Tuesday, August 17, 2010

L4L's Reasons for Shutting Down Big Debt, Small Law

Many of you wanted to know why Big Debt, Small Law was permanently deleted the same day the New Jersey Star-Ledger article on the law school scam featuring Scott/L4L was published. I received the following from L4L last night with his permission to publish the letter explaining his reasons for shutting down his popular blog. We are working with L4L to get all of his posts from Big Debt, Small Law archived and accessible to readers for future reference. Thank you to L4L for his contributions to the law scam movement and good luck to him in all his future endeavors.
First off, it's been a pleasure meeting all of you on this scamblogger group, and I've enjoyed "fighting the good fight" as much as anyone. BDSL was both a passion and a pleasure to write, and I've appreciated and enjoyed all of your support, encouragement and comments over the past 12 months.

However, on the eve of the Sunday article in the Star-Ledger, I voluntarily chose to take down BDSL for good. As the article states, I do have a side-practice with a partner, and it wasn't really fair to force her to "answer" (so to speak) for the often-inflammatory contents of the blog. My editorial style often made it appear that BDSL was a "group" effort (which it was not, I wrote every single word ever published there aside from quoted, italicized text from other articles). I blogged in this style merely to avoid the repetitive boredom of constantly saying "I think" and "I believe" and so on. C'mon, would you rather read "I noticed" as opposed to "It came to our attention here at Big Debt headquarters," etc. I personally think the style suited the message quite well.

At any rate, it was impossible to maintain the quality level that BDSL had in the early days, so posts had of late become fewer and farther between. I'm working on a novel right now (as well as some stand-up comedy), and prefer to spend the precious spare time I have available on those side project(s) as opposed to scamblogging.

Make no mistake: "outing" yourself like I did back in the Sept. 2007 WSJ article will curse any chance you'll ever have of working at a law firm. Period. Employers (esp. legal employers) are not looking for "boat rockers" and "malcontents." I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, only that you should always be well aware of the consequences. You'll have to answer for this shit for the rest of your natural life, thanks to the Internet. Not that you'll be missing out on anything.

At the time I "came out" I'd already logged 2+ years in the most miserable, dead-end, dysfunctional boiler room you could ever imagine ( a notorious NYC pi firm called Mirman, Markovits & Landau) and simply lost all ability to even give a fuck at that point. I pray that none of you will ever endure an experience as miserable, degrading, and suicide-inducing as the one I had at MM&L. If given the choice between spending eternity in Hell or returning to that gulag, I wouldn't hesitate to prefer the former. Take the worst job you've ever had and multiply it by a factor of 10,000, and you'll have a vague idea of the type of workplace this gutter truly was, and still is.

Now I've "done it again," bashing my alma mater in it's own hometown paper (the Star-Ledger offices are in Newark NJ right down the street from SH). I feel like I landed some real "haymakers" right in the Valvoline Dean's jaw, and am eternally grateful to my business partner (and fellow SH alum Justine) for having the cojones to do this interview with me. We both took supreme pleasure in shoving some of the Valvoline Dean's bullshit back up his ass (and; tellingly, the coward didn't have the balls to respond). Another profile in courage from the ABA lawschool scam machine.

But at this point I've simply had enough. I was trying to pen a special "Big Debt" post to coincide with the Star-Ledger article, and halfway thru just decided to throw in the towel. My heart just ain't in it anymore. I feel kind of like Marty McFly from Back to the Future: we all know damn well what awaits these lemmings, but none of them will believe it. Like a sci-fi time travel flick, the kids will just have to find out what the future holds on their own. Their incredulity will be their downfall.

I've seen some comments that implied we '"feared" a lawsuit from SH and that's why the blog disappeared. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike the thugs at SH, Justine and myself have both actually conducted civil jury trials on our own (she's also paid her dues in small-firm hell), and neither of us give two shits about the noise and smoke SH might throw our way. Bottom line is that we hold all the cards anyway. A case like that would be David vs. Goliath, and the bad PR and media attention a law school vs. alum case would entail makes it simple common sense that no school would risk the hit.

I made the decision that the blog had run it's course and what's done is done. I'm moving on and trying desperately to recoup some of my lawschool "investment," and BDSL (if seen by clients) would materially hurt those goals. Hence it's demise.

I still have all the old blog posts saved in MS Word, and if anyone is interested in running a "Big Debt" archive I'd be happy to fwd. them to you to run again (kind of like "syndication" for an old TV show.) Let me know if you're interested.

I wish those of you who keep blogging the best of luck, and feel free to call me anytime to BS or if you have any questions about starting a side practice (there is some easy money in law if you know how to find it). It's been fun & I wish you all the best,

Scott Bullock aka L4L


  1. Scott, as a seasoned attorney I want to thank you for coming forward again and putting a face on the anti-law school scam movement. Although you attended a third tier law school, your writing on Big Debt, Small Law was first rate. I will be sad to see you leave the movement, however, I completely understand your reasons and respect them. I have read the attacking comments made against you since the Star Ledger article came out. Trust me Scott, you have more courage that those douchebags. Good luck to you.

