Friday, December 2, 2016

November 2016

If I'm inspired, and I probably won't be, I'll comment on this.

Not seasonally adjustedNovember20151,126,400
Seasonally adjustedNovember20151,123,800
Change from Oct-16 to

Sunday, November 27, 2016

OcTTTober 2016

One benefit to being dilatory a lazy POS is that I can watch events unfold and write about them at my leisure. Sometimes I'll have a theme for a post, start a draft, and it will be immediately obviated by the news.

Three things have happened of late.

  • Donald Trump was elected president running on a populist theme
  • Indiana Tech announced it was closing its stillborn law school
  • "Let's see — I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops." Oh yeah: California's July bar passage hit a 32-year-low, mirroring other jurisdictions

Just so we're clear, Indiana Tech is the harbinger of nothing. The university already absorbed the substantial sunk cost of starting the school and could have limped along, augmented by offering undergraduate courses, distance learning, and luring foreign students. I've previously opined that as long as law schools keep their expenses in line with revenue — scamsizing™ as it were — they are viable indefinitely. Uncle Sam has made the academy immune to market forces and using business terms and concepts to discuss it is obfuscation. I truly believe that the State of Indiana told the university board to shitcan the school, with this as the last straw. Basically, one well-connected individual contacted one well-connected board member, maybe even in person(!), and that was all it took.

I'm not speculating; I've seen this done. The government has enough harassment tools to obtain cooperation from anyone.

When I was in law skool a long time ago I had a course on business entities. The professor, who was a partner at a large firm, described states falling over themselves to emulate Delaware law as a race-to-the-bottom. He predicted that what the legislatures gave, the courts would take back.

Fast forward to about 2013 and the inception of another race to the bottom, this time with academic credentials of admitted students. As my professor could have predicted, the state bars are digging in. Even doing nothing — leaving the exam and passing score static — is a rational option. The end result is was Indiana Tech.

That brings me to Trump. If you'd asked me last month about the 75% bar-passage requirement to be voted on February 2017 by the ABA's House of Delegates (is that presTTTigious or what?), I'd have speculated a watered-down version would be enacted. Given the overwrought reaction to Trump's election — recounts pending as I type this — I now think no effin' way. Diversity, you know?

Seriously, no sooner had the votes been counted then TTTexas legislators began pushing for yet another school! If I may quote, "[E]verybody has a law school." Does that sound like someone who's worried about the school ultimately being accredited?

Oh, and don't look for debt relief, either. Ever.

Not seasonally adjustedOctober20151,125,400
Seasonally adjustedOctober20151,123,800
Change from Sep-16 to

Sunday, November 13, 2016

SepTTTember 2016

Better late than never.

Not seasonally adjustedSeptember20151,117,000
Seasonally adjustedSeptember20151,122,800
Change from Aug-16 to

Friday, September 2, 2016

AugusTTT 2016

Only news of late is a slight rise in the average MBE score. There is speculation about the cause, but given the legal academy's penchant both for kicking the can down the road and general despicableness it likely involved shitcanning the same nitwits the school welcomed with open arms two years earlier. We'll see when they publish attrition rates and the number of first-time test takers for each school.

One commenter suggested the median score didn't change and that the increase is due to the top half of the median scoring higher while the water heads continue to flail. Again, we'll see.

Not seasonally adjustedAugust20151,121,500
Seasonally adjustedAugust20151,118,600
Change from Jul-16 to

Friday, August 5, 2016

July 2016 Great Taste, Less Filling

I'm really enjoying the overwrought debate over the ABA's proposed 75% rule and its impact on diversity. I predict the warring sides will study the issue until it goes away, ignoring the debt elephant in the room.

Not seasonally adjustedJuly20151,128,000
Seasonally adjustedJuly20151,118,900
Change from Jun-16 to

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Some lighTTT reading

Some Predict Tuition Increases Under Hillary Clinton's College Plan

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s plan to allow most Americans to attend public universities at no cost could have the perverse effect of driving tuition higher as the federal government chased a tuition target that universities would simply raise at taxpayers’ expense, some experts warn.

