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(Salon)   This just in: Law schools are greedy, useless, and toxic, especially since the legal profession is in disarray   (salon.com) divider line 148
    More: Obvious, Chicago School, value proposition, neoliberals, efficient markets, law schools, rational choice theory, rule of law, torts  
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6087 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2013 at 5:15 PM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



148 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-11-24 02:21:35 PM
Thanks for that bulletin, Ric.
blogs.citypages.com
 
2013-11-24 02:26:38 PM
It's so cute how the author completely avoids the main point of universities (of any sort) these days. It's a make-work program that is administration/staff heavy, making tons of $$. The problem in law school is the same as it is in any university.
 
2013-11-24 02:31:48 PM
No. shiat.

/3L
 
2013-11-24 03:09:17 PM
That...was an overly verbose piece. Allow me to simplify:

1. Law school tuition is high, and continuing to rise in excess of inflation
2. This is in spite of the fact that the job market for attorneys stinks and isn't likely to improve soon
3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge
4. The law schools don't seem to feel bad about this.
5. A bunch of whining about teaching models and WHARRGARRBLLL that even people who went to law school don't care about
6. Therefore, money is bad and law schools should feel bad. But won't.
 
2013-11-24 04:00:50 PM

Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L


/22 years as criminal defense apologist
 
2013-11-24 04:02:24 PM

whistleridge: 3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge


They should try business school.
 
2013-11-24 04:22:19 PM
I am totally shocked.
 
2013-11-24 04:37:01 PM
And this is why batman has to fight Two face
 
2013-11-24 05:17:08 PM
Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.
 
2013-11-24 05:18:24 PM

alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist


/Law school grad and bar applicant.
 
2013-11-24 05:19:40 PM

FishyFred: whistleridge: 3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge

They should try business school.


I'm not sure if you're advocating going evil, or going evil here.
 
2013-11-24 05:20:15 PM
............well, duh........
 
2013-11-24 05:20:47 PM
Huh. Just like lawyers.
 
2013-11-24 05:25:40 PM

Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.


/LSAT student and recent atheist
 
2013-11-24 05:26:08 PM

desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.


I think the 2008 recession covered that one.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-11-24 05:28:47 PM

ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.


Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.
 
2013-11-24 05:33:46 PM

hervatski: And this is why batman has to fight Two face


And why a rich 1%er devotes large sums of the wealth he inherited into building gadgets to beat the shiat out of the mentally ill and poor lower-class citizens who turn to desperation and commit crimes due to the economic disparity and increasing non-existance of a strong middle-class. All based on psychological trauma that doesn't allow him to get over his parents' deaths while at the same time adopting young, athletic men as his 'wards'.

And why Harvey Dent agrees with his crusade... half of the time.
 
2013-11-24 05:35:34 PM

valar_morghulis: Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.

/LSAT student and recent atheist


/2L
 
2013-11-24 05:38:59 PM

d23: ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.

Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.


All that really taught them is they can fark up so badly that it almost sends the entire world's economy into a tail spin and they won't get in trouble for it.
 
2013-11-24 05:39:20 PM

ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.


But no one learned their lesson. They are back at it, they just took a break.
 
2013-11-24 05:43:46 PM
To be honest,  it's not untrue, what he's saying...except that he's putting the em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LAB-le, as my grandmother used to say. Law schools aren't any more greedy and useless than any other college or post-grad school, or the vocational colleges that have sprouted like ragweed all over the nation. You get what you put into it. If you go to any of the above and party or just go to class and do the bare minimum, then no, you won't get much out of it. If, however, you study and intern and use school to make connections--then strangely, you'll come out with a good career.

The problem is that law, unlike, say, medicine or auto repair, is a bifurcated profession. There is a whole lot of completely theoretical, historical knowledge you must have (case law, constitutional theory, etc.) that is completely separate from practical knowledge that you cannot get except in legal practice and which is different from state to state, and even county to county. But without the law school grounding, you can't comprehend the practical work. If you think that's not true, just look at all the GED lawyers right here on Fark who think they know why laws are bad, who then get their asses handed to them by actual lawyers; or the poor sad Occupy movement who were so ANGRY that Wall Street fatcats were getting huge bonuses and couldn't comprehend that it wasn't somehow, someway, illegal.

