Wednesday, December 30, 2015

November 2015

Wishing everyone a happy New Year.

Not seasonally adjustedNovember20141,121,200
Seasonally adjustedNovember20141,119,200
Change from Oct-15 to

Monday, November 30, 2015

Valvoline Dean becomes RuTTTgers Athletic Director

Rutgers just shitcanned both its athletic director and its head football coach. Read all about it here.

The AD position vacant and the university's program in shambles, only one man could step in to save the day. That man: Patrick Hobbs, Dean Emeritus of Seton Haul Law Skool. Though Dean Hobbs needs no introduction, I've reproduced Scott Bullock's.

For those new to Big Debt, an explanation: Hobbs was long ago nicknamed the "Valvoline Dean" by none other than yours truly. Of course, all law school deans are shysters and born liars (see Rothenberg, Karen), but Hobbs has elevated pseudo-sincere "slicksterism" to a form of high art, an oleaginous tour de force of toilet law puffery. His persona is a cross between a used-car salesman and a Tammany Hall politician, with a touch of creepy Catholic-priest piety thrown in for good measure.

If Hobbs does for Rutgers what he did for Seton Haul, his legacy will live on forever.

Monday, November 16, 2015

NY bar resulTTTs

Cornell was so happy with the 2015 results that it reproduced the New York Law Journal's chart, below.

Congratulations to both Crooklyn and Carbozo for falling below your new peer, CUNY. Truly the sound of one hand clapping. May Fordham join you in a few years.

Finally, honorable mention to TTTTouro for plumbing the depths of bar passage rates and continuing to dig.

Friday, November 6, 2015

OcTTTober 2015

Followers of the legal "profession" will be delighted to learn that hiring grew in October, as hundreds of newly-barred Florida Coastal graduates launched their career in sports and entertainment law. The United States's "rule of law" threatened by lawyer underproduction, law schools rushed into the fray and saved the day! Again! Hooray!

I cribbed the first sentence from my October 2011 post when I looked back at prior years. The legal industry has grown about 10K jobs since then; I guarantee real wages have decreased.

Not seasonally adjustedOctober20141,118,800
Seasonally adjustedOctober20141,117,300
Change from Sep-15 to

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Your JD may pay off after all

We recently received the attached from ADP. Click on the image to read it (requires a PDF viewer). Short story is the Labor Department has proposed increasing the minimum salary level for exempt employees to $50,440 in 2016. Sad to think this will encompass some lawyers. Some; most would likely be fired straight away and blackballed if they claimed OT.

Still no cure for this. Suite dreams.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Florida Coa$TTTTal comes out swinging

Following the NY Times editorial pillorying his school, the dean issued a retort invoking everything except his dog, Checkers. I'm not linking to it but have included an excerpTTT.

I knew these damn jerks would play the diversity card, keeping the apocryphal "unmet legal need" card up their sleeve for another day. Let me go out on a limb and predict this dean will ultimately testify before Congress with several of his agreeable, highly-motivated charges in tow.

To be honest, I agree with him that for-profit isn't inherently worse than non-profit, seeing how the latter can scam with the best of them.

The Times was right when it said that Florida Coastal is a for-profit law school. But it is wrong when it implies that for-profit is inherently bad. Sometimes it takes a for-profit entity to right a wrong-in this case the lack of diversity in law schools. The student body in not-for-profit law schools is about 29.7% diverse. According to the U.S. Census bureau, the United States is currently about 37.9% diverse. The student body at Florida Coastal is approximately 44.4% diverse.

Monday, October 26, 2015

SepTTTember 2015

Let's get September posted before the October numbers come out. Seriously, I can't motivate myself to spend a couple of minutes copying and pasting off the BLS website any more.

Since I don't post often, dragging my heels allows me to include a timely story. NY Times finally called out the legal academy in The Law School Debt Crisis. About ten years after the pioneering scambloggers noted that law schools hamstrung their graduates with crippling debt and an unusable degree while taking on no risk themselves, the Gray Lady's editorial board joined the party. Nando has a typically trenchant post here.

My overall reaction is meh; this editorial will have the same impact as calls for gun control following a shooting at an elementary school.

First of all, the Times is an elitist rag that has as much concern for law students as Hillary Clinton has for the middle class. Law schools scamming students doesn't bother the editors a whit. Plebeian Southern schools scamming students bothers them greatly. On the other side of the aisle, literally and figuratively, is a Congress that believes in privatizing gains and socializing losses.

