Dean Steve Diamond sees no problems with current legal education

Read the comments: http://www.thefacultylounge.org/201 2/massivemissive01/02/13
The statistic I keep hearing, that should scare the crap outstevelaw01/02/13
"I do think though that law students should be advised of thchicagojoe01/02/13
This. One of the best things I've read on the internet in a blueknight01/09/13
Wow good one!countryfried01/03/13
Scu sent me my alumni magazine today, touring in the front cjdead01/02/13
Well, it is true that there is a qualitative difference betwstevediamond01/06/13
A SCU law degree is not worth $200k to $250k. It was NEVER jstr00az01/07/13
Thanks for posting the link massivemissive. It was a great ibrslave01/02/13
The comments have now gone off the deep end, with Steve Diambl1y01/04/13
Holy tap-dancing christ on a cracker.chicagojoe01/04/13
He's so fucking absurd. Everyone knows I'm in it for the chibl1y01/04/13
How's the 'brand recognition' thing going?patentesq01/04/13
I've talked to 0Ls who have heard about LST by word of mouthbl1y01/04/13
Steve Diamond is the gift that keeps on giving, read the combl1y01/04/13
http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/ index.php?option=com_contpatentesq01/04/13
Not sure what your point is, but: a) there's nothing wronchicagojoe01/04/13
LST is a non-profit --- And so is Santa Clara.... Howpatentesq01/04/13
"I think a student accepted at both schools who comes to SCUjdead01/04/13
No that would not be my response. Some of them might have wostevediamond01/06/13
At what time was the "macroeconomy" producing 45,000 entry-llolskewl01/06/13
I assume you are referring to the alleged mismatch between 4stevediamond01/06/13
Elie Mystall has been saying the projections look worse for jdepressed01/06/13
Who?stevediamond01/06/13
Elie Mystal . . . abovethelaw . . . you know the guy who hasjdepressed01/06/13
Maybe Larry Mitchell will agree to take him on.stevediamond01/06/13
Who is Steve Diamond?jstr00az01/07/13
This isn't a law school exam where you get to throw out a busharksandwich01/06/13
Markets heal all, but it takes time.stevediamond01/06/13
Right, and people "whining" about how there aren't enough jololskewl01/06/13
Well, that's certainly open for debate. Anyway, I think sharksandwich01/06/13
And during that time, people continue to suffer. I'm guessidupednontraditional01/06/13
I am pretty sure that no one at SCU ever thought they would stevediamond01/06/13
When he says Cravath he means biglaw. I'm sure more than 10%lolskewl01/06/13
Seriously, that extra step? It's your life and you are estevediamond01/06/13
Nice dodge. So students should approach every interaction wilolskewl01/07/13
I think that what law schools tell students is by and large stevediamond01/07/13
If they were "by and large" accurate you wouldn't be gettinglolskewl01/07/13
Not by Cravath, but I know they thought they would get to bjdepressed01/07/13
"I assume you are referring to the alleged mismatch between lolskewl01/06/13
Perhaps not, but there has been a mismatch every year in lawstevediamond01/06/13
50% is not a "mismatch," it's a catastrophic failure that shlolskewl01/06/13
I think we did reduce our class size this past year, but donstevediamond01/07/13
253 of your students took the CA bar- that's just CA. Do youlolskewl01/07/13
I think they came into law school ready to try to succeed. Estevediamond01/07/13
Just a 117k average debt, don't worry taxpayers will help wijdead01/07/13
https://officialguide.lsac.org/RELE ASE/SchoolsABAData/Schoollolskewl01/07/13
Exactly so you concede the law school business model is to pjdepressed01/06/13
Well, we are repeating ourselves now. But my understandistevediamond01/07/13
The macro-economy did not create a situation in which someonjstr00az01/07/13
Wow this guy seems like a legit professor, Yale JD, long publolskewl01/04/13
Apparently, one doesn't have to be that bright or have a weachicagojoe01/04/13
Diamond is rapidly approaching Leiter status: http://stepchicagojoe01/06/13
I am not a dean, only a lowly associate professor. The origistevediamond01/06/13
How much are you getting paid to defend this joke of a law sbangbus01/06/13
I don't know of any law school that asked students to take ostevediamond01/06/13
Dude, you seriously need to pay more attention to what is gololskewl01/06/13
Let me summarize so Prof. Diamond can get back to crafting ejdead01/06/13
I thought the Alaburda case contained allegations that the estevediamond01/06/13
"I don't know of any law school that asked students to take santoslhalper01/06/13
Yes, of course, debt has become necessary for most law studestevediamond01/06/13
Law schools do not force anyone to take on debt. But it is sjdead01/07/13
There's an easy solution to this problem. Make law school djstr00az01/07/13
"I don't know of any law school that asked students to take jstr00az01/08/13
"I don't know of any law school that asked students to take hoosierdaddy01/08/13
God Bless LST, I hope they make millions and continue doing jdepressed01/07/13
You were hired as a professor 1999. What is wrong with you jstr00az01/07/13
I am not part of the scamblog movement, only a lowly attorneesq7701/06/13
When I applied to SCU they posted approximately 96% employmejdead01/06/13
Should be available via the Wayback Machinebl1y01/06/13
Can you explain to me what you think is wrong about a schoolstevediamond01/06/13
Well, that number gets bandied about and then you find out ljdead01/06/13
When you say "find out later" what do you mean? Is the "n" nstevediamond01/07/13
I don't believe that the sample size was reported in a lot ojdead01/07/13
The point is that law schools should be behaving more honoralolskewl01/06/13
what's wrong about the practice is that the general public ajdepressed01/06/13
I think there should be a standard form of disclosure of thestevediamond01/06/13
"The NY judge's opinion points out how hard it would be to clolskewl01/06/13
I think a better approach would have been for the various SBstevediamond01/06/13
Why don't you start the ball rolling then?lolskewl01/06/13
I thought I just did.stevediamond01/06/13
Well you continue on with getting 200 SBAs to meet in a natilolskewl01/06/13
the ball rolling is joining with Campos. If you want to helpjdepressed01/06/13
Well the court was wrong it wouldn't be hard, the schools shjdepressed01/06/13
Law schools should be compelled by the ABA to do what more rtherewillbeblood01/06/13
Those are actually great odds. "Law school graduates onlawschoolgraduate101/06/13
Actually, the odds aren't that great when you consider the pbangbus01/06/13
what is also wrong with this practice is this is peoples livjdepressed01/06/13
Yes. If schools aren't going to do anything, like lowerisharksandwich01/06/13
Hey Profe$$or Steve Diamond, I get it. It's legal for schoobangbus01/06/13
People living in glass houses....Its not clear to me what LSstevediamond01/06/13
" They have failed to file a 990 that would provide some baschicagojoe01/06/13
But where is the 990N? And since they have the option of filstevediamond01/07/13
""knowing it will mislead?" Evidence?" Are you joking? Gchicagojoe01/07/13
These postings just glaringly show the disconnect between usjdepressed01/06/13
I think it's flame. Awesome flame.lolskewl01/06/13
I'm starting to think the same thing.sharksandwich01/06/13
dude i hope notjdepressed01/06/13
The consequences for law students and for society as a wholestevediamond01/06/13
worse for WHO? For Profs right? not for students, Tamanaha sjdepressed01/06/13
The Dean of SCU was actually on a committee for the ABA, andjdead01/06/13
see there you go. That is why it is a scam. It's this odd dojdepressed01/06/13
What is the evidence that I don't care?stevediamond01/07/13
The fact that you work at Santa Clara. Your school should nojdepressed01/07/13
I am not sure I understand your point but I did disagree witstevediamond01/07/13
I understand that there is a view that academia is bull (PHDstevediamond01/07/13
get real man you are a prestige chaser. The second a top 50 jdepressed01/07/13
If this guy posting this stuff really is a law professor witibrslave01/06/13
It seems like the real guy, I actually appreciate his engagejdead01/06/13
Email me at sdiamond@scu.edu and I will confirm. It's me. Fostevediamond01/06/13
You might be a bum, my friend, but I do not consider myself guyingorillasuit01/06/13
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImTi 03FPBr8&feature=youtu.be&bl1y01/06/13
Thank you!guyingorillasuit01/07/13
I realize that as you suffer through the impact of the worststevediamond01/06/13
You need to go back and reread Tamahana. There would be somelolskewl01/06/13
exactly. Jesus, I don't know why I didn't do this earlier, ajdepressed01/07/13
Actually SCU is a pretty interesting and serious place. We bstevediamond01/07/13
Your school is a joke, it will let any person able to get a jdepressed01/07/13
What the heck are you talking about? US News didn't startchicagojoe01/07/13
This is what he tells himself when he looks out at the massejdepressed01/07/13
I mean no offense to SCU's grads and students, but as your ojdepressed01/07/13
Can you give us a list of your ideas that have improved the sharksandwich01/07/13
I'm not sure any of them have but you can look at my CV and stevediamond01/07/13
ok it's a flame, damnjdepressed01/07/13
Wow! Good show, sir. You really had me fooled. I met him bangbus01/07/13
I thought a flame was an attack not identity theft.stevediamond01/07/13
So you're saying you're not the real Steve Diamond, which isbangbus01/07/13
"1) The Republican party needs to improve its reputation amotherewillbeblood01/11/13
You're talking like you're some kind of scholar, and not a gjstr00az01/07/13
I don't think it's a flame. If it is kudos. But I think thisjdepressed01/06/13
To the victor the spoils. Congratulations Diamond, you're lianotherjd01/08/13
It's a troll, not a flame: http://www.urbandictionary.comdaved12301/08/13
This thread ripped through the SCU Alumni community like widodgerlaw01/08/13
That's splendid. What year did you graduate? And: How dchicagojoe01/08/13
I would not necessarily disagree that the law schools could stevediamond01/08/13
To me it is simple, either provide information that is not mgenxlaw01/08/13
Do you mean something like this: http://law.scu.edu/careestevediamond01/08/13
Yeah, that started when? 2010 at the earliest. And the isjdead01/08/13
Steve: Surprised you're still around. I have some questichicagojoe01/08/13
It seems like the "JD Advantage" category includes the nine santoslhalper01/08/13
Applicants have a responsiblity to research schools and emplpatentesq01/08/13
--I disagree about the burdensome nature of clicking on the patentesq01/08/13
One of the main problems I have with the 'scam blog' movemenpatentesq01/08/13
the law suits are a great idea from a students and prospectijdepressed01/08/13
I read a suggestion that every incoming student provide a 50anotherjd01/08/13
Professor Diamond, I think what SCU made available in thedodgerlaw01/08/13
dodgerlaw -- the schools should post accurate statistics butpatentesq01/08/13
The information IS finally starting to get out about how abyibrslave01/08/13
I meant law students and recent law school graduates...ibrslave01/08/13
Patentesq, You bring up a good point that TJSL brought updodgerlaw01/08/13
Prof. Diamond, I was mildly amused to see this comment: "I tguyingorillasuit01/08/13
Well of course I am not a defendant to any of the law suits stevediamond01/08/13
The court drew a very fine line there. It concluded that thejohnsteele01/08/13
"(for what it's worth, i'm an adjunct lecturer at SCU.)" docreviewsux01/09/13
I don't have much to add to this thread other than I'm a 2L greenday7501/09/13
Well, what have you heard from the 3Ls?lolskewl01/09/13
Not a lot. I don't interact with them enough I guess.greenday7501/09/13
walk into your schools law review and ask the 3L members thejdepressed01/09/13
There is a big didference between getting an internship and jdead01/09/13
I see that you went to SCU. How have things been for you pergreenday7501/09/13
F-ing nightmare, but I moved out of the valley. I say thatsjdead01/09/13
And meanwhile Dean Dustin Diamond (get the pop culture referdocreviewsux01/09/13
The icing on the cake is that the Dean is now sending fundrajdead01/09/13
My TT3 just asked for $$$. I told them that I will give whedocreviewsux01/09/13
Jdead, that sounds discouraging. Did you look for employmentgreenday7501/10/13
The truly sad thing for Santa Clara Law grads is that, when bangbus01/10/13
The sad, awful truth. The market will correct itself alrighdupednontraditional01/10/13
Bangbus, I'm happy to report that I've never worked for freegreenday7501/10/13
Can you tell me more about your situation? are you a 1L, bangbus01/11/13
Hey, thanks for your input: I'm a 2L No debt other thagreenday7501/11/13
"I've considered investing student loan money before, but itbangbus01/12/13
Also, you can't just go get a $30k job at a non-profit. A loguyingorillasuit01/10/13
I was even applying for jobs in those nonprofit type things,jdead01/10/13
Did you consider doc review around here? I've seen CL postingreenday7501/10/13
No, I didn't even look. I was gone. I have a few friends dojdead01/10/13
When I was in school, competition to be on salary at certainchicagojoe01/11/13
No I left right away. I tell myself I would have gotten a jojdead01/10/13
Doublegreenday7501/09/13
I suspect Steve Diamond is defending a position he knows deemoviegoer01/10/13
massivemissive (Jan 2, 2013 - 7:10 pm)

