Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tamanaha's Book: Whistleblowing on the Law School Industrial Complex

Professor Tamanaha of Washington University Law School is calling out his comrades in a book entitled "Failing Law Schools."  I just ordered my copy, and I urge all of you to do the same (if you can afford it).  The fallout from this could be huge for Professor Tamanaha and I want righteousness to win out over evil.  Who knows whether he'll be employed or employable after squealing on the Law School Industrial Complex.  He's doing what I never had the guts to do, be frank and put his name on it.
As you know, many of the scam bloggers remain anonymous for fear of being black balled in the community.  That's a real fear.  Fairly recently, an outed scamblogger asked that I take down a post on him because the post ranked high on Google and potential clients were holding it against him.  I feel horribly about it.
Back to Tamanaha... He's been a supporter of the scam blogger movement and I commend him on stating the obvious, no matter how much it hurts:  law schools are pumping out more graduates than the economy needs AND tuition (the very tuition which compensates Professor Tamanaha) is too high and has increased at rate higher than inflation.
Those of you that followed my post on Jack Marshall's blog entitled "Ethics Alarms" shook your heads at his denseness relating to the alleged versatility of the law degree.  Meanwhile, Tamanaha's ground breaking book hits the stores and the issue of overrated and overpriced juris doctorates has been addressed by many esteemed newspapers such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington  Times--and many, many more.  And just this week, the ABA releases statistics that hit you in the gut like the runaway train from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter--only 55% of law graduates have full-time employment.  Please note, that does not speak to the quality of employment, benefits and/or lack thereof and how much of those 55% are employed by their law schools until the 1st day of the 10th month, for the sake of statistics.  In short, if you don't realize by now that law school is as much a gamble as black jack at the Borgata, you must be nuts.  Please don't go.


  1. I hope Prof. Tamanaha will sign a copy for me if I mail it to him :)

  2. That would be awesome. I bet he would. Let me know!

  3. Prof. Tamanaha, in writing and publishing his book, reminds me of Greg Smith, who resigned from Goldman-Sachs in the editorial pages of the NY Times. I hope better things await both him and Tamanaha.

  4. Did you receive your copy yet? I'm really enjoying this book.

  5. Let's see if the library got it. I admire people like that for having the balls to be themselves; I like to hope I'll be keeping my integrity as my own career moves forward. Face it, you don't get to take money or prestige when you're gone & I'd bet these detractors wouldn't show up to your funeral even if you jumped through all the hoops to make them happy.

    I never cared what anyone in the legal community (or anyplace else) thought of me in the first place. If you read my blog, you'll see some very direct, pointed & negative things about lawyers, particularly the BigLaw structure; despite that, I've got fans in the legal community but couldn't tell you why. I've been myself & addressed all kinds of problems I saw when people asked me about them and they reached out to me after I made those disclosures.

    I've certainly taken some public, controversial stands in life such as being childfree (and if you're a woman, good luck not getting flack on that one). My essay on why I chose it for myself was published on very recently & I did a piece on it for Ms. JD that they liked so you could say I came out on that though I was never really "in the closet" on the subject. I just never got (and still don't) that whole worrying about what others think of you or your viewpoints. I finished that nonsense in 8th grade; plus, it saves me time & headaches not to bother with a potential client or anyone asking about non-legal work who's a jerk vs. someone who gets it.

    So a lesson here: it seems like a lot of lawyers would be better off following these peoples' examples. Being myself with no apologies has actually been helpful for me, even in settings where I figured my personality/general mindset/what have you would be shunned in a second. Hoping you & your readers think about that; my peace of mind is so much better for me than selling out or co-opting shadiness. I never said it was an easy path but it's more spiritually fulfilling & I'll bet these people put more value on that sense of self and having a good night's sleep over what any scumbag in their industries have to say about them.

  6. Why are you disparaging playing blackjack?

    You would have MUCH better odds and a MUCH better outcome if you borrowed $100k to play blackjack at the Borgata.

    Think about it...

    A few days before you do it, you can study the basic strategy guide. You can play a few thousand simulation hands on the computer to get the hang of it and practice.

    When the big weekend comes, you would be comped a high roller room. Very nice indeed. Your every meal would be free. I am sure you could also take in a couple of nice shows too.

    You could bet $1,000 or $2,000 a hand and you either double your money, or you go broke.

    If you win, you've had a nice experience and you pay your debt back and you've got $100k to start a business, go to skool, or increase your standard of living the next 4 or 5 years.

    If things don't work out, you can apologize and declare bankruptcy.

    Either way, almost a certainly better outcome than law skool!

  7. This book is really interesting and very knowledgeable book, every law student have to read it.



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