against the law. So why is it that so many law schools appear to be doing just that: inflating job prospects for graduates while jacking up tuition rates?

Last weekend, about 55,000 students took the LSAT -- the standardized test for law school. That's the second highest tally ever, according to exam officials.

Most of these students are aiming for a law degree to get rich. In a 2008 Kaplan survey, 73 percent cited high income potential as a reason for attending law school.

But the legal job market, decimated by the recession, isn't the golden ticket it used to be -- and some legal scholars believe the calamity may be permanent. Law schools are releasing an army of young professionals who will start off with $150,000-plus in non-dischargeable debt and not be able to find work as attorneys and repay their loans.

"Many graduates can't get jobs," Brian Tamanaha, professor at Washington University Law School in St. Louis, told The National Jurist. "Many graduates end up as temp attorneys working for $15 to $20 an hour on two-week gigs, with no benefits. The luckier graduates land jobs in government or small firms for maybe $45,000, with limited prospects for improvement. A handful of lottery winners score big firm jobs."

The New York Daily News recently profiled one young lawyer from a good school who is cleaning toilets in Manhattan.

But don't expect to get any of this news from laws schools. They're too busy scamming applicants by advertising deceptively high rates of employment and misleading income figures, critics contend.

"This data is entirely self-reported by schools and should be treated as essentially fiction," said University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter, a well-known expert on law school rankings. "In addition, we know nothing about the nature of the employment -- it could simply be as a research assistant, which is what Northwestern did a few years ago for its unemployed grads."

Law School Transparency, a nonprofit organization hoping to shed light on the real employment situation, asked law schools in July to provide more detailed job statistics than they now report to the American Bar Association, which regulates law schools, or U.S. News & World Report, which ranks law schools.

Their deadline for committing to cooperate passed last month and only one school out of 199 agreed to provide the information, said executive director Kyle McEntee.

"Everybody is up in arms about Goldman Sachs allegedly selling products it expected to fail," lawyer Elie Mystal wrote in popular law blog Above the Law. "How is that any different than the scam being run by some law schools where the tuition keeps going up while the job prospects disappear?"

t's time to send in auditors to examine what law schools advertise and ensure numbers are being reported accurately, so customers can make an informed decision about whether a law degree will really be a good investment of money, time and energy.

In the meantime, potential law school students need to do their research, temper their expectations and weigh the opportunity costs. Sure, law school is a smart decision for some people, especially if you can get into a top school, attend school for free or are so passionate about law that you don't care how much you earn. It's also a profession with one of the lowest job satisfaction rates and highest depression rates.

But far too many who get their JD will find themselves three years down the road with a mountain of debt, few job prospects and doubts that their law school has any idea what truth in advertising means.
If there is any good news to report, it is that the number of LSAT takers actually dropped from last October. A whopping 61,000 people took the LSAT in October 2009 as reported by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). That is about a 10 percent drop in people taking the LSAT. I have no idea what this means. Is it possible that more people are reading the scamblogs and discovering that going to a law school other than Yale no longer ensures a 160k biglaw job or a comfy position with the government? Who knows. Nonetheless, 55k is still too large a number. Clearly, thousands of people aren't doing their research on the law school scam. With every person who enters law school, it makes the legal job market that much more difficult for the rest of us. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight. If you are one of a handful of these test takers who are still in doubt about going to law school, do the smart thing and let go of the law school myth dream. You will only be out of the $136 LSAT fee and maybe a few hundred more for study aids and LSAT courses. That is much better than being out of $136k and unemployed or unhappy in your shitlaw job three years from now. I pray that someone out there is listening.

Thanks to reader A.S. for the tip.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wall of Shame: It's Pick on Tom Cooley Wednesday!

Got this one from a tipster and found it quite funny:
Kelly F. Fulmer, a Kentucky resident from a prominent family, posed as an attorney for years.  No one questioned his credentials as he defended a DUI and probated numerous estates, many of whom are still open.  He even had a Michigan Law School diploma on the wall.  Truth is that he attended, and didn't graduate, from Tom M. Cooley School of Law.  Ha.  You'd think he'd at least claim that he graduated from a school he attended.  I guess Tom Cooley is an embarrassment for non-attorneys as well.  It is a misdemeanor to practice law without a license in Kentucky, and he could also face charges of felony theft by deception.
Go Cooley!
Thanks Tipser!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hunger: Motivation to Revolt?