Read the comments:

http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2012/12/law-school-transparency-jumps-the-rails-or-why-im-still-disappointed-with-lsts-latest-contribution-t.html#comments

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stevelaw (Jan 2, 2013 - 9:20 pm)

The statistic I keep hearing, that should scare the crap out of any prospective law student, is that today's law school graduates only have a 51% chance of ever actually obtaining employment that requires a JD. You might as well take out a loan, go to a casino and put $200,000 on black.

It's a free world, so I don't know what you can do to stop people from going to law school if they really have their hearts set on it. I do think though that law students should be advised of the following:

1) This isn't vocational school. You won't graduate with the skill to open an office yourself.

2)The JD is not "versatile." It is not "a good thing to have." It is required to engage in legal practice. That's it. For non-legal jobs, employers will not think the JD means you're a really competent guy or gal that they should hire. They'll think it means that you're vastly overqualified and that you'll leave the job in a month and they'll b e stuck going through the hiring process again.

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chicagojoe (Jan 2, 2013 - 11:27 pm)

"I do think though that law students should be advised of the following"

Lulz, look at the hippie wanting law school to abide by basic consumer protection standards.

"You might as well take out a loan, go to a casino and put $200,000 on black."

One of the single biggest problems is that legislators bought into the myth that:

education debt = good
non-education debt = bad

The average broke 22 year old with middling credit has no chance in hell at getting 200k to open up a restaurant even if there is market demand. He likely has no chance at getting 200k to invest in real estate or some other venture that might outperform the loan interest. He has very little chance at getting $200k to film a TV pilot or develop an invention or start a software company or buy into a franchise or any number of things that might aid society while giving the student a livlihood. Heck, most MFAs/artists would love to get just 40k to live off of for a few years so they can focus on art.

BUT if the average 22 year old wants to roll the high-stakes law dice or get a master's in some garbage topic, the state is more than happy to pay for it.

As a society, we've valued Cooley law degrees that much. If the next Hemingway came and asked for a non-dischargable $5k to take six months and write a masterpiece, we'd deny him and give it to some bloke with a 145 LSAT to go learn about the Peevyhouses.

It's kind of disgusting, actually.

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blueknight (Jan 9, 2013 - 1:38 pm)

This. One of the best things I've read on the internet in a few months.

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countryfried (Jan 3, 2013 - 12:23 pm)

Wow good one!

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jdead (Jan 2, 2013 - 10:21 pm)

Scu sent me my alumni magazine today, touring in the front cover... You guessed it... Their Sports law program! And it was only a week ago when the Dean hit up every alum for a suggested donation of $1000.

I like how Diamond thinks scu gives you stanford like education. Scu has a bar passage rate around 77%. But we can blame that on the students.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 8:37 pm)

Well, it is true that there is a qualitative difference between the LSAT scores of SCU and Stanford students on average. LSAT scores are a strong predictor of success in law school and the bar exam. That is not an explanation for the poor job market of the last few years of course as I have pointed out in detail at FL.

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jstr00az (Jan 7, 2013 - 5:21 pm)

A SCU law degree is not worth $200k to $250k. It was NEVER worth that. The economy, the job market, and structural changes to the legal profession have simply made that painfully obvious.

Incidentally, by extension, you are not worth being paid a six figure salary to teach law school because you do not create enough value in the world to justify fees you and your colleagues charge your students.

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ibrslave (Jan 2, 2013 - 10:26 pm)

Thanks for posting the link massivemissive. It was a great read. Some people just will not see the problem for what it is. Many, many lives of bright young people (and some not so bright), many with families, have been DESTROYED by deceptive information put out by the institutions that are supposed to espouse honesty and integrity. The reality is that when provided with accurate information, many potential law students do in fact run the other way. Like one commentator in the article stated, the information available to prospective students is vastly different from what it was 5 years ago.

great post stevelaw. well said.

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bl1y (Jan 4, 2013 - 1:38 pm)

The comments have now gone off the deep end, with Steve Diamond accusing LST of ...wait for it...

Only being in it for the money.

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chicagojoe (Jan 4, 2013 - 2:54 pm)

Holy tap-dancing christ on a cracker.

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bl1y (Jan 4, 2013 - 2:58 pm)

He's so fucking absurd. Everyone knows I'm in it for the chicks, not the money. Though, the money is pretty nice, too.

And by "pretty nice" I mean by extrapolation from the adage "mo money, mo problems" that "no money" must mean "no problems"

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patentesq (Jan 4, 2013 - 3:55 pm)

How's the 'brand recognition' thing going?

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bl1y (Jan 4, 2013 - 5:36 pm)

I've talked to 0Ls who have heard about LST by word of mouth.

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bl1y (Jan 4, 2013 - 5:37 pm)

Steve Diamond is the gift that keeps on giving, read the comments:

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1901:santa-clara-prof-steve-diamond-approaches-escape-velocity&catid=42:news&Itemid=71

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patentesq (Jan 4, 2013 - 5:52 pm)

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=156:advertising-opportunities&catid=34:info-and-policies&Itemid=53

Why Advertise Here?

Mostly for the same reason you'd want to advertise anywhere that has a large readership of lawyers and law students. Lawyers as a group are relatively affluent and fairly homogeneous. They tend to consume a lot of the same shiny trinkets, booze, and legal research tools.

But, let's look at what makes Con Daily different.

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chicagojoe (Jan 4, 2013 - 6:48 pm)

Not sure what your point is, but:

a) there's nothing wrong with selling advertising for a site like Con Daily
b) Con Daily is a different venture entirely than LST
c) bl1y uses different identities/names on the two sites
d) LST is a non-profit that apparently doesn't pay him any salary, so it's not like he's doing
e) Steve Diamond is going off the deep end.

(e) is what happens when about 80% of law professors open their mouths and are exposed for being witless shills.

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patentesq (Jan 4, 2013 - 7:23 pm)

LST is a non-profit ---

And so is Santa Clara....

How's that brand recognition thing going? lol

I notice the LST site is down lol

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jdead (Jan 4, 2013 - 6:41 pm)

"I think a student accepted at both schools who comes to SCU will have roughly the same opportunities as if they went to Stanford." Does this even matter, so this affecta maybe the three kids who get accepted to stanford as well as santa clara. If you get into te class of 100 or so at stanford you have connections, are extremely smart and hard working. He's right, those kids will do as well leaving from santa clara. What about the other 282 students, hows their bang for the buck. Maybe half are severely underemployed, but i imagine a response would be: maybe they should have just worked harder.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 8:40 pm)

No that would not be my response. Some of them might have worked harder. Some of them might have made some bad decisions. But a major problem was completely outside of their control - the volatility of the macroeconomy. That was also outside the control of law schools.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:43 pm)

At what time was the "macroeconomy" producing 45,000 entry-level lawyer jobs per year?

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:13 pm)

I assume you are referring to the alleged mismatch between 45K entering law students and 20K or so projected future jobs. I think that differential is explained by a partial overhang as some college graduates calculate that their chance of success in life are better if they go to law school even if there is not a one to one match in jobs and by the fact that as in every other industry many people start out on a path to a career only to change their mind or fail to succeed. The other possibility of course is that the economy grows stronger and there are more opportunities than expected. This happened in the late 90s and there was a shortage of lawyers even at BigLaw firms.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:21 pm)

Elie Mystall has been saying the projections look worse for the future even with an improved economy.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:33 pm)

Who?

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:49 pm)

Elie Mystal . . . abovethelaw . . . you know the guy who has been acting as the catcher in the rye for years for lemmings. He has been saying he wants to debate a Dean or Prof too about future legal employment projections.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:53 pm)

Maybe Larry Mitchell will agree to take him on.

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jstr00az (Jan 7, 2013 - 5:25 pm)

Who is Steve Diamond?

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sharksandwich (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:26 pm)

This isn't a law school exam where you get to throw out a bunch of "If, then" statements and hope that one of them is correct.

"I assume you are referring to the alleged mismatch between 45K entering law students and 20K or so projected future jobs."

Here's the problem in a nutshell. Alleged mismatch? Come on, Steve, it's simple. Law schools produce too many graduates. It isn't a demand problem (bad economy), it's a supply problem. There are never going to be enough jobs for this generation of lawyers. But you won't see it, because you would have to admit that you and others are selling a product with limited utility. It shatters your entire worldview.

Physician, heal thyself.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:34 pm)

Markets heal all, but it takes time.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:39 pm)

Right, and people "whining" about how there aren't enough jobs and law school is a bad deal.

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sharksandwich (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:47 pm)

Well, that's certainly open for debate.