Good article, with lots of relevant links. One of the experts quoted believes that the Federal Government will still get a good return on its investment.

Monday, July 11, 2016

June 2016

One of these years, when I'm less lazy, I'll modify my table to show figures from further back. The industry is an inert blob that eats people but stays the same size.

In other news …

A little while ago I wrote about the Feds bringing down the hammer on an accreditation agency and openly wishing they'd do the same to the ABA. Well, they did! Sort of; it's an administrative wrist slap. Things should get more interesting in the future as the ABA reiterates its commitment to educational quality, even as some of its accreditees experience wholesale bar exam failure.

Not seasonally adjustedJune20151,128,300
Seasonally adjustedJune20151,119,200
Change from May-16 to

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Feds move to fire an incompetent watchdog

From Finally, the feds move to fire an incompetent watchdog over for-profit colleges

Much of the world turns on paper credentials. But the fact that these often aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on has been spotlighted by the accreditation scandal in the for-profit college business. Scores of campuses have been given a seal of approval by accreditation agencies despite coming under state or federal investigation for fraud.

The federal government is preparing to bring down the hammer on one of these toothless watchdogs. …

The ACICS case underscores the drawbacks of governmental outsourcing of its regulatory authority to outside agencies, especially self-regulatory bodies. These bodies often are dependent for revenue on the very institutions they oversee, which tends to file down their sharp teeth when confronted with the need to bite down hard on a fee-paying target. The phenomenon typically leads to abuses going unaddressed[.]

Giggity. Here's hoping they take a gander at the ABA.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bitter loser whines in Op Ed

Hat tip to Nando for Law school fundraising: Solicitations will be bitterly denied.

A shiny wit named Bob Larson writes he is aggrieved to be solicited by his alma mater. Dude should have studied harder and networked more. Should also have matriculated at Minnesota; as Scott Bullock could have predicted, employers were underawed by his stint at the William Mitchell Intellectual Property Law Clinic.


Read this, boys and girls.

Going to law school has irreparably damaged my career. It took years to slog through law school, wallow in unemployment, find an employer who would take a chance on a guy branded with those scarlet letters — J.D. — and finally make my way back into my undergraduate field. Years that I should have spent gathering expertise and accomp-lishments, contributing to a 401(k) and building my professional network.
So much for the JD Advantage™; it truly is a worse-than-useless piece of shit. You could find thousands of Bob Larsons on LinkedIn and probably thousands more, including yours truly, who don't list their JD at all.

Do your school, the environment, and yourself a favor: if you don't want to be solicited then ask to be removed from their mailing list.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Lender wants to roll your student loans into your mortgage


The BurkeyLoan, developed by financial company Burkey Capital, is expected to hit the market this fall with a seductive and unique sales pitch: to help college grads become homeowners by rolling their student debt into a 30-year fixed mortgage.

OK, not YOUR loan:

The target borrower will be the crème de la crème of college grads (think doctors or lawyers instead of store managers). They'll be in the top 20% or so of earning households, have stellar credit, and have at least three to four years of work experience where they raked in at least $150,000 a year, according to the company.

They'll also need to work in fields, such as medicine, where if they lost their jobs, they could easily find another.

Ahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa. With that qualification you'll need to be a Supreme Court clerk.

Not to be outdone by Burkey loans, the gummint will start to make Turkey Loans™ to 145-LSAT types who seen loyers on TV and want to matriculate at the local toilet 'cause they good at arguing. Granted, these TLs will be non-dischargeable and haunt you like a ghost for 25 years, but try explaining the distinction to a water head who will never pass the bar, anyway.

Friday, June 3, 2016

May 2016

Or meh 2016 as I call it. Go back and read the comparable 2011 entries and see how much growth there has been in five years (spoiler: nil). Then, compute how many students graduated in the interim.

Not seasonally adjustedMay20151,116,500
Seasonally adjustedMay20151,119,700
Change from Apr-16 to

Saturday, May 14, 2016

April 2016

Another banner month. In other news, if anyone is looking for a three-day Manhattan gig that pays $28/hr and requires bar admission, click … never mind, I'm not giving them a link.