So you can't just eliminate law school (although people used to be able to get a license just by working for a judge for 10 years)(and still can in some jurisdictions if they pass the bar); and as to why they are so greedy, well, this is America after all. it's not illegal to want $$$. Or to pay it.
 
2013-11-24 05:46:29 PM

dj_bigbird: It's so cute how the author completely avoids the main point of universities (of any sort) these days. It's a make-work program that is administration/staff heavy, making tons of $$. The problem in law school is the same as it is in any university.


You. On to my greenlist. I first came to the conclusion that university is a cult-like machine used to control access to jobs about 13 years ago when I was working for a then-existing big electronics company. When I spoke to the engineers there about this theory I was black-listed almost immediately.

Engineers don't question systems, and for all their educations about systems theory, are remarkably incurious about systems outside of their little boxes.

That said, I quite enjoyed auditing university-level courses and taking exams and stuff, but demanding bachelor's degrees for any even remotely desirable job is criminal.
 
2013-11-24 05:47:23 PM
Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.
 
2013-11-24 05:49:00 PM

CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.


No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?
 
2013-11-24 05:49:08 PM

whistleridge: That...was an overly verbose piece.



Agreed.  It could have been largely boiled down to this portion of TFA


aside from the easily-memorized-and-parroted set of rules that comprise the actual law, and aside from some basic, practical skills about constructing a legal argument, what most students take from the first year of law school is that their intuitions about justice, fairness and equality are hopelessly naïve...

that the relevant consideration is the smooth functioning of the market; and that the point of a life in the law is to oil the machine.

Law school tells them that their beliefs about social justice are silly; their simplistic moral views untrustworthy; and their ways of talking insufficiently precise.



If a new student understands that and can hack the studies and awful hours of a young lawyer, more power to him.
 
2013-11-24 05:49:21 PM

Gyrfalcon: To be honest,  it's not untrue, what he's saying...except that he's putting the em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LAB-le, as my grandmother used to say. Law schools aren't any more greedy and useless than any other college or post-grad school, or the vocational colleges that have sprouted like ragweed all over the nation. You get what you put into it. If you go to any of the above and party or just go to class and do the bare minimum, then no, you won't get much out of it. If, however, you study and intern and use school to make connections--then strangely, you'll come out with a good career.

The problem is that law, unlike, say, medicine or auto repair, is a bifurcated profession. There is a whole lot of completely theoretical, historical knowledge you must have (case law, constitutional theory, etc.) that is completely separate from practical knowledge that you cannot get except in legal practice and which is different from state to state, and even county to county. But without the law school grounding, you can't comprehend the practical work. If you think that's not true, just look at all the GED lawyers right here on Fark who think they know why laws are bad, who then get their asses handed to them by actual lawyers; or the poor sad Occupy movement who were so ANGRY that Wall Street fatcats were getting huge bonuses and couldn't comprehend that it wasn't somehow, someway, illegal.

So you can't just eliminate law school (although people used to be able to get a license just by working for a judge for 10 years)(and still can in some jurisdictions if they pass the bar); and as to why they are so greedy, well, this is America after all. it's not illegal to want $$$. Or to pay it.




Law Schools are cash cows for universities. All you really need is a law library and some spare class rooms.
 
2013-11-24 05:52:23 PM

valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?


Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.
 
2013-11-24 05:52:43 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Engineers don't question systems, and for all their educations about systems theory, are remarkably incurious about systems outside of their little boxes.


Um, an engineer without at least an undergraduate education, and without the will and resourcefulness to stick with a project for a few years and finish, is pretty inevitably going to be terrible at the job.

So possibly you just needed to pick your audience better?  I'm sure there are professions where the education isn't actually required to know how to do the job where people won't immediately dismiss you as stupid for thinking otherwise.  Like property management or insurance sales or something.
 