Anyway, I think you should start of your classes with an expanded version of that comment, along with others you've made. Make sure your students know that they shouldn't trust anything the law school tells them, and that nobody is guaranteeing them a job. Then tell them that they shouldn't worry too much though, because even if only half the class gets jobs, the magical market will work everything out for the rest. Warn your students that there's no knowing how long this could take though, but that there's a chance that Cravath will come knocking on their doors in a decade or two.

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dupednontraditional (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:32 pm)

And during that time, people continue to suffer. I'm guessing that's not your particular situation, Steve.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:48 pm)

I am pretty sure that no one at SCU ever thought they would get hired at Cravath. But the employment of SCU grads at BigLaw has always been relatively small with slight changes upward when there were bubbles in the economy and of course in IP.

I don't want to minimize the problem but I don't think it helps to focus on the wrong things. I have trouble accepting, and have seen no persuasive evidence, that law students were misled by numbers on a website.

For example, at SCU if the website said 96% for one year were employed it is easy enough to click on the website of the top five law firms in the Valley and see how many associates and partners there are from SCU. There will be some but not nearly as many as from Cal or Stanford. That should tell any reasonable person a lot.

Another alternative is to contact a faculty member in your area of interest and meet with them. I do that every term at the school. I am very honest with students to the extent I am knowledgeable about a particular market.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:55 pm)

When he says Cravath he means biglaw. I'm sure more than 10% of the SCU class had dreams of being a biglaw corporate lawyer.

Why should students have to take that extra step? You are not used car salesmen. Have some class.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:58 pm)

Seriously, that extra step?

It's your life and you are entering into a significant investment of time and money. I would nail it all down.

In any case, why trust the law schools to do it for you, particularly if what you say about them is true?

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lolskewl (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:02 am)

Nice dodge. So students should approach every interaction with you or your school as if you were Stevie off the Automile. Good to know what you think of your own profession. You might want to reread the First Department decision in Gomez-Jimenez.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:10 am)

I think that what law schools tell students is by and large accurate and there are numerous supplementary sources of information. See my other suggestions here, too. It is not like buying a used car, no.

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lolskewl (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:17 am)

If they were "by and large" accurate you wouldn't be getting sued like crazy. Suits against universities for misleading job placement stats are rare. Your own state has allowed these suits to go forward- and no, the facts are not materially different between CA and NY/MI/IL. They were the same practices and the same "unpacking" defense. Only during discovery did the plaintiffs in TJSL discover evidence of outright lying.

See Acosta's opinion. You guys are not just any old seller here.

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:26 am)

Not by Cravath, but I know they thought they would get to be lawyers at the very least. I mean for real though, why shouldn't one think that going to law school would lead to being a lawyer? That is what you don't get, when your school says 96% people take that to mean as lawyers. Sure they didn't think they'd get big law, but they thought they'd get to become lawyers and most of the students at your school wont. You know that and so does your school, but you don't tell the 0Ls before they pay.

Once they are 1Ls then it becomes "o you can do all this other stuff and the market is bad but there is JDadvantage and etc." Just admit to 0Ls that the market is horrible and that most of them won't get jobs as lawyers. If your school does that and 0Ls keep rolling in fine, I don't hate the player.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:28 pm)

"I assume you are referring to the alleged mismatch between 45K entering law students and 20K or so projected future jobs. I think that differential is explained by a partial overhang as some college graduates calculate that their chance of success in life are better if they go to law school even if there is not a one to one match in jobs and by the fact that as in every other industry many people start out on a path to a career only to change their mind or fail to succeed. The other possibility of course is that the economy grows stronger and there are more opportunities than expected. This happened in the late 90s and there was a shortage of lawyers even at BigLaw firms."

I'm sure the 47.6% of SCU students employed in non-bar passage required jobs are just thrilled to learn about the "alleged" mismatch between the BLS Labor Statistics and number of JDs produced each year.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:37 pm)

Perhaps not, but there has been a mismatch every year in law for many decades and that is true in every profession or pursuit in life. It is no consolation to those who got hit, like those in Hurricane Sandy, by this event, of course. Like Warren Buffett says, when the tide goes out we get to see who was swimming naked. If a law school engaged in fraud they should be held accountable. But I am sceptical that the availability of more information would have stopped the flood of students into law school. Where else were they supposed to go when they got out of college and could not find jobs?

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:43 pm)

50% is not a "mismatch," it's a catastrophic failure that should make you think about reducing your class size.

Why would they go to law school then? They should probably go somewhere where they don't take on $150K or more of student loan debt.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:01 am)

I think we did reduce our class size this past year, but don't quote me.

I think they looked at the prospect of weak employment with just a college degree, looked at the low interest rates, looked at the available IBR plans recently bolstered by Obama, figured that the economy may be weak now but may have bottomed out, said to themselves that law is interesting and adds some useful skills and went ahead.

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lolskewl (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:08 am)

253 of your students took the CA bar- that's just CA. Do you have any evidence that 50% of your class came into law school just for the "skills" and not to be a lawyer?

Laughable that you mention low interest rates and IBR in the same sentence with considering total amount of debt. Do the math on 150K at 7.9% and consider how the student will be able to pay that back on 40K without going onto IBR. See my point about taxpayers subsidizing your job. Would you be willing to go before Congress with that?

Again, no proof that your students were even aware of IBR. Go to the UG campus and talk to some students.

Something more than willful ignorance is required when you are taking money from the 23 year olds. You owe it to them to at least investigate your unfounded and optimistic assertions.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:14 am)

I think they came into law school ready to try to succeed. Even in a great economy, students with the background and test scores who come to SCU have a challenging time in law school. We recognize that and try to help every way we can.

But I am unaware of anyone who says, relax, getting in is the hard part, now kick back and the dough will flow in. That's not how it works. I think most applicants, most admits and most graduates know that at SCU and in fact at most law schools. What no one could have predicted was an entire collapse of the world economy.

My understanding is that 150K is way above the average and that IBR helps significantly.

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jdead (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:23 am)

Just a 117k average debt, don't worry taxpayers will help with this

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings/page+3

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lolskewl (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:24 am)

https://officialguide.lsac.org/RELEASE/SchoolsABAData/SchoolPage/SchoolPage_Info/ABA_LawSchoolData.aspx

Only 46% of students receive any grant at all. The median grant is $10,000.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings/page+3

$117,000 for c/o not counting accrued interest during school. 84% of students with debt.

Here's a few questions. Do you investigate the statements that you make? When you say "they look at IBR" do you have any statistical basis for that or even personal knowledge? Did you know what tuition was at SCU before your posts on FL? What about employment figures or debt loads? How many employers come to OCI? Have you actually read any of the complaints and opinions in the lawsuits?

You said you're not a litigator, but these are exceptional deposition answers you're giving here.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:53 pm)

Exactly so you concede the law school business model is to prey on the desperation of my generation, I mean where else would they go right? But the thing is, and you this, they wouldn't go to law school if the schools weren't misleading them and preying on this desperation.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:07 am)

Well, we are repeating ourselves now.

But my understanding is that, for example, in the Albany Law School case they did not post inaccurate numbers. They posted a number that was not unpacked with any specificity.

Could they have done that? Should they have done that? Most likely, in my view, yes. But the court's opinion was that the particular question of thousands of applicants about which numbers they would want would not be reasonable for the school to anticipate.

The burden then is placed on the applicant to engage in due diligence, such as meeting with a knowledgeable faculty member, checking websites of major law firms, etc. to build up an accurate picture of the number that responds to your interests.

Obviously this is not an answer to a situation where there was actual fraud, but I am not aware of any final adjudication that has found fraud.

By the way, it is not clear to me that even the much vaunted LST has developed a software package that provides the kind of answers that each individual student might want. I would be (pleasantly) surprised if they could replicate the kind of information I provide when I meet with applicants.

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jstr00az (Jan 7, 2013 - 5:24 pm)

The macro-economy did not create a situation in which someone at SCU decided to charge $40k for a year's worth of legal education. SCU did that, aided by the fact that the federal government guarantees to pay SCU these outrageous fees, and SCU and you and your colleagues have decided that you like making six-figure incomes, and you'd like to do that on the backs of your students who have to pay back the enormous debt.

SCU NEVER had employment figures to justify charging $40k a year. So stop blaming the economy.

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lolskewl (Jan 4, 2013 - 6:53 pm)

Wow this guy seems like a legit professor, Yale JD, long publication record. He's no Jack Marshall or Victoria Pynchon. I wonder what explains this scrap.

http://law.scu.edu/faculty/profile/diamond-stephen.cfm

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chicagojoe (Jan 4, 2013 - 7:13 pm)

Apparently, one doesn't have to be that bright or have a wealth of common sense to achieve prestige or publications. Who woulda thought?

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chicagojoe (Jan 6, 2013 - 5:05 pm)

Diamond is rapidly approaching Leiter status:

http://stephen-diamond.com/?p=4318
http://stephen-diamond.com/?p=4311
http://stephen-diamond.com/?p=4299
http://stephen-diamond.com/?p=4290

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 6:07 pm)

I am not a dean, only a lowly associate professor. The original suggestion that they were in it for the money was of course tongue in cheek. But it is nonetheless clear there is a business model brewing here, and perhaps a good one. I just think LST ought to cough up its annual report and its 990s in the same easy to access form as they ask law schools to provide.

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bangbus (Jan 6, 2013 - 7:10 pm)

How much are you getting paid to defend this joke of a law school or are you gunning to be its next dean? It's nice to see you going after LST though. I guess the best defense is a good offense:

"But it is nonetheless clear there is a business model brewing here..."

That's great, but I'm not too concerned about that yet. Maybe when LST starts asking their donors to take out 150k in federally-backed, nondischargable debt, I'll start to worry. LST isn't destorying people's lives yet.

By the way Professor Steve Diamond, you have a lot of nerve comparing SCU to Stanford. The bar passage rates and employment statistics of your students clearly doesn't support such a comparison. Seriously, how would you feel if somebody said Cooley offered the same "quality" education as SCU?

Please don't insult Stanford professors like that. There is a reason why they are teaching at Stanford and you are teaching at the law school on El Camino street in between the Jack-in-the-Box and Jiffy Lube.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 8:35 pm)

I don't know of any law school that asked students to take out debt. Those were decisions made students. As the New York Supreme Court has ruled there was no scam involved just a failure to engage in proper due diligence. That said, I do think law schools should strive to disclose as much as is reasonably possible to aspiring students.

I did not compare SCU to Stanford, others did and then charged that SCU tuition is too high relative to Stanford's. This issue is exhaustively discussed at FL.

The back story of course is that years ago SCU and Stanford took different paths for different reasons. We are very different places in important ways. But it does not stop Stanford graduates from joining our faculty along with graduates of Yale and Harvard.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:11 pm)

Dude, you seriously need to pay more attention to what is going on in your own state.