Second, they ignore the elephant in the room, the American Bar Association. The loan programs the editors describe are available to all graduate students. While these programs have contributed to tuition far outpacing inflation, graduates of most disciplines will benefit from their degree. Law is unique in being unable to regulate itself, in knowingly accepting unqualified students, its penchant for fraud, and for operating institutions solely for the benefit of faculty, administration, and investors. I used to think turning off the loan spigot was the best way to deal with the legal academy, but it would have to be done without unnecessarily harming other disciplines. Ultimately, the best way to control the ABA is to remove its accreditation authority, but the ABA is another elitist organization that pays lip service to the non-ruling class and the Times has its back.

Finally, one more elephant in the room: the courts. We're at the point where there is no cause of action you could bring against a law school that would survive summary judgment. Law students are ipso facto sophisticated consumers, 140 LSATs and all. Rather than helping matters, the most influential media source in the country has put matriculants on notice, "You gonna get raped." Pretty funny that we've reached the point where nearly the entire country knows that attending a non-elite school is a scam yet there are still enough waterheads trooping off to school to keep the enterprise going. Except maybe at Indiana Tech.

Have a scammy day.

Not seasonally adjustedSeptember20141,111,600
Seasonally adjustedSeptember20141,117,800
Change from Aug-15 to

Friday, September 4, 2015

AugusTTT 2015

Only down about 5000 jobs since August 2014. In response, the legal academy has cranked up its balderdash machinery.

→ Michael Simkovic’s Million Dollar Law Degree Proclamation Gets Flushed
→ When the Dollar Sign Flashes in the Night Sky...

Not seasonally adjustedAugust20141,124,700
Seasonally adjustedAugust20141,122,400
Change from Jul-15 to

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

July 2015

So I'm a month behind. Sue me. To the induhviduals starting law school this fall, the numbers will look the same when you graduate. Trust me: they haven't budged in four years. Have fun chasing the fox.

Not seasonally adjustedJuly20141,129,600
Seasonally adjustedJuly20141,118,700
Change from Jun-15 to

Saturday, July 4, 2015

June 2015

Sure, the legal industry is stagnant, but that shouldn't deter you from going to law school. May I suggest Concordia?

Not seasonally adjustedJune20141,128,900
Seasonally adjustedJune20141,119,400
Change from May-15 to

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Vault just released its list of the top 100 law firms. The methodology perfectly captures what a fucked-up industry law is.

The online survey asked attorneys to score each of the law firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how presTTTigious it is to work for the firm. Associates were asked to ignore any firm with which they were unfamiliar and were not allowed to rank their own firm.

Remember that in the Top 100, Vault is not assessing firms by profit, size, lifestyle, number of deals or quality of service; we are ranking the most presTTTigious law firms based on the perceptions of currently practicing lawyers at peer firms.

I'm glad survey respondents needn't trouble their fine minds with boring stuff such as quality, innovation, productivity, or, heaven forbid, results. All in on presTTTige, baby. Congratulations to the newly-annointed most presTTTigious firms. May your billing rates rise to meet your awesomeness.

#1 Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
#2 Cravath, Swaine & Moore
#3 Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
#4 Sullivan & Cromwell
#5 Davis Polk & Wardwell
#6 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
#7 Kirkland & Ellis
#8 Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
#9 Weil, Gotshal & Manges
#10 Latham & Watkins

Saturday, June 6, 2015

May 2015

There was a small gain year-over-year. Get your application in NOW!

In other news, "Paula Lorona, a former assistant director of financial aid at Arizona Summit Law School, claims that starting in May 2014, all three of InfiLaw's schools — Arizona Summit, Charlotte, and Florida Coastal — began offering $5,000 payoffs to students who were unlikely to pass the bar exam"

More, here. Meanwhile, I have this stuck in my head.

Finally, ATL issued its 2015 law school ranking, using employment outcome as the main criterion. I prefer library seats, myself. The usual suspects top the list. After that it becomes random, peppered with nonentities whose claim to fame is the local market is relatively less saturated. That's how Temple makes the cut and USC doesn't. My school did; I stopped putting it on my résumé years ago and my education has been useless both professionally and personally.

Not seasonally adjustedMay20141,115,400
Seasonally adjustedMay20141,118,800
Change from Apr-15 to

Saturday, May 9, 2015

April 2015

Some good news for once, and I'm not talking about employment. Looks like Charleston School of Law is going belly up. Unfortunately, this was due to its owners getting too greedy and not because the lemmings finally saw the light of day and stopped enrolling, but it's a start.