2013-11-24 05:54:45 PM

whistleridge: That...was an overly verbose piece. Allow me to simplify:

1. Law school tuition is high, and continuing to rise in excess of inflation
2. This is in spite of the fact that the job market for attorneys stinks and isn't likely to improve soon
3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge
4. The law schools don't seem to feel bad about this.
5. A bunch of whining about teaching models and WHARRGARRBLLL that even people who went to law school don't care about
6. Therefore, money is bad and law schools should feel bad. But won't.


well done, +
7.) Rich people's problems
 
2013-11-24 05:54:47 PM

CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?

Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.


Hah. Yeah. I'm on the fence about the subject -- interested to see how it develops over the next few decades.
 
2013-11-24 05:56:45 PM
He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.
 
2013-11-24 05:57:21 PM

d23: ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.

Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.


They're not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks
 
2013-11-24 05:58:48 PM

BetterMetalSnake: Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.


I'm guessing you never get sick, eh?
 
2013-11-24 06:00:34 PM

valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?

Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.

Hah. Yeah. I'm on the fence about the subject -- interested to see how it develops over the next few decades.


The real problem is that it is both in the corporate interests, and in the interests of the Canadians as a whole to ensure that the oil sands continues to develop and grow. We're alarmingly like Australia in that we are relying far far too heavily on our natural resources to keep this country a-float.

The real trick for this industry is to ensure our petrodollar rating doesn't shoot up too quickly, because that will inflate our dollar, costing us manufacturing jobs. Most of those manufacturing jobs are side industries that support the oil industry here too.

One of the other largest issues we're likely going to see in the coming years in the Energy East Pipeline Project, so we can start refining our own oil, instead of relying heavily on the US to ship a final product to foreign markets like the United Kingdom, China, and surprisingly enough, Argentina.
 
2013-11-24 06:06:13 PM

Last Man on Earth: valar_morghulis: Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.

/LSAT student and recent atheist

/2L


/paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)
 
2013-11-24 06:09:19 PM

Jim_Callahan: Quantum Apostrophe: Engineers don't question systems, and for all their educations about systems theory, are remarkably incurious about systems outside of their little boxes.

Um, an engineer without at least an undergraduate education, and without the will and resourcefulness to stick with a project for a few years and finish, is pretty inevitably going to be terrible at the job.

So possibly you just needed to pick your audience better?  I'm sure there are professions where the education isn't actually required to know how to do the job where people won't immediately dismiss you as stupid for thinking otherwise.  Like property management or insurance sales or something.


Yes, but does *everyone* need to be an engineer? That's what I'm getting at.
 
2013-11-24 06:10:40 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: whistleridge: That...was an overly verbose piece. Allow me to simplify:

1. Law school tuition is high, and continuing to rise in excess of inflation
2. This is in spite of the fact that the job market for attorneys stinks and isn't likely to improve soon
3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge
4. The law schools don't seem to feel bad about this.
5. A bunch of whining about teaching models and WHARRGARRBLLL that even people who went to law school don't care about
6. Therefore, money is bad and law schools should feel bad. But won't.

well done, +
7.) Rich people's problems


Salon really is circling the drain these days.
 
2013-11-24 06:13:45 PM
Apparently this 28-yr old kid who doesn't seem to work at any law firm with a website (or even have a LinkedIn page) is completely unaware of the current law school enrollment crisis.  Ain't nobody out of the top tier "raking in cash."

/DNRTFA
 
2013-11-24 06:20:10 PM
Lashing out at law school means admitting certain truths about their own lives that are too hard to face: That many of the people they trusted to provide them with meaningful, honest instruction about the law failed them. That the purpose of the harsh methods of instruction was not teach them the rigors of being a lawyer, but to rank and sort them ever more finely. That the ranking process then fulfilled the prophecies of the free-market ideology they absorbed, as the best-performing among them were rewarded, even in tough economic times, with clerkships, prestigious summer internships and - eventually - high-paying positions at big firms. That their own reasons for going to law school were less than completely altruistic - that they did, in fact, want to make something of themselves. That they still, despite their hand-wringing about the unfairness of it all, live in circumstances of enormous wealth and privilege. To strike back, that is, is to admit all the contradictions and injustices of the very system that produced you. It means, in other words, turning against yourself.


Soooo, Law School graduates are a lot like fans of Ayn Rand?
 