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202580093293&Complaint_against_law_school_survives_motion_to_dismiss&slreturn=20130006211122

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jdead (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:16 pm)

Let me summarize so Prof. Diamond can get back to crafting exam questions for his students:

"In this case, Alaburda was not specifically bargaining for a job," Pressman wrote. "She bargained for a legal education. Representations regarding that legal education are material to the decision of whether to enroll."

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:18 pm)

I thought the Alaburda case contained allegations that the employment stats at TJSL were false and misleading. I believe that was not the case in NY. I would not be surprised that that would lead to a different outcome on an MSJ. But this is not my area of practice and I am not a litigator.

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santoslhalper (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:40 pm)

"I don't know of any law school that asked students to take out debt."

Law schools may not ask students to take out debt, but they do make damn sure to let students know itís available. Some of them are even ďdedicated to providing service and information that make financing your legal education possible.Ē For example:

http://law.scu.edu/financialaid/index.cfm

Anyhow, you do know, donít you Steve, that your students arenít capable of paying the $66,260 a year SCU estimates as its cost of attendance without taking on massive amounts of nondischargeable, no-questions-asked debt.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:15 pm)

Yes, of course, debt has become necessary for most law students, as it was for me. I am not sure why that leads to a conclusion that law schools ask students to take on the debt. It is important that aspiring law students consider carefully the impact that decision can have. However, guarding against black swan events like the collapse of the financial markets can be very hard to insure against.

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jdead (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:28 am)

Law schools do not force anyone to take on debt. But it is so unnecessarily expensive that yes, if they go, they must take on debt to do so. Of course, taking debt would be an acceptable risk if you had a 96% chance of getting a job that can pay it off, especially if the average salary is around 100,000. That doesn't sound too unreasonable.

When people post on here wanting to go to school now, saying they'll beat the odds, they will get ripped to shreds, people here don't just rip on schools, but now that some truth has been uncovered (only very recently) maybe things will change.

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jstr00az (Jan 7, 2013 - 5:29 pm)

There's an easy solution to this problem. Make law school debt dischargeable in BK, and end federal subsidies for anything more than, say, $20k total.

We'll see your six-figure job disappear in short order.

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jstr00az (Jan 8, 2013 - 10:35 am)

"I don't know of any law school that asked students to take out debt."

Bullshit. Santa Clara's own suggested budget includes a line item for "Loan Fees" of $1,154. What is that, except asking students to take out debt to finance their education?

http://law.scu.edu/financialaid/index.cfm

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hoosierdaddy (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:38 pm)

"I don't know of any law school that asked students to take out debt."

Wow wake up. Below a dean actively promotes IBR as way to make law school more affordable. There are many other examples like this. What are you supposed to IBR? Loans.

http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/prof/student-loans-interview-dean-paul-schiff-berman/

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 1:21 am)

God Bless LST, I hope they make millions and continue doing what they are doing. Better LST then anyone with Prof in front of their name.

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jstr00az (Jan 7, 2013 - 5:28 pm)

You were hired as a professor 1999. What is wrong with you that you haven't been promoted to full professor status in 13 years? I'm perplexed.

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esq77 (Jan 6, 2013 - 6:36 pm)

I am not part of the scamblog movement, only a lowly attorney who seeks truth. The original suggestion that they (law school professors, administrators, and schools) were in it for the money was of course not tongue in cheek. But it is nonetheless clear there is a business model brewing here, and perhaps a good one per the student loan scam disguised as a "free market." I just think Law Schools ought to cough up their annual report and their employment stats in the same easy-to-access form as law schools claim it is to get a job.

You fool.

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jdead (Jan 6, 2013 - 8:12 pm)

When I applied to SCU they posted approximately 96% employment rates and starting salaries of nearly six figures. I'd post the link, but SCU does not have links to previous years employments stats, you can't find anything prior to 2010 on the website. When I graduated, the majority of people making that kind of money were the ones that went back to their old jobs or never quit their positions.

Thirdtierreality actually did some investigation of SCU and found that it hired two profs recently who each bring in about 250k per year to teach 3-4 classes per year. I believe they were hired around 2007. Good teachers, yes, a commitment to lower salaried professors, mmm.....

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bl1y (Jan 6, 2013 - 8:42 pm)

Should be available via the Wayback Machine

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 8:45 pm)

Can you explain to me what you think is wrong about a school telling the public that 96% of its graduates are employed, assuming it is not inaccurate? The NY Supreme Court held in throwing out the Albany Law School lawsuit that any applicant could have discovered fairly easily how to unpack that number and that it would have been difficult for a law school to provide numbers that respond to the varied interests of each applicant.

SCU does have several endowed professors who, I believe but would have to confirm, are paid from funds earmarked by donors for that purpose only. In fact, Stanford has far more endowed chairs in accord with their business model and that helps them lower the cost of tuition. In fact, it would be better if SCU had more endowed chairs because it would help hold the line on the cost of attendance.

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jdead (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:10 pm)

Well, that number gets bandied about and then you find out later it's based on the 40% who even responded to the survey. So, I'd say no, probably not accurate, or if accurate, pretty unethical to let students think 96% that were employed had jobs that were some how aided by going to law school.

You really want to stand by the position that it would be difficult to unpack a number for students. I know SCU drastically changed it's reporting in 2010- and I can't imagine it was too difficult to create a webpage explaining the outcomes. In fact I think they were a leading school in doing so.

Don't forget a lawsuit is currently moving forward in your own great state.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:08 am)

When you say "find out later" what do you mean? Is the "n" not available easily?

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jdead (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:19 am)

I don't believe that the sample size was reported in a lot of places. Maybe that's more an error on the part of magazines and books comparing law schools that just list stats.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:16 pm)

The point is that law schools should be behaving more honorably than that. This is used car salesmen type stuff here- this car gets 50 mpg (going downhill on a highway with no traffic)

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:26 pm)

what's wrong about the practice is that the general public and 0Ls views Law schools in a different light then used car sales people. Since this is currently the case, the public is not alert to the need to inquire further or question the integrity of the law schools. When a school says 96% are employed 9 months after graduation 0Ls do not read further into it because they assume the school is not attempting to mislead them like a used car salesman.

The same can be said about schools referring to mean lawyer salaries. Why do they do this when they know lawyer salaries follow a bimodal distribution? Well, like used cars salesman, the schools are trying to mislead people. That's the only reason to refer to mean salaries, and Dean Mitchell did just that in his op ed.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:43 pm)

I think there should be a standard form of disclosure of these job statistics across law schools that is helpful not obfuscating. I don't think the law suits are likely to result in that happening. Based on what I have seen in the various securities class action law suits the plaintiffs attorneys settle for money not meaningful institutional change.

The NY judge's opinion points out how hard it would be to come up with numbers that are responsive to students. Has anyone come with a proposal that meets that objection? If so, what you should do is lobby the accreditation agency, which is the ABA, as well as the university level accreditation agency. Universities are huge slow bureaucracies and unless there is a clear incentive it won't happen. And if it is not built into accreditation it won't be standardized.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:50 pm)

"The NY judge's opinion points out how hard it would be to come up with numbers that are responsive to students. Has anyone come with a proposal that meets that objection? If so, what you should do is lobby the accreditation agency, which is the ABA, as well as the university level accreditation agency. Universities are huge slow bureaucracies and unless there is a clear incentive it won't happen. And if it is not built into accreditation it won't be standardized."

I think you're onto something there. Maybe someone should start a non-profit organization that lobbied for increased transparency and provided a detailed breakdown of each school's already disclosed job categories, salary statistics, and total COA. Oh wait...

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:21 pm)

I think a better approach would have been for the various SBA's at different law schools to meet in a national convention to debate the issue through their elected representatives. And then to come back to the ABA and the AALS with an agenda for discussion of the issue.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:37 pm)

Why don't you start the ball rolling then?

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:39 pm)

I thought I just did.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:44 pm)

Well you continue on with getting 200 SBAs to meet in a national convention to petition an organization run by a bunch of people who are directly profiting from a lack of transparency. LST can do their thing and we'll see who is more effective.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:46 pm)

the ball rolling is joining with Campos. If you want to help, reach out to him.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:54 pm)

Well the court was wrong it wouldn't be hard, the schools should be required to state in bold letters on their websites the number of Students 9 months after graduation that get jobs requiring a JD in an easy to understand format. For example 1/3 of the class 9 months after graduation had jobs for which the JD was required.

I actually think the easiest way to change this would be to simply lobby US NEWS and make it a rule that for a school to be ranked that the school must disclose this info in a particular format.

I bet we'd get over night near universal compliance. The fact we would shows where the law schools priorities truly are, the prestige race.

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therewillbeblood (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:01 pm)

Law schools should be compelled by the ABA to do what more reputable academic disciplines already do when a sample size is too small to derive population parameters; refuse to report it on those grounds.

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lawschoolgraduate1 (Jan 6, 2013 - 7:00 pm)

Those are actually great odds.


"Law school graduates only have a 51% chance of ever actually obtaining employment that requires a JD. You might as well take out a loan, go to a casino and put $200,000 on black."

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bangbus (Jan 6, 2013 - 7:34 pm)

Actually, the odds aren't that great when you consider the payout.

Sucessful JD = 50k job w/ 200K nondischargable debt

Successful Gambler = 200k in winnings NOW

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:34 pm)

what is also wrong with this practice is this is peoples lives the schools are messing with. My generation is just screwed and this fact causes people to look to higher education as an escape. For example, most of my friends not in graduate school are working in the service industry. Let me repeat that, these are people with college degrees, that are working jobs they didn't need to graduate high school to get. They are depressed and scared. They have been told their entire lives that if you work hard, do well in school, and invest in yourself that you will be rewarded. That is what the law school is telling them when they say 96% are employed 9 months after graduation. People read that on break from their waiter job and go "wow ok, I could do that, I could be a lawyer and be saved from this waiter job." If the schools told the truth, that in reality most students will graduate and go right back to that waiter job this time with 100K plus debt NO ONE WOULD DO IT. The schools are essentially praying on my generations desperation and turning us into debt slaves.

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sharksandwich (Jan 6, 2013 - 9:52 pm)

Yes.

If schools aren't going to do anything, like lowering tuition or cutting down class sizes, they need to at least provide honest numbers, in a clear location.

60% of our graduates reported a salary after nine months. 50% reported having a job requiring bar passage after nine months. 10% reported they had to returned to their pre-law school job after nine months. 30% reported that they volunteered for one month or more after nine months. Etc.

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bangbus (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:26 pm)

Hey Profe$$or Steve Diamond, I get it. It's legal for schools to publish seriously misleading statistics that potential students might rely on in thier decision to attend Lawl Skool as long as they could have found other information to help them "unpack" those misleading numbers.

Isn't that what LST is trying to do though? Why do you want to squelch these whistleblowers who are clearly serving the public good here?

What is your beef with LST? If law schools aren't going to be honest, isn't it a good thing that LST is helping potential consumers make better, more informed decisions by providing accruate information about a student's prospects after law school? Clearly, it is also legal for LST to carry out these activities.