Economics, I know not.  However, there are a few simple concepts that I think I understand.  The USDA released a report stating that the corn crop will fall by 4%.  As a result, the price of corn has surged in the last couple of days.  Cow and chickens eat corn, so meat will become more expensive.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is in darn near everything (sorry, Corn Sugar), the price of all those items may increase as well.  I think the only reason why we haven't revolted to date is because food in America is relatively affordable.  Therefore, we eat and remain fat, happy, lazy and passive.  Maybe this is the push that we need to fight for our futures.
Can anyone out there explain the impact of this? Am I exaggerating the potential effects?  Potato Famine anyone?

Pompous Shill/Professor Disses Angel!

A Presumptuous Professor commented on my last substantive posting.  After I read it, I pondered the many ways that I could counter this "argument."  First off, I'm not a failed adult.  I didn't even do badly in law school.  I go out of my way to say that TTT grads are not failed adults as well.  We're all among the most intelligent of Americans with a college education and graduate degree.  Also, he accused me of being hungry for power, but came off as self-proclaimed royalty.  My professor was in need of a lay--a common colloquialism thrown around by all of my classmates.  I tossed my arguments around and around in my mind and I decided that my readers will speak up on my behalf... and they certainly did.  Thank you!
Here's what the Professor wrote:
You chose law to get power.

Yet you revile those with power over you. You vibrate with resentment that your professors had the power to ignore you. You deserved their attention and regard--after all, you are so much better/Deeper than they!

You make up sexual fantasies about them when they thwarted your expectations, which brought your ego weaknesses to the fore--and the best you can come up with is calling them women's body parts.

Hm, your failures and resentments and "disenchantment" (as though life is supposed to be enchanting) couldn't have anything to do with YOU, now, could it?

Well, it will be interesting to read your blog, and find out what happens when an obviously failed adult fails at the admittedly failed institutions of law school and law. I'm afraid there are all too many such people, blaming the world for their own failures and seething in resentment and anger. Particularly in your generation, which was told by its parents that it farted rainbows and would save the world.

Maybe you could try trade school. Though I do realize that someone as Deep as you, and as Gifted, and Special, would have a hard time with the humbling experience of fixing what's broken rather than complaining about it and expecting a reward.

Thanks Executive Gift Shoppe! (CLOSED)

As you probably know, one of the perks of having this blog is the product reviews.
Executive Gift Shoppe told me to take my pick of the various many professional looking gifts on the website.  I contemplated getting a business card holder or a travel alarm clock.  In the end, Executive Gift Shoppe sent me this beautiful leather padfolio that was engraved with my initials "AL."  I love it!  It's perfect for taking notes when I appear per diem for other attorneys or even when I go to court on my cases.  It has a little pocket for my business cards.  It even has a place to put my Mont Blanc pen, a graduation gift from dad.  The leather is really nice!  I got it in a dark brown and it's quality leather. It reminds me of my softball glove in high school.
Now, we're extending the gift to you.  Executive Gift Shoppe is going to give a lucky reader $50.00 towards the purchase of any gift on the site.  There are plenty of options under $50.00, so you should be able to find something really nice.   If you're a practicing lawyer or you'd like to give a gift to someone in the corporate environment, I can't think of a better website to shop.
Here's what you can do to win:
1.  Leave a comment stating what gift you would get with the $50.00 and why.
2.  Become a follower of this blog (1 additional entry)
3.  Like "Executive Gift Shoppe" on Facebook.

I will let you know if you won on October 25, 2010.  Good luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Law School Experience: It's Miserable, Not Cerebral.