2013-11-24 06:21:40 PM
I'm graduating law school in July 2014, with a huge debt burden.  After over 10 years in banking, I hit a solid career wall due to only having a high school diploma.  By 12 years I had earned an undergraduate degree in finance, but it was overly expensive and I had to borrow because I was already maxed out beforehand (hence the purpose of banging my head on the career wall), and the mortgage still needed to be paid, kids still needed to be fed and clothed, etc.  I graduated in May 2008, and by October 2008 I had a new position in the in-house law department at a nice bump that would take care of the loan payments plus a little extra, exactly as I had planned.  Then, I woke up one morning to learn that my employer was the ugly bride at a shotgun marriage officiated by the Treasury.

I spent the next two years in survival mode.  At first the layoffs only trimmed the dead weight, but then a series of mandatory 10%, 15%, and even 20% cuts rippled across the entire organization.  TARP needed to be paid back as fast as possible, and cutting staff was the fastest way to do it.  I watched entire departments, from their managers down to their entry-level staff, being marched into conference rooms and then out into the parking lot.  Unless you were a Senior VP or above, severance packages shrunk to almost nothing, and even then with a web of strings attached.  Even an MBA, a CPA, or a JD wasn't sufficient cover-in fact, being paid for what you know, rather than what you do-with generous benefits and bonuses-made one a bigger target than an underpaid drone with a worthless 401(k) of depreciated company stock.

The only group that I saw climb out alive-even thrive-were the attorneys.  Where everyone else had a degree or a credential, they had a golden ticket: a law license.  The only ones who even came close were the CPAs, but their credential didn't have nearly the same scope.  All the attorneys who were cut, whether young associates or senior deputies, were able to find a place at a local firm, another in-house department, or even start their own firm.  Of course there was an initial hit in salary, and they had to work harder than they had since law school, but by 2010-2011 they were all doing okay.  Being an attorney may pay as much as a bus driver or a Wall Street trader, but it ALWAYS pays if you're willing to think outside the box and work.  My favorite example is an attorney who bought a used school bus, outfitted it as an office, and drives a circuit through rural and under-served counties.  He's on the road 4 days a week, does his paperwork on the 5th, and makes twice as much as he did in flat and scaled fees as he ever did as an associate at a firm, where the partners kept 60-70% of his hourly earnings for themselves.
 
2013-11-24 06:33:18 PM

valar_morghulis: Salon really is circling the drain these days.


I can't tell, it is just a blank page with the scripts blocked.
 
2013-11-24 06:35:37 PM
good luck to all of you 2L's and 3L's. as to the 1L's, ask yourself if the remaining 5 semesters of tuition are really worth paying in order to earn that job at the local bankruptcy mill.
 
2013-11-24 06:39:49 PM

BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.



It's actually a bit of a feedback loop. University X builds sexy new dorms as a way to recruit, then parents look at University Y and see no new dorms, so next year Y builds sexy dorms to compete with X. And, don't forget, the new stuff costs money, and since the feds are happy to give out student loans (that can't be discharged via BK), the money is always there.
 
2013-11-24 06:41:00 PM
ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks


And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?
 
2013-11-24 06:43:22 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks

And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?


Forever Stamps and corn futures!
 
2013-11-24 06:45:44 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks

And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?


Under the mattress, duh ^_~
 
2013-11-24 06:58:27 PM

CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: valar_morghulis: CaitoStreet: Going to law school was the best thing I ever did for my self, honestly. I went in to corporate law in Canada, and got scooped up quite quickly. Oil companies are always looking for lawyers. Just write the proper exams, get your qualifications.

No kidding, what with all the oil sands activity going on in Alberta. It's Alberta, right?

Yep, Alberta. I'm not going to make some fake jab about how wonderful and clean the oil sands are, because, they're not any more clean then any other form of oil production. But, hey, I get paid, and I'm able to put food on the table, and the oil sands aren't disappearing any time soon no matter how badly some people may wish it.

Maybe if we used liquid thorium energy, they'd go away.

Hah. Yeah. I'm on the fence about the subject -- interested to see how it develops over the next few decades.

The real problem is that it is both in the corporate interests, and in the interests of the Canadians as a whole to ensure that the oil sands continues to develop and grow. We're alarmingly like Australia in that we are relying far far too heavily on our natural resources to keep this country a-float.