I see this as only making the market more efficient. Why do you see it differently?

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:45 pm)

People living in glass houses....Its not clear to me what LST is trying to do. They have failed to file a 990 that would provide some basic information. I am not sure if that is legal as it is not my area of law but I do know if you are a tax exempt charity you do have to file a 990. Its possible they are not in fact tax exempt but then I think they should tell the people they are asking for a "donation" that they are not a charity.

I don't think its legal for law schools to use false and misleading information but there was no allegation of falsehoods in NY and the court found that it would be straightforward to figure out the stats.

In these circumstances there are two routes that institutions can choose - less disclosure or more. I would prefer more but it would not surprise me if some law schools said forget it we will tell people less.

Not sure why you use those dollar signs in my title, is that just an attempt to be provocative, or offensive? Is it constructive or relevant?

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chicagojoe (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:08 pm)

" They have failed to file a 990 that would provide some basic information. I am not sure if that is legal as it is not my area of law but I do know if you are a tax exempt charity you do have to file a 990."

The instructions to Form 990 clearly state that there's no need to file Form 990 if your gross receipts are less than 50,000. In that case, the 501(c)(3) organization uses the 990-N postcard. This was explained to you on FL, yet you continue to ask for a Form 990/insist they're not in compliance with IRS regulations without even the most cursory investigation into the Form 990 requirements.

"I don't think its legal for law schools to use false and misleading information..."

But it's okay for Santa Clara to advertise 96% employed knowing it will mislead?

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:17 am)

But where is the 990N? And since they have the option of filing a full 990 with better transparency why not do that?

"knowing it will mislead?" Evidence?

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chicagojoe (Jan 7, 2013 - 9:19 am)

""knowing it will mislead?" Evidence?"

Are you joking? Go get out Santa Clara admissions material circa 2005-2010 and I imagine you can see some misleading presentations.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:44 pm)

These postings just glaringly show the disconnect between us and most of the Profs. I just ask this Prof next time he is at his fancy law school in his secure 6 figure job to ask himself how many of his students, yes the same students that make this all possible, will be alcoholics or drug addicts. How many are depressed, and how many will be. How many already think about suicide. How many are debt slaves. And o yeah, how many will get jobs as lawyers too while your thinking about things. If you are a prof, and you are not doing what Brian Tamanaha, Lawprof and DJM are doing then you are just part of the problem.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:45 pm)

I think it's flame. Awesome flame.

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sharksandwich (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:48 pm)

I'm starting to think the same thing.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:03 pm)

dude i hope not

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:48 pm)

The consequences for law students and for society as a whole of the destruction of tenure and academic freedom made by Tamanaha would be far worse than the circumstances we are now dealing with.

Law school is a high pressure competitive environment even in the best of economic circumstances and if any law student is experience personal stress that they believe is interfering with their ability to participate effectively in school should feel free to seek assistance from the school. I assure you that there are significant resources available to help.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:58 pm)

worse for WHO? For Profs right? not for students, Tamanaha suggestions would help students, but hurt profs and those that draw a check from the law school. So according to schools which are there to benefit profs and administrations they are bad. What about a graduate, someone suffering in debt slavery.
The cure is lowering tuition, that seems to be the cure for all the ills on this site. But for obvious reasons it is also the one thing that is out of the question. Get rid of all the resources and all that bull, just lower tuition and OMG depression gone. But again, it's a scam because that is out of the question.

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jdead (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:07 pm)

The Dean of SCU was actually on a committee for the ABA, and his recommendation was to decrease tenure. Guess who made an uproar?

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:11 pm)

see there you go. That is why it is a scam. It's this odd doublethink where this Prof really believes on the one hand he is a teacher an educator and on the other doesn't give a damn about the high fail rate of his students, who when they fail, as we all know go to a dark place.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:45 am)

What is the evidence that I don't care?

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:47 am)

The fact that you work at Santa Clara. Your school should not exist.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:50 am)

I am not sure I understand your point but I did disagree with those proposed changes.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:49 am)

I understand that there is a view that academia is bull (PHD = Pile it Higher and Deeper] and I would agree that it is very difficult to produce useful ideas. The university setting is one solution that we have developed over centuries. There are bar review law schools that will insure that you can pass the bar but I think they leave their graduates without important theoretical knowledge that adds significant value.Tenure is crucial to that process as is academic freedom. Perhaps you have little inkling as to how limited the teaching was thirty or forty years ago at many schools and what an effort it has taken to get to where we are.

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:55 am)

get real man you are a prestige chaser. The second a top 50 school offers you a job you are getting out of dodge.

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ibrslave (Jan 6, 2013 - 10:59 pm)

If this guy posting this stuff really is a law professor with the credentials of the real Professor Steve Diamond, e.g., that "academic freedom" could in any way be affected by the writings of a law professor in a book that is actually permitted by academic freedom; that stressed out, UNEMPLOYED law students with possible six-figure debt and possibly families to feed should actually look to their law schools for "significant resources available to help" absent real jobs, then the problem really is far, far worse than I thought. Sir, if you are a flame, please own up to it. The things you are saying are unbelievable. Please tell me that you are a flame. I am really worried that you are not.

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jdead (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:07 pm)

It seems like the real guy, I actually appreciate his engagement with a bunch of us bums.

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:49 pm)

Email me at sdiamond@scu.edu and I will confirm. It's me. For whatever that's worth.

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guyingorillasuit (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:50 pm)

You might be a bum, my friend, but I do not consider myself one. I may be very poor, but not a bum.

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bl1y (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:59 pm)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImTi03FPBr8&feature=youtu.be&t=2m8s

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guyingorillasuit (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:14 am)

Thank you!

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stevediamond (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:52 pm)

I realize that as you suffer through the impact of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression it may seem absurd to worry about things like freedom of speech. But Tamanaha's idea is to change the structure of law schools in a way that would eliminate the development of ideas that can actually improve the world. Law schools are not just trade schools and in my view should not be if we are to train effective lawyers.

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lolskewl (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:58 pm)

You need to go back and reread Tamahana. There would be some law schools "developing ideas that can actually improve the world" and there would be others that focus on training JDs at low-cost. Too bad if you don't think you could work at one of the former, but good for students overall.

Your argument in essence is "students and taxpayers should subsidize my job even if they cannot get lawyer jobs or jobs that allow them to pay back their debt." You need to present evidence that the average law professor produces enough value for the country sufficient to justify this subsidy.

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:06 am)

exactly. Jesus, I don't know why I didn't do this earlier, and look up what Santa Clara is ranked. It's 96, this school should not exist. It is a tumor on the profession and its sole purpose is provide this prof [and admins and other profs] with a nice job. You should be embarrassed to work at this mill.

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:40 am)

Actually SCU is a pretty interesting and serious place. We broke away from the USNWR idea a long time ago to become, as it was thought of back then, the anti-Stanford - several of the founders of the modern era at the school were Stanford grads who reacted against the Kingsfield culture there.

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:43 am)

Your school is a joke, it will let any person able to get a loan into its doors. You don't think that's true, look at your requirements, o wait . . . .

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chicagojoe (Jan 7, 2013 - 9:27 am)

What the heck are you talking about?

US News didn't start ranking institutions until 1983. And regardless of what your administrators thought at some point in history, today Santa Clara looks like a fully-fledged member of the USNWR rankings-climb from the outside.

More importantly is that the rest of the world doesn't care whether Santa Clara likes the USNWR rankings or not.

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 11:40 am)

This is what he tells himself when he looks out at the masses and masses of SCU grads waiting in the unemployment line. We must remember that he is a prof and thus is a prestige chaser by nature. The fact that his ****** school is not high in the US NEWS ranking is probably eating away at him.

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 11:51 am)

I mean no offense to SCU's grads and students, but as your own Prof said earlier you don't go to Stanford . . . but the vast majority of Ls don't. If a current SCU student sees this thread instead of being offended you should take action and demonstrate to Prof. Diamond your desperation. It's only when action is taken that the schools will begin to confront the horrifying extent of the scam. Solidarity in the scam.

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sharksandwich (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:16 am)

Can you give us a list of your ideas that have improved the world?

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:39 am)

I'm not sure any of them have but you can look at my CV and see. Here are two ideas I recently thought of:

1) The Republican party needs to improve its reputation among Hispanics. The Republican party supports small business and entrepreneurship. Many Hispanics form small businesses but are unaware of the importance of limited liability protection and the availability of LLCs. The Republicans should fund a cadre of young lawyers to set up community based practices to provide basic business law advice to small businesses in the Hispanic community. This would help build new businesses and grow the economy. It might also provide employment for new lawyers.

2) There are nearly a million farm workers in the western US primarily in California. They earn very low wages and have harsh working conditions. The AFL-CIO should start an organizing drive to win union representation under the ALRA in California for these workers. Because Republicans must not offend the Hispanic community they would be reluctant to oppose this drive. If successful hundreds of thousands of farm workers would have more stable successful lives. Consumption would increase and so the economy would improve. Food safety would improve. Farm worker children would have more skills and opportunities. The economy would grow and there would be more jobs and maybe even some for lawyers.

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jdepressed (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:41 am)

ok it's a flame, damn

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bangbus (Jan 7, 2013 - 12:53 am)

Wow! Good show, sir. You really had me fooled. I met him once, and you sound a lot like him. You even used the term black swan, which Mr. Diamond loves to use as often as he can. Although I don't think he really understood the point of (or the mathmatical concepts in) the book. And as I recall, Mr. Taleb didn't speak highly of his MBA degree either. I can only imagine what he would have said about law school. lol

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stevediamond (Jan 7, 2013 - 2:35 am)

I thought a flame was an attack not identity theft.

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bangbus (Jan 7, 2013 - 3:17 am)

So you're saying you're not the real Steve Diamond, which is what a lot of us are starting to think? The real Steve Diamond can't possibly be this out of touch.

Jesus Christ, has the U.S. really given these quacks 1 trillion dollars to "educate" our childern and young adults. Holy Hell, legal scholarship is truly an oxymoron.

Steve (assuming it's actually you), I'm sorry, but I have a real job with real demands to go to tomorrow. Maybe I'll explain this to you later.

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therewillbeblood (Jan 11, 2013 - 2:18 am)

"1) The Republican party needs to improve its reputation among Hispanics"

You think you originated this idea? Seriously?

"There are nearly a million farm workers in the western US primarily in California. They earn very low wages and have harsh working conditions. The AFL-CIO should start an organizing drive to win union representation under the ALRA in California for these workers"

Good grief Cesar Chavez beat you by SIXTY years.

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jstr00az (Jan 7, 2013 - 9:41 pm)

You're talking like you're some kind of scholar, and not a guy who basically trains plumbers. You're a funny guy Steve.

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jdepressed (Jan 6, 2013 - 11:35 pm)

I don't think it's a flame. If it is kudos. But I think this is the actual Prof writing:

"The consequences for law students and for society as a whole of the destruction of tenure and academic freedom made by Tamanaha would be far worse than the circumstances we are now dealing with."