Not seasonally adjustedApril20151,114,700
Seasonally adjustedApril20151,119,200
Change from Mar-16 to

Sunday, April 3, 2016

March 2016

No comment needed.

Not seasonally adjustedMarch20151,112,900
Seasonally adjustedMarch20151,116,600
Change from Feb-16 to

Saturday, March 26, 2016

TTToilets continue to run the table

Four years ago I wrote about Anna Alaburda after the attractive TJSOL grad filed a class action suit against her alma mater. As I anticipated at the time, she just lost; the case is now notable only for being the first suit against a school to make it to trial. TJSOL celebrated with the customary toilet victory dance.

Its lawyer, who, you're not going to believe this, is not a TJSOL grad, was quoted thusly.

This is not, you know, Trump University. It is so not that. It is such a really excellent law school.

I wasn't ambitious enough to research if his firm employs any of its really excellent graduates.

Friday, March 4, 2016

February 2016

The numbers are essentially the same month after month, season after season, year after year. I need this to handle posting.

I’m what ISIS law school doesn’t need.

Not seasonally adjustedFebruary20151,112,000
Seasonally adjustedFebruary20151,118,300
Change from Jan-16 to

Sunday, February 7, 2016

January 2016

Win some, lose some. Despite a substantial downward revision of December's figure, January employment still dropped as Legal Industry workers relocated to Home Depot to sell snow removal supplies. As the year progresses, thousands of migrant JDs will sojourn in the fertile fields of Jackson Hewitt and then move on to their summer gig, with a newly-minted crop of graduates following. Just an ebb and flow with the seasons, never changing much.

A number of bloggers have noted updated BLS projections for lawyer employment 2014-2024. Charitably, they suck. There will be approximately 4,400 jobs openings annually due to growth and another 11,400 due to "retirement." So, mid-30-thousandish graduates competing for fewer than half that in available jobs. TLS posters can put that in their pipe and smoke it.

I increasingly question some of the BLS numbers, particularly the median annual wage. When I took economics I was introduced to the concept of perfect competition. The professor used owner-operator truckers as an example. I would update the example to be lawyers.

  • There is free entry and exit for different firms operating in this market. The only hindrances to entry are firm’s related constraints like costs and lack of raw materials.
    Comment: the gummint will lend you all the money you need, at which point you only need to pass the bar. Toilet law schools are working hard to remove that obstacle.
  • The goods sold in this market are homogenous. Homogenous means that the products are almost identical and the consumer does not prefer one product to the other.
    Comment: sad to break this to you, special snowflakes.
  • The perfect competition market has also a very large number of buyers and sellers. This way there is no individual firm in the market that can influence the prices of goods and services.
    Comment: any questions? Really?
  • The individual firms are price takers and have to accept the prices set by the laws of demand and supply.
    Comment: supply for decades roughly twice as many lawyers as the market needs, add outsourcing and automation, and tell me how wages won't fall through the floor?
  • In a perfectly competition market there is no information asymmetry and Perfect information is available to the buyers and sellers.
    Comment: I won't argue that perfect information is available, but the internet has gotten us much closer than when I was in school.

To reiterate, if you're going to shovel excess lawyers into the market unceasingly then their wages will drop. I haven't seen that with the BLS numbers; either they're wrong or the oversupply isn't as bad as they say.

Not seasonally adjustedJanuary20151,107,500
Seasonally adjustedJanuary20151,115,200
Change from Dec-15 to

Sunday, January 10, 2016

December 2015

8,000. That's a pretty good number … for a North Korean nuclear test. Speaking of an entity that publishes a hagiography to each new leader, depends on an outside government's support to sustain its moribund economy, and focuses solely on self-preservation and keeping the peasants in line while espousing otherworldly, yet high-minded ideals, read about the AALS meeting here. Next step is to set up re-education camps and charge $50K tuition.

Not seasonally adjustedDecember20141,124,200
Seasonally adjustedDecember20141,120,000
Change from Nov-15 to