The real trick for this industry is to ensure our petrodollar rating doesn't shoot up too quickly, because that will inflate our dollar, costing us manufacturing jobs. Most of those manufacturing jobs are side industries that support the oil industry here too.

One of the other largest issues we're likely going to see in the coming years in the Energy East Pipeline Project, so we can start refining our own oil, instead of relying heavily on the US to ship a final product to foreign markets like the United Kingdom, China, and surprisingly enough, Argentina.


More war!
 
2013-11-24 06:59:05 PM

Zeb Hesselgresser: ladyfortuna:  . . . not the ones who need to learn it. The rest of us are, because we keep GIVING them our money.

/slowly cashing out stocks

And moving into what? Seriously,  WHERE is there to go?


Tulip bulbs.

My financial advisor, who is self taught with no credentials, told me so.

/quack quack
 
2013-11-24 07:06:51 PM

HotWingAgenda: Last Man on Earth: valar_morghulis: Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.

/LSAT student and recent atheist

/2L

/paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)


/Attorney 2 years out of law school, doing criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation.
 
v15
2013-11-24 07:07:27 PM
*still not detoured from wanting to pursue law*
 
2013-11-24 07:09:10 PM
Build a society where the only consensus for Success is wealth, and stuff like lotsa law schools happen.


/15th-16th-C. Englishmen were no strangers to lawyers either
 
2013-11-24 07:12:10 PM
I went back to law school at 30 after doing IT for 12+ years.  I did a night program and continued to work during the day.  Over time I gradually transitioned from IT to law full time.  As a result I suffered no decrease in income and am actually making more now than my last years in IT.

The law profession is changing.  Lawyers today have to be agile, they have to roll with the punches and always be hustling business.  The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.  If you're able to do that, then you'll do fine in law.  If not, perhaps you can land a nice general counsel gig or work at a government agency.  Baring that, you're screwed.
 
2013-11-24 07:25:21 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Yes, but does *everyone* need to be an engineer? That's what I'm getting at.


As an engineer, I'd say fark no, really unless you have the right mix of talent, nerdiness, and sticktoitiveness you'll either bomb out of school or worse, get stuck doing something you really aren't into because you can't afford not to.

Side note what probably tells a lot about why the job market for lawyers is starting to suck, Japan. Japan, a industrialized nation, has about one lawyer for every 4000 people vs 250 in the US. That will tell you something about how actually important a law degree is to the jobs out there; not so much. Specially in Japan clerks and managers handle contracts without the aid of lawyers. Why pay a lawyer $120k/yr to fill out contract templates when you can get your sr admin to do the same thing for $55k/yr. Your admin likely knows more than the lawyers up at corporate. And you need the thing done now not have the contract come back a big mess in a month and have to redo it. Get the admin to paste up some boilerplate, review it, and get corporate to sign off on it. There done.
 
2013-11-24 07:28:37 PM

v15: *still not detoured from wanting to pursue law*


*deterred

Attorneys like you keep paralegals like me in business.
 
2013-11-24 07:33:26 PM

corn-bread: I went back to law school at 30 after doing IT for 12+ years.  I did a night program and continued to work during the day.  Over time I gradually transitioned from IT to law full time.  As a result I suffered no decrease in income and am actually making more now than my last years in IT.

The law profession is changing.  Lawyers today have to be agile, they have to roll with the punches and always be hustling business.  The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.  If you're able to do that, then you'll do fine in law.  If not, perhaps you can land a nice general counsel gig or work at a government agency.  Baring that, you're screwed.


You know that the legal IT field has been booming, right? You don't have to have a law degree to work for an e-discovery company. My impression has been that if you have a law degree you might make more money but you'll have to work a lot harder than if you have technical skills.
 
2013-11-24 07:37:38 PM
Of course they are.  They have to prepare you to function in a courtroom.
 
2013-11-24 07:42:35 PM
an old Mexican curse - "Espero que tu vida está llena de abogados"
 
2013-11-24 07:49:31 PM
I. Am. Gobsmacked. At. This. Revelation.
 
2013-11-24 07:58:00 PM
I was pretty horrified when I found out that there was a moral character component to being admitted to the bar.  But the law school wouldn't give me my money back.
 