No student or grad could write that, only a self righteous vapid law Prof could.

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anotherjd (Jan 8, 2013 - 11:54 am)

To the victor the spoils. Congratulations Diamond, you're living the dream. But don't for one moment think your job has any value. Your existence, at least professionally speaking, does far more harm than good.

Can't you just be happy and ride this train for all its worth without insulting our intelligence?

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daved123 (Jan 8, 2013 - 1:39 pm)

It's a troll, not a flame:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=flame

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll

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dodgerlaw (Jan 8, 2013 - 3:37 pm)

This thread ripped through the SCU Alumni community like wildfire. Glad I could find it. Sort of upset to see the personal attacks on Professor Diamond. He's here, discussing the problem with alums. You think Kerry Macintosh is going to put in some time here? Doubtful.

Professor Diamond, regardless as to whether what SCU has intentionally/negligently misrepresented employment statistics, what's the harm in being more transparent? SCU is essentially comprised of lawyers, people we generally hold to a hire ethical standard (although I guess not necessarily in contract). Why not take the higher ground and flush the statistics out even further?

Does the school essentially want to continue down the same path when they know students are contracting to enter the law program with a lack of information? Whether it be by their own fault or not. Why? That doesn't seem ethical to me. Regardless of whether or not SCU is violating the law.

To quote one of my favorite movies, "Sure, you could get a good look at steak by sticking your head up the bull's ass, but wouldn't you rather take the butcher's word for it?" Yes, I would.

Sure, I could go check out all these silicon valley firms and see what % is comprised of SCU law grads, but that seems burdensome. And what if, like me, you work in a government position? Or people from out of state, who don't know the area, or people who want to go in to some other area. What is that person to do? It's just a lot of burdensome/unnecessary hunting and pecking. I just don't see the harm in being more transparent. SCU is clearly in a better position to provide these % and publish them.

I'm not necessarily sure you're opposed to that and I think Dean Polden is actually on an ABA committee addressing that very issue ... Correct me if I'm wrong.

Ultimately, SCU is in the best position to provide these statistics, in more detail, more accurately, and more vibrantly.

As far as my fellow alums calling SCU a "degree mill," I couldn't disagree more. Look around. There are thousands of attorneys working in the greater bay area who graduated from SCU law (at least in PD/DA offices). Hey, we're not Stanford, there's not doubting that, but set yourself apart from those kids. People are getting jobs, and working their asses of for them. You can't harbor some victim attitude, and just complain.

I'm unfamiliar with IP/Big Law, so if y'all get shafted in Big Law by Boalt/Stanford kids, I wouldn't know. But I ended up getting a job in the public sector, despite getting my degree from a "degree mill," as well did the majority of my friends. All of whom worked their asses of to get where they are. Not that you didn't ...

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chicagojoe (Jan 8, 2013 - 5:17 pm)

That's splendid.

What year did you graduate? And:
How do you define diploma mill?

Current estimates would place the "law degree is worthless/detriment" label on about 50% of SC graduates.

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stevediamond (Jan 8, 2013 - 5:33 pm)

I would not necessarily disagree that the law schools could and should provide this kind of information. The court in the Albany Law School case held there was no legal obligation but that is not the end of it, it seems to me. There are lots of other reasons why more disclosure is still a good idea.

Here are some of the problems. Perhaps you have some ideas about how to solve them.

1) what should be made available.

2) who is going to pay for it. keep in mind if the law schools have to provide the information they have to pay someone to go get it. If it is burdensome it is costly.

I disagree about the burdensome nature of clicking on the website of any big law firm and entering law school on their attorneys search page and figuring out how many SCU grads there are.

But clearly that is not possible in many other sectors. The reason I made that comparison is because many of the complaints I am hearing are from people who think they were misled on the possibility of getting BigLaw jobs.

This still leaves an unanswered question - what kind of disclosure could have been made, for example, in 2007 that adequately warned anyone that the global financial system would melt down and that the job market even at the nation's most profitable law firms would, essentially, disappear?

People here seem to agree that the disclosure now provided by many law schools is much more detailed, including response rates, breakdowns in occupations, whether a JD is required, etc. Yet, I have a very hard time figuring out what that tells you about the future of the macroeconomy. In fact, I remain unpersuaded that it tells you much of anything since outcomes are very individualized all other factors being equal. I think that gets us back to the conclusion in Albany Law School that the student has to play a significant role here in doing due diligence before investing $150-200K and three years of their lives. I don't think you should trust any institution to tell you how to make that kind of decision.

Another issue that remains unanswered, however, is whether law schools are good enough at understanding the longer term trends in the legal market. Leaving aside the credit crisis, there are larger trends at work in the business model that do not appear to be cyclical. Perhaps the most important are responses to the crisis such as unwillingness of clients to pay for first year work but others are driven by technology. Business schools seem to be much better at responding to the changing structure of their markets and I think law schools can learn from that environment.

I think this will not be a welcome statement here, but I cannot stress enough how much collective action problems impact Universities. Organizing people to get things done and make major structural change is very hard. The culture is very different. Naturally law students are energetic and hard charging. Academia is different. That gap between professional and academic culture is very difficult to manage. I think the persistence of the problem in the wider economy as well as the kinds of discussions former students are now having is generally helpful. I think the law suits were a bad idea - except where there is evidence of actual fraud - and are being badly received generally. But there is a chance to remedy that if current students and alums want to try.

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genxlaw (Jan 8, 2013 - 5:54 pm)

To me it is simple, either provide information that is not misleading but factually complete or just don't provide it period. Its NOT THAT HARD.

If you have a class of 100 and 50 of them are unknown (didn't respond) and of the 50 that did respond, you know exactly what kind of jobs that have, just list it like so:

So here:
Class of 2012 (100 JD grads):
50 - did not respond to survey, fate unknown
5 - associate in BigLaw (NLJ250)
10 - associate solo or small (< 5 attorney firm)
10 - working in jobs not requiring JD but college preferred, professional
20 - working in jobs not requiring JD or even college degree (retail, waiter, etc)
5 - unemployed

Again its not that hard to do it. But we know why it isn't done. Its not because it is hard or expensive, its because if the raw numbers were spelled out it would look really bad. Better to say the school had "90% employment" (45/50) and leave it at that and blame the students when you well know that number is very misleading.

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stevediamond (Jan 8, 2013 - 6:11 pm)

Do you mean something like this:

http://law.scu.edu/careers/employment-data-2011.cfm

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jdead (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:03 pm)

Yeah, that started when? 2010 at the earliest.

And the issue isnt about getting any "biglaw" job, it's about getting ANY job outside of retail/waiter. You try to minimize it and make it seem like everyone wants 160k, but that is not the truth of the matter at all.

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chicagojoe (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:59 pm)

Steve:

Surprised you're still around. I have some questions about said data and would like further information:

1. What does "JD Advantage" mean?
2. What is the distinction made between "professional" and "non-professional?

3. Santa Clara lists 194 students received jobs where a JD is required or an "advantage." There are 114 working for law firms, 14 working in government, 11 working in public interest, and 2 are working as judicial clerks. Assuming those are all JD required, that only covers 141 graduates. Let's be charitable and assume all 9 unknowns and both academia positions are in JD-required jobs. That leaves 42 graduates where a JD was a "plus" or better working in "business/industry," which lists 64 graduates.

If we go down to the breakdown, we see that 34 of the 64 business/industry graduates are listed in "other." Are we really to believe that at least 12 people who have JD advantage/JD required jobs fall into the catch-all?

4. As a follow-up to number three, why is "in-house counsel" not a category?

5. Are we to seriously believe that 16% of the class is not seeking employment of any kind?

6. Would you recommend SCU knowing that only 54% of your students will have long-term, full-time employment of any kind nine (9) months after leaving your school?

7. Do you think the 8 of your students who set up solo shops should really be counted as employed-bar passage required?

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santoslhalper (Jan 8, 2013 - 8:49 pm)

It seems like the "JD Advantage" category includes the nine law school funded positions, all of which are short term.

I also suspect this is where they stuff all the graduates doing volunteer work, considering it isn't a separate category and one doesn't have to go out limb to guess a few of SCU's graduates are stuck in volunteer positions. If that is the case, SCU is included those volunteers as employed, but leaving their salaries (zero) out of salary figures.

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patentesq (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:19 pm)

Applicants have a responsiblity to research schools and employment prospects, too.

Just as an example, I did a 30-second Google search on Whittier Law School to find out their July bar passage rate is around 55%.

That would be a useful bit of information. Yet it is easily obtained.

It would tell me that this school is risky.

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patentesq (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:25 pm)

--I disagree about the burdensome nature of clicking on the website of any big law firm and entering law school on their attorneys search page and figuring out how many SCU grads there are. -- (Steve Diamond)


That reminds me of a sob story that Campos posted about a law student interested in public interest law who graduated only to find a 'low paying' job in the field. The poor student was in debt over $100k and was being paid a paltry sum. But how much effort would it have taken the student to have Googled (or picked up the phone) to find out average salaries of public defenders, non-profits, etc., before applying to law school?

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patentesq (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:42 pm)

One of the main problems I have with the 'scam blog' movement and Campos is that attending law school is seen only in terms of whether it is a good 'investment'. So, if one attends a T6 and goes to Biglaw to practice 'environmental law' (e.g., to advise big corporations on how to pollute legally) or 'labor law' (e.g., to advise big corporations on how to bust unions), etc., this is considered a 'successful outcome' since the student's earnings at Biglaw justify the tuition costs in terms of return on investment.

The real solution would invole the government subsidizing higher education costs so that students do not graduate with immense debt -- coupled with reasonable reform that allows schools to continue their academic missions while holding costs down.

This is what we should be discussing.

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jdepressed (Jan 8, 2013 - 9:37 pm)

the law suits are a great idea from a students and prospective students perspective. They shame the school and show in no uncertain terms to prospective students that the actual value of the degree is spit. How desperate do you have to be to sue your law school?

Again, not all law schools are scams, you don't see lawsuits against Harvard and Yale. That's cause they aren't selling spit, but at the vast majority of schools they are just handing students a bill of goods.

It doesn't really matter if the schools intend to deceive for not, from a students perspective your still walking away with a worthless degree. Prof. Diamond, do you really think a SCU degree is worth the sticker price? if not, why not spread the good word? Why sit back and let students pay sticker when you know it can ruin them. The law school tells students they are worth sticker, you think if a prof from the school told them that wasn't true they would still do it?

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anotherjd (Jan 8, 2013 - 6:40 pm)

I read a suggestion that every incoming student provide a 500.00 deposit to the school or ABA that is fully refundable after reporting employment status within x months of graduation.

This would work and who wouldn't want their 500 back?

