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.
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