Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Industry Shill Provides Nuggets of Info Among Useless Advice! The Tide is Turning...

Ran across this shill article by Ari Kaplan.  Yes, the majority of the article is utter bullshit.  However, there were some useful reflections on providing a warning to future law students about the debt load and dearth of high paying jobs these days.   He discusses why lemmings are so stupid:
...Most prospective law students sincerely believe they will graduate in the top 10% of the class. "You sign the loan papers with the idea that it will all pay off and it is the idealized big firm life that allows people to take debt," notes Indiana University Maurer School of Law Professor William Henderson. He recommends that the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar direct schools to walk students through the application process more carefully to conduct an intelligent analysis of their career prospects. 
True.  What they don't believe is that they will be among the other 90% of graduates that don't do so well.  Obviously, mathematics is not the lemming's strong point.
Law school applicants are generally naive consumers of debt. "As soon as tuition rose to a level where people had to borrow significant sums in order to go to law school, you had students with no experience taking out loans, repaying them or understanding what it means to have debt," says University of Miami School of Law Dean, Patricia White. "It was a little bit like the foreclosure crisis and the mortgage debacle," she adds. 
Wow.  Dean White might be the ONLY Dean that I admire.  Do you know that she tried to dissuade accepted applicants from attending her esteemed establishment.  I think I'll even ask Nando from Third Tier Reality to refrain from giving UMiami his toilet treatment. Do you know what she did????
To address this disparity, last fall, in her first year as dean, White sent accepted applicants who had already paid their full non-refundable deposit a unique letter that generated national attention. In it, she asked, them to reconsider their choice of attending law school. The dean offered them the option to defer their admission for one year to further reflect on their chosen path. Of the 32 students who accepted her offer, only eight enrolled this year. [emphasis is mine]
and then she goes on to call out the JD degree in BIDER fashion:
"Part of the problem is that students enroll in law school without really knowing what they will do," says White. She describes law school as "the great generalists graduate school" because the typical undergraduate has no real sense of what law is. "It is more common for undergraduates to have a popular culture sense about what the law is," she adds. [emphasis is mine]
Amazing.  Brilliant.  RESPONSIBLE!  Bravo, Dean White. You're my new hero, anti-hero. You're the new Darth Vader because I love you and hate you at the same time.  You're Dexter.  You're a killer with good intentions.  You did the right thing and those 8 idiots that enrolled at University of Miami have been fairly warned--so you can sleep at night when they are working at the local Walmart.  You did your part.

Then Kaplan goes on with his list of ludicrous hints to make the most out of law school.  He suggests you become a "Creative Hustler." I've called myself a hustler on more than one occasion, but it's because I'm hustling to pay my mortgage, student loan fees and eat.  That's the hustle that many law grads are accustomed to you.

 So you can have a good a good laugh, here's a few more of his suggestions:
You must be motivated. "You cannot succeed without a tremendous amount of drive; you need to put yourself on the line and risk failure," says Fulbright & Jaworski Partner Robert Owen. "If you don't have that kind of internal drive, it is not a good profession for you," he adds.
Develop targeted knowledge. "Learn something about something other than law," says University of Southern California Law School Professor Gillian Hadfield. 
"Understand your client's business; it is not enough to understand the legal problem," advises Richard Fields, CEO of Juridica Capital Management (US) Inc. "When you understand your client's business, you can find solutions quicker, faster and cheaper," he adds. 
Ultimately, confidence is the key to success in the law, notes Shepherd. 
Let me summarize: if you go to law school, be a lawyer.  Lawyers must be confident, understand their client's business and know things other than the law.  A lawyer, by definition, is a jack of all trades and the master of none.  Especially the type of lawyers that don't get jobs after law school--those that end up being sole practitioners.  If you do not heed my advice, you too will be a sole practitioner--because you will have no other options.

Thanks for nothing, Kaplan.  I realize that encouraging people to take the plunge of a lifetime is probably part of your contract, but try and keep the bullshit to a minimum next time.  This article was almost good.

On a totally unrelated note, I hate Phaedra Parks from Housewives of Atlanta. "Be a Lawyer, honey. Get your money!"  UGH.
That's why she's married to an ex-con--probably the only bastard that deals with her work schedule and she's airing her life story for profit on Bravo.  SURE.  I hate the glorification of the legal industry by Hollywood--or Atlanta in this case.


  1. In the last analysis, law school is an EXPENSIVE admission ticket for the bar exam. Also,thanks for the link, Angel. I am familiar with White's offer of deferral for incoming first year students. I am still leaning towards a University of Miami TTR profile.

    If someone truly wants to be a lawyer, no matter what - and understands fully that their precious little dream may never come true - they should attend the cheapest school they can get into, or go to a school that offers them a full-tuition scholarship. At least, they will not be crippled by debt if they land a $32K job for legal aid.

  2. Nando,

    You should absolutely give UM law a TTR profile. I am a current student at the school and while Dean White's efforts are commendable, the truth of the matter is that the law school continues to accept 500+ students in order to, most of us assume, funnel our federal stafford/plus loans to our massive law school administration salaries or the financial deficit in the undergrad departments.

    Take a look at our current course offerings: Notice all the adjucts required because of our MASSIVE 1L enrollment? Our focus on "Emotion and the Law"? I sure want to have that on my transcripts because I have to enroll in 13 credit hours. I could go on and on but unfortunately I have never been able to find your contact information Nando.

    -Pissed off and bitter.

  3. Funny how Dean White proudly displays my class' employement stats as 96% employed with $87,000 starting. I'm sure as hell in the top 96%; Id be happy with 1/4 of that starting salary.

  4. Well, after reading about 500 consecutive articles in a similar tone on all of the scam blogs, this is how I feel about right now:

    ...And, yep, I have a J.D. myself.

  5. Quit insulting the lemmings. Small arctic rodents had nothing to do with this fucking mess.



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