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dodgerlaw (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:43 pm)

Professor Diamond,

I think what SCU made available in the 2011 data is on the right track. I can't remember what the breakdown I looked at before entering. I guess SCU is on the forefront of reporting statistics. I guess my comments above more related to those schools with more flagrant misrepresentations.

You do raise a good point. What will more accurate statistics even do? Especially if prospective students continue to act irrationally. Hopefully all of the hubbub surrounding these law suits and their substance will catalyze some rationality on the part of prospective students, much like the recession did (or hopefully did) to other consumers.

As far as cost, it seems it would be marginal if you pass the cost to tuition. Especially when we are looking at a law degree as investment. Would you rather make a partially blind investment for less total cost? Or a fully transparent investment for a marginally higher cost. By marginal, I mean compared to total cost of tuition (~ $180). I think the answer is simple. Again, assuming rational actors.

But it seems to me that gathering and reporting such data is going to hit the school's bottom line before it hits a student's. Schools would hypothetically gather the data and report it to prospective students, not enrolled students. So, if a school goes out and invests money in data mining, the stats are bad, mediocre, or just not as good as what they had reported from their own data gathering, they may lose a return on their investment.

Going out and spending the extra money to procure additional/more transparent data could potentially hurt a school if it is going to decrease enrollment. So, is it in a school's best interest to do it?

I understand that much of the discussion here is geared toward BigLaw so I don't really fit the model actor in play here. But I'm still interested in the policy surrounding disclosure.

People are making a big gripe about law school tuition. Do you really see this as a problem created by schools? It seems to me more of a problem created by the ability of prospective students to procure gigantic loans to attend law school. If students could not pay, law schools would have to offer more scholarships/lower tuition. If we see a downward trend in enrollment, do you see tuition dropping?

Chicagojoe,

To keep this anonymous, I'm not going to say when I graduated.

A degree mill? I mean, I guess it's a "know it when I see it" sort of thing. I've worked under handfulls of SCU grads over the past few years. They have a good reputation in the community, most are employed throughout the area, and most had a relatively easy time getting jobs when they came out (again - public sector). They felt my pain. They know that the economy sucks, and they really tried to help me out when I was getting out of law school. They told me to stay positive and ensured me that I would get a job.

Again, the public sector is different. Once I got an interview, and had to do a cross-examination/closing argument they forgot about what school I went to. They focused on what I could do.

It seems much different in the BigLaw sector where it's more about prestige and just having the degree that says you should know what the hell you're talking about, whether or not you actually do. I think that the whole prestige thing is part of the problem to, and a culture bred by the USNWR. Is there a correlation between attending T14 schools and being a good lawyer? In my world, no. In your world, I don't know.

But the prestige factor played a big role in misrepresenting employment statistics I'm sure and that whole culture is part of the problem. And students are in large part to blame for the prestige thing. Students want to attend fancy schools and put fancy school license plate frames on their BMW's. Because students want to attend fancy schools, schools feel the pressure to bump their statistics. But it essentially becomes a race to the bottom and every school starts doing it.

But the prestige thing might be a smart thing. If you're interviewing for a position, and you're going to pay some 1YA $$$$, do you want to take a chance on someone from SCU or Hastings, or do you want to make a smart bet and just go for someone out of Boalt/Stanford? I guess it's "cheaper" to buy a Bear or Cardinal than a Bronco.

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patentesq (Jan 8, 2013 - 7:57 pm)

dodgerlaw -- the schools should post accurate statistics but for many applicants it will not matter. In an earlier post, I mentioned that I did a 30-second Google search on Whittier Law School (not meaning here to pick on this school)... which revealed a 55% July bar passage rate. Yet (according to Wikipedia) around 1500 applicants applied for 140 seats. I would think that a 55% bar passage rate would deter many from applying... Is it that the applicants are not aware of this information or that they feel it will not afffect them? There is a disconnect that transparency will not cure.

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ibrslave (Jan 8, 2013 - 8:05 pm)

The information IS finally starting to get out about how abysmal the legal job market is, and how law schools have either defrauded or at least unethically swindled many law school graduates. And, as a result far fewer students are taking on the risk of attending law school. Law schools created the problem, not the law students or the people posting the truth about their experiences.

Prior to the effort of people on websites just like and including this one, the vast majority of law schools committed outright fraud by failing to accurately report employment statistics, and then had to be shamed into finally reporting the information in some meaningful way. The law schools simply refused to provide it to trick students into believing that they could repay six-figure debt with nice upper-income jobs fresh out of the gate that they were assured were there. Prior to around 2009 or 2010, there was NO WHERE for an average, college-educated (but not well-connected to the legal industry) person to get accurate post-graduation employment statistics, even though the law schools had all of this information readily available. And, even if such a repository of information had existed outside of the law schools, a student SHOULD be able to rely in good faith on a representation made by a law school! To say otherwise speaks volumes about anyone who believes otherwise.

Finally, there is one other important point that is going overlooked here, and Mr. Diamond has based a large portion of his argument on this fallacy. The legal job market was starting to tank right before the economic collapse started in 2008, and would have continued to tank regardless of the economic crisis. Would the legal market have suffered as much? Probably not. But, there was going to be a legal market crisis regardless; the economic collapse accelerated and exacerbated it. There is simply no justification for there to be over 200 law schools each cranking out hundreds of attorneys per year. So, instead of approximately half of all new law school graduates being employed with the economic crisis since 2008, perhaps only a quarter or a third would be unemployed. Regardless, law schools, the extremely well-paid faculty, and staff have relatively been unscathed thus far in this crisis that EVERYONE else has been experiencing. What are the law schools doing to fix the problems? Are they taking pay cuts or reducing staff? HELL NO! They are different from us lowly unemployed law students. We simply do not understand the importance of the $300k+ services that they provide by putting in grueling 20 to 30 hour weeks. How could we understand though, we are unemployed or underemployed law students deep in debt merely because we are not elite enough to go to HYS and became law school professors.

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ibrslave (Jan 8, 2013 - 8:15 pm)

I meant law students and recent law school graduates...

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dodgerlaw (Jan 8, 2013 - 8:30 pm)

Patentesq,

You bring up a good point that TJSL brought up in there MSJ, I believe. Essentially what they argued was, how could students reasonably believe that whatever 90% of their students were employed in full-time legal jobs when their bar passage rate was at ~50%?

To be fair, if you look at the statistics reported by TJSL, they don't put these things side by side, such as:

Employed - 90%
Bar Passage - 55%

I mean, we, now having trudged through law school, can ascertain what those two statistics mean when read together. But could you have prior to entering law school?

Another point TJSL brought up is that perhaps the consumers of legal education aren't just reasonable consumers. They might be considered a more sophisticated consumer because all people who want to go to law school must have an undergraduate degree.

This brings me back to what I said earlier, why not just spell it out? And I think, as well do many other forum contributors, the reason is simple: they'll lose a lot of business.

But, as you, I, and Professor Diamond, have already said, will transparency even fix the problem? Who knows. I think it will so long as the risk is transparent to the consumer. The media has done the best job at pointing out the risk of investing in a law degree.

I don't get the gripe with how much law school professors are paid. Reducing their salary isn't going to get anybody a job and is, at best, a ripple in a hurricane a of problems the law school economy is facing.

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guyingorillasuit (Jan 8, 2013 - 9:14 pm)

Prof. Diamond, I was mildly amused to see this comment: "I think the law suits were a bad idea - except where there is evidence of actual fraud - and are being badly received generally." Honestly, I couldn't tell you the last time a defendant thought a lawsuit against him was a good, well-received idea. No one ever called me and said "Mr. GIGS, your lawsuit was really food for thought. Thank you for considering us as defendants in your action."

Regarding TJSL's argument that close scrutiny of their various disclosures would reveal that they are, in fact, inconsistent is laughable. They knew what they were selling, what they were implying, and what the prospective students were inferring, and you will see them go down for it. The post-facto argument of "we didn't mean that thing at all" reminds me of this classic moment from our beloved TV lawyer one Mr. Lionel Hutz:

http://blog.rocketlawyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/lionel-hutz-advertisment.png

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stevediamond (Jan 8, 2013 - 10:47 pm)

Well of course I am not a defendant to any of the law suits and neither is my school but I get your point at least where fraud is concerned.

I do think the opinion in the New York Law School case by the Appellate Division makes a valuable contribution to the debate by reminding law schools - and all lawyers - in no uncertain terms their responsibilities, while tossing out the claims on the merits.

I have sent it to all of my colleagues at SCU and posted a link to it on my twitter account recommending that all deans and professors read it. The link is here: http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2012/2012_08819.htm

A link to the new ABA disclosure rules is here: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/council_reports_and_resolutions/2011_questionnaire_memo_deans_career_services_officers.authcheckdam.pdf

The link I provided above from SCU is an implementation of the new disclosure standard.

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johnsteele (Jan 8, 2013 - 11:22 pm)

The court drew a very fine line there. It concluded that the schools deserved a public scolding for their lack of candor but held that no statutory violation could be established. As a former plaintiffs-side lawyer I tend to believe that conduct worthy of the following scolding is conduct that would justify moving on to the discovery stage. The quote:

Given this reality, it is important to remember that the practice of law is a noble profession that takes pride in its high ethical standards. Indeed, in order to join and continue to enjoy the privilege of being an active member of the legal profession, every prospective and active member of the profession is called upon to demonstrate candor and honesty. This requirement is not a trivial one. For the profession to continue to ensure that its members remain candid and honest public servants, all segments of the profession must work in concert to instill the importance of those values. "In the last analysis, the law is what the lawyers are. And the law and the lawyers are what the law schools make them."[FN3] Defendant and its peers owe prospective students more than just barebones compliance with their legal obligations. Defendant and its peers are educational not-for-profit institutions [FN4]. They should be dedicated to advancing the public welfare [FN5]. In that vein, defendant and its peers have at least an ethical [*6]obligation of absolute candor to their prospective students.


(for what it's worth, i'm an adjunct lecturer at SCU.)

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docreviewsux (Jan 9, 2013 - 3:07 pm)

"(for what it's worth, i'm an adjunct lecturer at SCU.)"

There goes your contract.

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greenday75 (Jan 9, 2013 - 1:58 pm)

I don't have much to add to this thread other than I'm a 2L at SCU right now. It's been a good experience so far. I've had a couple in-house internships with tech companies. As I said, it's been a good experience so far, but we'll see what things are like when I'm trying to find a FT job and pay back my loans.

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lolskewl (Jan 9, 2013 - 1:59 pm)

Well, what have you heard from the 3Ls?

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greenday75 (Jan 9, 2013 - 5:06 pm)

Not a lot. I don't interact with them enough I guess.

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jdepressed (Jan 9, 2013 - 5:13 pm)

walk into your schools law review and ask the 3L members there if they have jobs lined up. I bet most don't. That should tell you everything you need to know.

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jdead (Jan 9, 2013 - 5:48 pm)

There is a big didference between getting an internship and a job. The severely underemployed for the last three years are still looking. But good luck!