  2. That guy is funny, and right. More pictures of Justine and less of Scott though, just saying.

  3. Yes, I agree, more pics of Justine. And Leslie, too.

  4. Scott,your writing is hilarious. There are very few writers who can make me laugh out loud.

    I wish you all the best and will certainly check out your future writing.

  5. His writings were definately funny and made me rotf a few times. All good things come to an end, I wish him good luck in his new practice. Perhaps his greatest revenge will be to develop a law practice that can eventually hire lots of employees and treat them like people rather than billable hours machines.

  6. "But at this point I've simply had enough. I was trying to pen a special "Big Debt" post to coincide with the Star-Ledger article, and halfway thru just decided to throw in the towel. My heart just ain't in it anymore."

    This is why change is extremely unlikely to come. Those of us who want to reform legal education end up moving on, while the people who have an interest in maintaining the status quo stay in the fight.

    Not casting any blame here, you're well within your right to move on as most people will. Unfortunately, the deans and professors and ABA mouth-breathing bonobos will still be around for decades.

  7. It's another reason why most bloggers should remain anonymous so that even when they do move on and find jobs, they won't feel the need to delete their blogs. There are repercussions for bloggers wanting to stay in the legal field and publicly hold the legal industry accountable for their immorality, crimes and scams.

  8. I would normally say that making a living as an author is "crazy." However, given that its probably just as crazy to expect to make money with a law degree, now is the time for everybody to start parading their plate juggling act on "America's Got Talent."

  9. Of course he doesn't fear a lawsuit.
    Can you imagine Seton Hall having to produce the basis of their employment numbers in a courtroom, and having to face a separate evaluation of the employment of those grads by the defense?

  10. Why are 20-somthings so childish? I mean, really, why? We just can't figure it out. Let's research it. That's a good idea. That way we don't have to give them credit for being adults doing the best they can in a world we fucking flushed and won't walk away from.


    In other news, why is the Baby Boomer generation so stupidly arrogant? And for the weather, well, who the fuck really thinks this is worth anyone's time? When the "establishment" starts doing research about your - truly - adult years, and starts telling someone (read: me) who is 29 at the moment that he's in a newly discovered maturation stage, maybe - just maybe - it's getting a little ridiculous. Whether or not 20-somethings are taking a long time to "grow up", I think the idea of fucking doing research about it is a little more than laughable. Why research? Well, let me tell you: Because, just like children, these 20-somethings don't really have a fully-formed sense of themselves yet, and so, we really need to find out what's going on. Like babies who can't yet talk and therefore can't just tell us what's wrong, we can still find out what's going on in their cute little heads because we're smart. We're us. Ain't that more than enough? We're the caretakers. We're the wise men. We're the 60's revolutionaries who fucked the world up from here to there and back, and we'll never get out-dated.

    Maybe I'm not "growing up" because (1) of the things I want to do, you fucked them up and I can't, and (2) of those remaining things you expect of a grown up, I don't want to do them because you fucked them up and I don't really feel like redressing your stupidity.

    Maybe "not growing up" has something to do with the fact that it's difficult to distinguish between my grandparents who don't know what day it is and just about anyone I see in any position of responsibility, especially in the media and government? Hm? What say you? I mean, until a couple of years ago Bob Schieffer (spelling?) was hosting the CBS news. And have you seen Mitch McConnell? That man's skin is falling off in clumps. Honestly, it's a shock no one has fallen asleep while hosting a news show yet. They've been asleep in the great capital of Merica for years. And, just look at that link: That's a 10 page NYT article someone wrote about me and, well, you too. These people are unreal.

  11. Hey. I'm 30 sumthing and I feel the same way. I grew up quick, but what does it matter when you can barely support yourself. Don't count us out...

  12. I enjoy all of the scam blogs (especially this one), but BDSL was the only one that made me laugh out loud again and again. Scott, if you are ever in lower Manhattan and you want to meet me for lunch, dinner or drinks on me just give me a call. The same goes for Angel of course.

    David Abrams

  13. The older generations ruined everything, so all we can do is try and survive through this mess. "Growing up" is just a shaming tool in the bag of the average moron that wants to be elitist towards others but hasn't had to engage in fair, even competition with them.

    The older generations all enjoyed the privileges of less competition and more money in this country. We don't have any of that. 15 years ago a 165 LSAT gets you into UVA pretty easily, now you're probably going to a low 1T or high 2T. The disconnect from reality is claiming that everyone going to lower ranked schools is stupid and could only get a 155.

    Competition for IVY league undergrad spots is fiercer now than ever before. The top is ever shrinking, and the benefits of everything else are smaller and smaller.

    We are told to succeed in an environment where nobody wants to take a chance on you and train you for anything. Where you don't get the ability to diversify and then take whatever comes your way, because everything requires certification and licensing fees. Our taxes are absurdly high, and everything costs more, yet the entry level salaries have either barely gone up or are in fact getting lower or disappearing entirely.

    You can't "grow up"--whatever that means, when the opportunities aren't there for you. To get by, most young people have to room with several other young people for years, and scrape by a living. Many are struggling to get the jobs they had before law school---dead end jobs that pay south of $30k to begin with (the average salary is actually just over $29k for a young male, a bit higher for young females---despite what false statistics are touted by schools and other sources).



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