Sunday, February 27, 2011

Double Header: WashPo is Kaplan's Bitch and Pychology's Explanation for Top Law Schools

Aussies have been reading BIDER and the discussion of the scam blogs and the legal industry spurred this discussion.  Kudos to Donna Gordon for putting a name of the "affliction" suffered by many lemmings, as evidenced by discussion at Top Law Schools.

Real problem is employers expecting some initiative (work experience or the likes for real world experience) and 
graduates only offering a degree then searching for months for a job whilst the kid who had work experience
 because the employer knew there's no way (unless they attended Uni earlier) the student could have any and 
is thus showing initiative and willing to work hard.
I'll use your statement to put across my 2c, again.
Blaming individual students for not getting jobs is a bit silly. There are simply not enough jobs (as lawyers, 
that people actually want when they start a law degree) to go around.

this post was edited
Blaming individual students for not getting jobs is a bit silly. There are simply not enough jobs (as lawyers,
that people actually want when they start a law degree) to go around.
I agree. I think that some people here need to understand the meaning of "Fundamental attribution error".
In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or 
attribution effect) describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based 
explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for
those behaviors. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behavior
of others. It does not explain interpretations of one's own behavior—where situational factors are 
often taken into consideration. This discrepancy is called the actor–
observer bias.
As a simple example, if Alice saw Bob trip over a rock and fall, Alice might consider Bob to be 
clumsy or careless (dispositional). If Alice later tripped over the same rock herself, she would 
be more likely to blame the placement of the rock (situational).

Tell me that doesn't describe lemmings to a tee.  It's not us, it's the legal industry.  Stop trying to blame the "victim" and see for a second that you can be in the same situation as all of the unemployed and underemployed attorneys out there.

A reporter from Washington Post called me for an article that was published last Sunday.  What a loser article.  When the article was first published, it said that the founders of Law School Transparency were Villanova students--this mistake has since been fixed as they are in fact students at Vanderbilt.  The article is tepid at best, saying that the ABA passed a resolution requesting that the law schools be more truthful.  No mention of Villanova's recent scandal:

Villanova University School of Law “knowingly reported” inaccurate admissions information to the American Bar Association for years leading up to a new dean’s arrival in 2010, the school’s dean said Monday.
My biggest problem with the article is that she spoke to ME and didn't mention our interview or BIDER, but instead chose to cite Esq Never.  Although Esq Never was a great blog, it has been defunct since August 8, 2010--although recently updated with one post (literally explaining Esq Never's absence).  Way to go, Washington Post! I can only hypothesize, but the reporter's reluctance to tell the real story may be related to Kaplan's ownership of Washington  Post.  You don't want to trash the boss' business.  I expected a story at least as fair as Washington Post's story on Kaplan opening a law school in D.C.
Washington Post, try publishing a real story next time. Also, don't bother calling me unless you're going to quote me or one of my contemporaries.


  1. In the mid-90s an anonymous partner from a large law firm published an article called "Go Home" in The Student Lawyer. The article pretty accurately described the reality for folks who attend third and fourth tier schools. I attended a good but not great law school (probably on the cusp of the top 25 then) and there were students then who clearly were not cut out for the profession. Frankly, at the time, I perceived their function as being to pay full tuition to fund my free tuition and to fill the bottom of curve so that I could do well. (One of my classmates referred to them as the bucket fillers.)
    But two important things have changed since then, both alluded to on the various blogs.
    First, student loan debt has increased dramatically, so such folks now finish deep in debt. Second, there are fewer jobs. The result is, therefore, quite different than it was in the early 90s. My classmates that had made a questionable educational choice obtained mediocre or lousy jobs, but by the time they and/or their employers realized that their gifts lay elsewhere they had paid off the bulk of their student loans and could move on.
    I have also noticed that many of the elites claim that the current situation is cyclical. I do not believe that, but even if I did I would warn people to be hesitant about attending law school. A myth has been perpetuated that it was easy in the 90s to obtain employment: this is a lie. While the vast majority of my class was employed within a year of passing the bar, most of the jobs actually obtained would fit pretty well on shitlawjobs.
    If you are finishing up your first year of law school, do not have a 3.0, are not in the top half of your class, and are paying full price. Quit.
    If you are a 3L your sunk cost is so high that you probably should finish and roll the dice on the bar.
    If you are a 2L and do not have a summer position, then apply the 1L criteria.
    I realize that nobody wants to hear the bad news, but ignoring the facts will not improve the situation.
    On the other hand, you can disregard everything I have written and next year when I stop at the Peet's on Montgomery you can prepare my Majoy Dickason's blend.

  2. I have blogged about FAE, fundamental attribution error, several times. I think it's the main cause behind the general lemming leap off the law school cliff. In addition, the counter argument made against the scamblog movement is a textbook example of it (along with correspondence bias).

  3. Lemming mentality: "But I - wonderful I - WILL make law review, land OCI and rub elbows with movers and shakers of the legal community. I earned a 3.8 GPA from State U., while majoring in English Lit."

    Reality: Here is a $34K a year - with no security. Take it or leave it! I said Take it or leave it!

  4. If you say outlandish things the odds of being quoted go way up. Newspapers are not about truth. They are all partisan publications.

    I deal with reporters on a regular basis.

  5. Isn't it more outlandish that I, a first tier grad, is now in the shitter? Isn't that contrary to logic. Instead, they focus on TTTToilet grads with crazy spending habits.

  6. Actually, the Washington Post Co. owns Kaplan and not the other way around. BTW, the Kaplan Division is the biggest contributor to the Post Co.'s profits.

  7. You're going to want to comment on this:

    Especially in light of what happened with that computer "Watson" who won at Jeopardy.



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