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greenday75 (Jan 9, 2013 - 5:57 pm)

I see that you went to SCU. How have things been for you personally?

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jdead (Jan 9, 2013 - 9:57 pm)

F-ing nightmare, but I moved out of the valley. I say thats why but even the order of the coof kids had a really hard time finding any work. I finally moved back home and found a contract gig through connections. Still live with my parents. I had a "bunch of great internships as well and finished right outside the top third." I maybe had four interviews over two years and thousands of job apps. The career setvices upon graduating said maybe i should have tried harder, and then after school said i was doing everything right. My life isnt complete crap now but law school was definitely seemed like the worst decision of my life for two years.

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docreviewsux (Jan 9, 2013 - 10:15 pm)

And meanwhile Dean Dustin Diamond (get the pop culture reference?) collects a fat paycheck while contributing nothing to society.

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jdead (Jan 9, 2013 - 10:23 pm)

The icing on the cake is that the Dean is now sending fundraiser letters asking for a suggested donation of $1000 every year.

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docreviewsux (Jan 9, 2013 - 10:26 pm)

My TT3 just asked for $$$. I told them that I will give when they give to the LST.

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greenday75 (Jan 10, 2013 - 12:29 am)

Jdead, that sounds discouraging. Did you look for employment in the valley right after graduating/passing the bar, or did you get out right away? Are you still in CA?

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bangbus (Jan 10, 2013 - 2:40 am)

The truly sad thing for Santa Clara Law grads is that, when compared to the rest of the nation, Silicon Valley is booming...there's a lot of money being made here and decent employment prospects for most people. Despite these good times though, Santa Clara Law boasts an unemployment rate after graduation that is almost THREE TIMES the national average. (24% - Do you really think one quarter of the 2011 class plunked down a 150k for a legal education with no intention of finding work afterwards?) And that's after the school has massaged the numbers by hiring a bunch of its own terminally unemployable grads for minimum-wage temp work.

Is a JD from SCU is a toxic asset? You better believe it.

SCU might have tainted you're resume, greenday75, but don't let the institution poison your mind as well. Stop working for free; you're just letting big company's take advantage of you. I would bet serious money that they will not hire you on a full-time basis afterwards. Sorry, that's how it (usually) works nowadays--welcome to the new Amerika. And guess what? Your professors want that too. Once you're intractably saddled with a 150k in debt, they think you should go work for a non-profit earning 30k a year because... "there's a lot of poors, that have unmet legal needs."

The ironic thing is that law school might actually be making it even more difficult for the underrepresented to obtain the legal help they so richly deserve. That's because when you're 150k deep in nondischargeable debt, you just cannot afford to work for peanuts. There's no point. It will not help you get out of the hole, but rather it will just cause more stress in your life as you deal with other people's problems and watch the principal on your loans grow.

Don't be the overworked mule chasing after the dangling carrot.

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dupednontraditional (Jan 10, 2013 - 10:02 am)

The sad, awful truth. The market will correct itself alright, and not in ways that the lol skools intended. Hope the deans/profs enjoy their lofty salaries while the underrepresented become further underrepresented.

Not their fault, of course. I'm sure there is some law review article that explains in long-winded, exhausting detail why they come out smelling like a rose while the wheels fall off the car. Probably something about lazy, entitled, selfish students not willing to work for a living, or some other Boomer nonsense.

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greenday75 (Jan 10, 2013 - 12:37 pm)

Bangbus, I'm happy to report that I've never worked for free. Both internships I've had so far have been paid. I don't even bother applying for unpaid work. It may sound arrogant to some, but I really don't believe in working for free.

I really have no idea what to expect when I graduate though. Do you have any suggestions?

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bangbus (Jan 11, 2013 - 5:10 am)

Can you tell me more about your situation?

are you a 1L, or 2L?

Any debt besides law school loans?

How much are you borrowing per year and what is the max you can borrow?

Do you get any help from your parents.

Do you want to know ways to make money in law school or are you just waiting for a career?

Do you care if your law school grades suffer?

Are you planning to quit or do you want to finish law school?

What is your UG degree in?

Do you have marketable skills?

If you're planning to ride law school through and you're not sure you will have a job lined up afterwards, here's what you can do now to start making money (assuming you are a liberal artist with no skills).

Borrow everything you can now because most likely your loans will be in IBR in a few years and it wont matter whether you're 150k in debt or 250k. You won't be able to pay that money back and that will be a problem the taxpayer, not you.

Here are some crappy options to make money immediately:

1. Gamble with the extra loan money, seriously... it's going to be playdough money anyway

2. Start day trading with the extra loan money... if you want to trade equities, you need to do this with about 20-25k so you can trade on margin, otherwise it's not worth the effort. Also, I think derivatives, futures, and commodities can give you more leverage with less money down. OR if you really want to be a badass, trade currencies...but watch out because currency markets are pretty crooked.

3. A more sane option is to become an importer (which you can do while you're a student and not worry about the law school's rules against working). Won't give you too many details about this right now, but basically all you have to do is look at all the USED shit people are willing to buy on eBay and Craigslist, and then find out who's manufacturing it in China. Trust me, this is easier than it seems. Then you gotta reach out to them and place a fairly large order for this crap. It's not as risky as you might think either because you can do some basic algebra to find out the price per unit and compare it what people are willing to pay on the internet for it. Most of the time you'll notice you can get a decent mark-up (50% and up) if you buy a couple hundred units of whatever.

Then store the crap in your house/apartment to avoid overhead and just deal with the boxes, styrafoam, and smell. By the way, you'll need to read up on customs and deal with escrow stuff, but it's really not that bad.

Then start posting ads on various internet sites (make sure you get another phone btw) and deliver this crap to people's homes or tell them to pick it up at your place. Make sure you unpack the crap and use it once or twice before selling it so you don't get hit with any liability BS.

This isn't the best option though because your place will be a freaking mess forever, and it's a lot of work because customers will always hit you up at the most inconvenient time. Then you always have to deal with somebody who is threatening to sue you because he accidentally ruptured his anus with your product or something (so make sure to have a burn phone--or a few) And then sometimes you go through these doldrums where you sit on your inventory and your place just gets more jacked up.

It's a crappy existence, but it is a relatively safe way to put money in your pocket while in school (short of buying GOOOLD!!!).

The hardest part about it though is in the beginning, when you place your very first order with some weird chinese guy who you think is going to burn you by running off with your 10k...and that happens too sometimes.

Once you get some money in you're pocket, learn to trade. Or if you're Lazy, don't learn to trade and buy whatever Buffet buys. Don't bother with index garbage because Mr. Buffet has already done the financial statement analysis for you and picked the winners...You just have to be disciplined and trust him completely.

Hope that helps man.

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greenday75 (Jan 11, 2013 - 2:49 pm)

Hey, thanks for your input:

I'm a 2L

No debt other than LS loans

Borrowing just enough for tuition. I make decent $$ from my job to cover other expenses, and my parents help me a little bit.

I currently make money, but your investing loan $$ sounds interesting.

I would like my grades to be as good as possible, but obviously not at the expense of future job prospects.

Planning to finish.

UG degree is accounting/business.

Not sure if I have marketable skills-I've done a tax accouting internship, and 3 in-house legal jobs.

I've considered investing student loan money before, but it seems risky (although idk how risky compared to LS at this point). Did you try it?

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bangbus (Jan 12, 2013 - 5:00 am)

"I've considered investing student loan money before, but it seems risky (although idk how risky compared to LS at this point). Did you try it?"

It's not really that risky, it's just expensive. You're paying interest on the student loans, then you have to pay interest on margin, then you have to pay taxes. It basically forces you to be a momentum trader because you need bigger swings, and then you start looking at charts like some god-dammed augur. Technical analysis is nothing more than modern-day augury. In any case, technical analysis is more intellectually satisfying than listening to a rambling law school professor talk about Palsgraf...and less risky.

Yes, I borrowed to the max and traded after 1L.

At the time, I figured if Law Sc$ool Profe$$ors thought I was ready to hang my own shingle and dive head first into the complex field of securities litigation after just reading a book and spending a couple semesters in the presence of their ineffable "wisdom," then surely I could pick up trading and master it.

In any case, I knew there was never going to be another time where somebody would hand me 15k every 6 months for 2 years, no questions asked, to start a business or learn something cool.

And if I failed, it wouldn't be my problem. Law School had already endangered my employment prospects and any chance I had at paying back my loans. So that extra money would have just been the taxpayer's problem as I made my payments through IBR. It's like that saying, "there is nothing illegal about paying only what the law demands."

Fortunately, things worked out very well for me, but it wasn't because of law school.


btw, If you don't like trading, you can take that 60k and learn to fly. Learning to fly in the U.S. is cheap compared to the rest of the world. you can get your private pilot license for about 10k but 20k TOPS. After that you can get instrument rating and some other crap so you could be pretty close to flying commercially. Whole thing would probably set you back 40k at most.

You can make money as a pilot, but not much. Still, I think you'd have more fun being a pilot than some crappy, struggling attorney from $anta Clara Law.

btw, tell me more about your accounting degree. can you sit for the CPA or did you get a minor or something?

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guyingorillasuit (Jan 10, 2013 - 12:57 pm)

Also, you can't just go get a $30k job at a non-profit. A lot of those non-profits are very competitive, and are staffed with people who don't need the money for whatever reason.

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jdead (Jan 10, 2013 - 2:55 pm)

I was even applying for jobs in those nonprofit type things, but couldnt get an interview-- why hire a jd who will only leave for the big bucks.

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greenday75 (Jan 10, 2013 - 5:41 pm)

Did you consider doc review around here? I've seen CL postings advertising $35-$45/hr in Palo Alto and SF.

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jdead (Jan 10, 2013 - 8:38 pm)

No, I didn't even look. I was gone. I have a few friends doing doc review. Maybe that pays bills but it is dead end. And even though they are advertising for jobs doesn't mean there are any. I applied to three or four agencies in Chicago and I never got a gig over 9 months.

I think scu actually held a seminar called "what is doc review" after I left. And they wanted people to pay money for it or something

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chicagojoe (Jan 11, 2013 - 1:40 am)

When I was in school, competition to be on salary at certain legal aids would have been as competitive as many mid-law/small-law openings that paid significantly more or even things like state court clerkships.

With PSLF, I imagine competition for those living-wage legal aid jobs is through the roof. Like unless you have seriously good credentials (good = public service/volunteer background + connections, not grades/rank/knowledge/work experience), CS told you not to bother.

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jdead (Jan 10, 2013 - 7:30 am)

No I left right away. I tell myself I would have gotten a job, but it took a lot of my friends a long time to find work.

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greenday75 (Jan 9, 2013 - 1:58 pm)

Double

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moviegoer (Jan 10, 2013 - 10:54 pm)

I suspect Steve Diamond is defending a position he knows deep down is indefensible, but I appreciate his willingness to step up and debate.

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