I've been in correspondence with a 1L that is having a miserable time in law school.  I promised him that I wouldn't post about his situation specifically, but I thought I should post about the law school experience because it doesn't come up often--since we focus on the end result and the lack of a return on the investment so much.  However, it should be noted that the law school experience ... leaves much to be desired.  Of course, that's the understatement of the century.
First, it's not a cerebral experience.  Having majored in political science, with a minor in History (worthless, I know), I hoped for a similar experience in law school. I too thought I "loved the law."  I guess I was slightly enamored with deep political discussions and somehow related that to the law and learning the law and the Socratic Method.  So, upon attending law school, I was deeply disappointed.  Deep discussions on Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Mens Rea weren't that interesting.  It wasn't actually interesting at all.  I felt like those topics weren't deep or significant enough to warrant the extensive discussions dedicated to them.  Other classes, like "Gifts and Stiffs" were too rule oriented and practical to be deep.  I guess my Professor didn't want to waste his time and ours on lofty discussions when it was a really practical class.  Never mind the fact that we never drafted a will--so it was practical and impractical all at once.  And don't get me started on Greenacre, Whiteacre and Blackacre.  The Rule Against Perpetuities wasted hours upon hours of my life.  In the end, we found out that most states abolished it.  All or most?  Who the fuck cares?  It never comes up, EVER.  What the hell was the point of that?
Then there is the "competitive" aspect.  Remember, I went to school pre-Internet.  As part of our Legal Research and Writing Class, we had to use a particular book in the library.   That book disappeared within an hour of class.  And it didn't show up again until after the assignment came due.  Then, there was the study guide debate.  Everyone in my school claimed to be creating their own outlines.  However, they all had hand picked the best study guide and secured the best outline from classes of yesteryear and squirreled them away.  So, if you ever asked which they would use, you'd be demeaned for wanting to use something so low as a study guide.  EVERYONE uses study guides.  Why would anyone lie to you about that? Oh yah, the bell curve.
Also, joining a study group was hellish.  I asked someone who was nice to me in class if I could join his.  He told me that he couldn't extend the invitation to me because the other members of his group wouldn't approve.  I felt like Elle from Legally Blonde. There are actually so many parallels between her and I that it's embarrassing--but I'm not Blonde, but I have a silly small dog.  The perceived "smart people study group" [hereinafter "SPSG"] pulled a stunt before finals that I'll never forget.  We all used to study at this big coffee shop near campus. It was two days before the final and the SPSG showed up to to the cafe with no books.  They ordered Lattes and sat down in the middle of the cafe yakking it up for a couple of hours while all the law students in the place were trying to study.  It was a clear attempt to tell us that they were confident and prepared and we were not.  If that's not low, tell me what is?
Lastly, having attended a large state school for undergrad, for my law school experience I longed for a small private school.  I thought that law professors in a small school would have liberal office hours and know you personally and be invested in your future.  WRONG.  I have never encountered such mean professors.  If you looked down the hall way with all of the Professors' offices, it was a line of closed doors.  And most of them didn't want to speak to you ever.  My Civ Pro professor set up 7 minute appointments with us before the final.  Yes, 7 minute increments.  My appointment was at 1:00 p.m. I knew I had to be early, cause she was a cunt badly in need of a good lay.  She was such a wound up person that she shook with the tension.  I was on way to school, and on target to arrive about 10 minutes early. On the way to school, someone rear ended me.  The police came immediately, and I drove my wrecked car on campus, parked and sprinted to my appointment. I arrived at 1:04.  She said, I'm late and I've waived my opportunity to speak with her and shut the door on my face even though I was waiving the accident report in front of it.
So, although I did fine, I hated the law school experience.  It was the most degrading and demeaning experience of my life.  I was a confident and intelligent person in college and I certainly am now.  But it took me more than few years to recover from the blow to my self-esteem that law school dealt me.  I left feeling like a shell of a person.

More Law Schools Should Do This

Many of the scambloggers have announced that they will be on hiatus while they try to get their lives in order and concentrate on the job search. I've been sporadically posting and plan to continue doing so because I'm too attached to this blog and my partnership with Angel to disappear entirely. But I guess there comes a point in time when things are so bad that you just don't give a #@*% anymore. I think I'm at that point. Maybe a lot of other Americans are at that point too which is why so many people have dropped out of the work force and stopped looking for a job entirely. Can't say I blame them when we're pretty much guaranteed a lost economic decade where millions of people will never find a full-time job again.