Not seasonally adjustedApril20141,116,000
Seasonally adjustedApril20141,120,100
Change from Mar-15 to

Thursday, May 7, 2015


"We used to care a lot about where you went to school," Google executive Laszlo Bock said. "We found that that has no relationship with how you perform."

Laszlo said the company has shifted its hiring strategies after realizing that a person's academic background bears no relationship to job performance.

"It is a mistake, and we don't focus on that anymore," he said.

Can you believe this shit? Everyone knows that the only thing that matters, the sole currency, the sine qua non of the thriving juggernaut of a legal "profession" is presTTTige!

PresTTTige pays the bills. PresTTTige gets the girl. PresTTTige commands the respect.

In my day, classifieds ads didn't say, "No lawyers need apply." Instead, they said, "Top credentials necessary." [I'm not making this up.]

How dare this upstart tell us otherwise! Moron probably doesn't know what tier Hastings occupies, nor how many Article III clerks Indiana Tech has graduated. Probably can't even identify McCarter & English's peer firms. THOSE are the things that matter!

Don't be mislead by a lowly tech executive who couldn't get hired into S&C's mail room. Let Bob Morse lead you. Let Top-Law-Schools guide you. Let the ABA inspire you. Focus on presTTTige!

Monday, April 27, 2015

For-profit college operator Corinthian Colleges is shutting its doors

In the news:

For-profit college operator Corinthian Colleges said it would immediately shut down all its remaining campuses and cease substantially all other operations.

Increased regulation has hurt for-profit education companies such as Corinthian, Apollo Education Group Inc., and Strayer Education Inc., which have struggled to attract students since a 2010 government crackdown revealed high student debt loads, low graduation rates and poor employability of graduates.

Can anyone think of another academy that offers high student debt loads and low employability, the latter in some cases worse than before they matriculated? Nope, me neither.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

March 2015

Too bad the BLS numbers didn't come out on April 1. I could have had all kinds of fun with them. Briefly, this blog just celebrated its fourth anniversary and employment hasn't budged since I started it. That wouldn't be a problem if the number of graduates roughly matched people retiring from the "profession," but that hasn't been the case in decades.

Anyhow, if you're anxious to get smacked upside the head, now is a fine time to head to law school. Any time is a fine time to head to law school.

Not seasonally adjustedMarch20141,118,000
Seasonally adjustedMarch20141,121,700
Change from Feb-15 to

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Amal Clooney to teach Hague Law


International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is moving across the pond to teach at Columbia, the school announced Friday.

The London-based legal eagle — who is married to movie star George Clooney — will lecture on human rights this spring as a senior fellow at Columbia Law School in Harlem.

It goes without saying that she will teach at one of the few schools where this course would be taken seriously by anyone other than the students.

Friday, March 6, 2015

February 2015

There was a preliminary gain of 3,100 jobs between January and February. Not bad. Back in my post-law school years I prepared 1040s for lack of better employment. I don't know if that counts as bar-required, or just JD-advantage™. Year-over-year is static.

Not seasonally adjustedFebruary20141,114,600
Seasonally adjustedFebruary20141,121,800
Change from Jan-15 to

Friday, February 6, 2015

January 2015

It's the incredible, imploding, aging legal industry.

Not seasonally adjustedJanuary20141,115,500
Seasonally adjustedJanuary20141,122,700
Change from Dec-14 to

Sunday, January 18, 2015

December 2014

Though the economy has recovered — an 11.2% U-6 is relatively good — one industry seems to lag. At this point you would have to be an idiot to go to law school, which is exactly what is happening. As I type this, seven schools have a first-year class with a median LSAT below 145; these stoodints are in the bottom-quartile of test takers. But wait, there's more! The ABA allows schools to waive the LSAT for up to ten percent of their incoming students. You know, the ones who when asked what they got on their SAT reply, "Drool."

If you think law school has a bad outcome now, wait until a legion of idiots starts failing the bar, squalls online, and the media picks it up and runs with it. Basically, the schools plan to pull the entire "profession" down with them and are laying the groundwork in private. Knowing your students will never pass the bar, you either get rid of it with Diploma Privilege or have the examiners weight the results, all in the name of fairness/opportunity/diversity. The alternative is to acknowledge the academy accepts unqualified students and let John Q. Public think graduates of non-elite law schools are dumb as bricks. Pick your poison.

Not seasonally adjustedNovember20131,138,800
Seasonally adjustedNovember20131,135,100
Change from Jan-14 to