So, when I came across this story at William & Mary's website, I thought to myself, why the hell not? I mean, if your life and career are pretty much doomed, you might as well enjoy as much of what's left of your life before you're obligated to pay back that $150k loan.
Law School Class tours Colonial Williamsburg
by Sarah Seufer '13 | September 29, 2010

In the early evening of September 2, 2010, William & Mary Law School Class of 2013 enjoyed a guided tour of Colonial Williamsburg to learn about the history of the nation's first law school.

Students were led through the streets of Williamsburg, stopping at historic sites to hear about the town's rich history. After the tour, students gathered in the Wren Building, where Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas spoke about the citizen lawyer concept, an idea incorporated into the law school's founding mission by Thomas Jefferson. The night's events concluded with a reception, where students continued getting to know their classmates and traded stories about the first weeks of law school.

Tour leader Tom Patton, program coordinator for the Jamestown Historical Society, recounted the timeline of Williamsburg's roughly 300-year history, including details about the Law School and its relationship with the town.

"The history of law is thick here in Williamsburg," Patton said. "You're now living in the preeminent living history museum in the nation."

Students visited the house of George Wythe, the first law professor in the country. An historian in full colonial attire related stories from Wythe's life, including his tutelage of Jefferson and his role in the birth of William & Mary Law School.
More law schools should put some of that $50k yearly tuition to more historical trips like this one. Really. Especially TTT law schools. They need to just stop pretending that they are serious institutions and use the money their students are throwing down the drain to do something fun. At least then the students won't be too bitter when they are unemployed or working at a $15/hour shitlaw job to pay off their $150k Sallie Mae loan. They can look back and say, "Well, at least I got to go on a tour of colonial Williamsburg or go on that really nice all-inclusive weekend trip to Washington, DC. Maybe I'll never get a job nice enough to live in one of these places, but at least all that wasted money went toward a few nice vacations."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Circumventing Credit Reform on Campuses: The Student Loan Debit Card

What a scam, indeed, Manatee Joe!  We are all willing to admit that most of us were idiots when it comes to personal finance when we began college (and moreso when law school began).  When you're 18 and you pull out a loan to go to school, you understand that you have to pay it back, but you don't really understand what that means.  For example, most student don't realize how interest is calculated:

Loan Balance: $50,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $50,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 6.80%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 10 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00
Total Years in College: 4 years
Average Debt per Year: $12,500.00

Monthly Loan Payment: $575.40
Number of Payments: 120

Cumulative Payments: $69,048.28
Total Interest Paid: $19,048.28

Did you realize that when you were 18?  Did you know that interest would be be nearly half of the loan???  And that is if you pay the loan back in 10 years...

Another thing that you probably didn't understand when you were 18 is "credit."  Remember being stuck out in the rain and you'd see a tent set up in the Quad with umbrellas--like a reverse Oasis?  You'd approach the tent, and the hunky slightly older male with the Discover t-shirt tells you that you that you could have a super mega sized umbrella with your school's logo on it--if you fill out a form for a credit card.  He even throws in a bag of M&Ms--cause you flirted with him.  Then the credit card comes in the mail, and you may or may not know it's evil--but you charge $500 on it because it's so easy to use credit when you don't have cash on you.  And who has cash in college anyway?  And you are shocked and appalled when the balance is $500 a year later after you pay $100 every month?

Yes, in America, those in pursuit of higher education are often times most lacking in common cents.  Even though they are adults, having been insulated from the real world until college, they make stupid financial decisions that impact their entire adulthood.

Credit Reform has made it harder to market credit cards on college campus--but we all know that the financial institutions will not stop in their immoral and apathetic slaughter of students' lives for the $ake of the almighty dollar.

Here's the new plan, give students debit cards with the Mastercard logo on them, so they can more conveniently (read: easy and quickly) spend their student loan money:

Soon after they arrived on campus, more than a million college students across the country received a welcome letter and a plastic card bearing a MasterCard logo from a little-known company called Higher One:
"Meet your new best friend on campus," the letter reads. A school's emblem is featured in the letterhead - and even on the card - and students are urged to activate their accounts quickly.

But isn't this a credit card? How is this allowed post-Credit reforms?  No, because they are loan debit cards:
These cards, however, are not subject to the sweeping reforms that took effect this year and sought to curtail similar relationships between colleges and credit card issuers. Meanwhile, students complain that the loan cards are riddled with high fees, and they have organized protests at several campuses.
Pre-campus debit cards, the student loan payments would pay your tuition, then the remainder would be distributed to the students to put in a bank account and allocate as needed for living expenses.  Higher One takes the hassle out of this process by sending you a debit card which makes spending the money super easy.  They even encourage you to open up an account with Higher One for comfort and ease.    What's so wrong with that?

Well, the very practices that were banned are being circumvented with this new debit card:
Higher One charges students a $19 monthly penalty for accounts that aren't used for nine months, a practice now banned for credit cards. On its Web site, rival PNC Bank tells schools that setting up tables on campus to market its product to students may be required for a successful program - this is another tactic that was restricted under the credit card law. The legislation also requires colleges to submit their contracts with credit card companies to the Federal Reserve, which must issue a public report. Loan cards are not included.
Penalties for non-use?  This is arguably worse than a credit card that you sign up for and put away and forget about.  It's forcing you to spend your money.  I, for one, used to take the full amount that was left over and pre-pay my rent.  Then I would work for my spending money.  So, I would have been one of the people that was penalized for non-use of the debit/loan cards.  I have a feeling that this card will cause many students to zoom through their funds, since Mastercard is accepted everywhere, and run to the Financial Aid Office for emergency loans.

The business model has translated into booming sales for Connecticut-based Higher One. Its loan cards have yet to be widely adopted in the Washington area, but the company has signed up 675 colleges across the country. Higher One raised $124 million by selling stock publicly this summer, and sales in its most recent quarter reached $27 million, more than double from a year ago.
More than three-quarters of that money came from the fees it charges merchants and students. Higher One chief executive Dean Hatton told investors last month that the success of the business depends on signing up as many students as possible.
Blood money.  The young citizens of our country are dead before they hit the ground because of mounting debt.

When Corporate America dumped toxic chemicals into this nation's rivers for the sake of saving a few dollars, we cried foul.  Corporate America was the direct cause of irreversible environmental damage and still makes cost/benefit decisions that hurt Americans in the long run.  We asked and we still ask that Corporations be responsible for the damage that they cause.  Do we have to wait until the day that we walk over young, able bodied, educated people sleeping on the street before someone asks Corporate America to take responsibility for financial destruction of countless people?

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Indentured Educated Servant Class of St. John's University: Driving Dean Chang

Remember Dr. Chang?  She was the St. John's University Fundraiser that raised funds to gamble, shop and put her son through law school.  She was charged with grand larceny and forgery, consequently.

Well, she's baaaaaaaaaack and the story has become so much juicier.  We are all "educated indentured servants"--"They are trapped, and their choices are restricted by debt. Many recent graduates feel that they lack the freedom to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, start families, stay at home with children, or choose lower paying jobs that may be a better fit. Financially, this puts them at a distinct disadvantage." Sound like you?  It should, because it's you and every other person browsing this article right now.
But, for Dr. Chang, some of the students at St. John's were actual servants--maids, cooks and chauffeurs.  Believe it or not, students that were on scholarship at St. John's were told that they had to complete work-study programs at Dr. Chang's home or they would lose their scholarships:
Many of those tasks were to help with Taiwanese dignitaries visiting Ms. Chang’s house, where she frequently entertained out-of-town guests for fund-raising purposes, Mr. Rubenstein [Dr. Chang's defense counsel] said.
“The fact that this is even a crime is shocking,” he said outside court. “Cooking a meal doesn’t sound at first blush like work-study, but wait till the trial. I’m not going to give you the defense now.”
According to the complaint, one student, identified only as CI1, “drove Chang to the hair salon, to restaurants and to the airport.”
“As a driver,” it adds, “CI1 was also responsible for taking out the garbage and shoveling snow at Chang’s residence.” 
This is our future folks.  Dr. Chang cut out the middle man, but we all wipe Sallie's ass every month.  She said, forget Sallie, come over and cook me dinner or you're screwed.

Sign of things to come? Maybe not, but is this story would be the first in Angel's Fables: Stories Designed to Teach the Educated a Lesson in Life.  Truth is much stranger than conjecture and hyperbole.

Okay, this video is not entirely related, but someone needs to go Taxi
Driver on Sallie's Ass.

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