2013-11-24 08:00:34 PM
Uni, the old model.

www.oxfordtefl.com

Uni, the new model.
www.abc.net.au
Remember kids, get lots of degrees and impress HR wankers!
 
2013-11-24 08:18:46 PM
There are lawyers, who fight about the law, justice, equality and a level playing field for all. Then there are lawyers who fight to obscure facts, confuse the truth, mire juries down in complicated diatribes and to (A) Win -- a credit to their boated egos, and (B) make as much money for themselves and their client as possible.

I've known court cases to be dragged out for years in reluctance to settle a suit, over minute items, eventually costing more in legal fees than the original suit wanted as a settlement. I've known lawyers drag suits out to deliberately bankrupt their opponents, so the suit would be dropped or the plaintiff would settle for much less.

Evidence gets hidden, misfiled or lost. Misdirection is often used to cloud the opinion of the juries concerning the plaintiff. Expert witnesses can easily be bought to tell whatever a lawyer wants them to.

Then, the mass media expounding on how easy it is to get rich through filing lawsuits and the many reports of huge settlements created the Litigious Society that we live in now, where anyone can be sued for nearly any reason and common sense has been tossed out the window. TV is full of 'ambulance chasers' and contractual lawyers have become so adept at writing confusing contracts, designed mainly to benefit their employers, that the average person needs to have them looked at by other contract lawyers -- for a fee -- to determine how badly screwed they're going to get if they sign.

Notice how easily lawyers got the Infomercial People past the law requiring disclaimers to be posted on their product ads. Small script in light colors posted against a light background making it impossible to read plus the information is displayed for a handful of seconds only.

Consider HMO's, whose legal teams managed to make it acceptable for them to determine if a patient, with a terminal illness, deserves life saving treatments that are expensive and take months to do so, meaning the patient may die and save them money.

I don't suppose you recall the first lawyer who came up with the bright idea of having his criminal client sue his victim for rough handling when he got caught stealing the person's goods. The victim became the defendant.

Now the guy whose life was saved during an accident decades ago, where a physician stopped to give aid, before cell phones, before advanced medical care, and had to wait until someone got mto a phone to call the ambulance. He saved the guys life, but working under battlefield conditions in the dark, left the guy with some permanent injuries.

Quite understandable. He didn't have an ER in his car.

The guy, convinced by a lawyer, sued the Dr. for malpractice and won a huge settlement, which started the sue the medical field for everything and anything and get rich movement, which tremendously helped drive your medical costs almost beyond reach.

About 20% of your hospital bill goes towards paying for the team of hospital lawyers on retainer and 99% of all hospitals are fighting lawsuits constantly.

50% of your physicians are doing the same.

Pre-1980, that was very rare.

They invented the 'nuisance suit' a lawsuit slapped against someone just to drain his funds, with the plaintiff knowing they would loose. I'm aware of a man suing his sister over an inheritance he was denied by his parents, time and time again until she exhausted her savings and had to just give in. He lost every time, but kept on finding reasons to drag her into court and he had the money to do so.

(His inheritance? Antique furniture he didn't even want. After getting it, he shoved it in a warehouse, where it rots away. It was the 'principal' of the matter and he had a lawyer who sued for anything so long as he got paid. BTW, his deceased folks had already granted him a big chunk of cash in their will, but that wasn't enough, apparently.)

I started yelling about lawyers and lawsuits and pointing out the related long term effects years ago -- and most folks basically told me to get over it. Now, those folks are grumbling because their medical costs have become ridiculously high, their neighbor sued them for thousands when a tree of theirs fell on the neighbors lawn, and friends sued them over their kids getting scraped up playing in their yard.

Insurance companies, tired of a host of new lawsuits, now refuse to cover certain things for various reasons -- mainly they might get sued. Either that, or they'll up the premiums tremendous to cover the possibility of something happening.

(A Scout Camp tore down it's traditional fireplace, built decades ago, to rebuild it, only to find that the current insurance company would not cover it because of the potential for sparks from the flue starting fires. No fires had ever been started by the old, hand built one even when it began to crumble. Yet the new one, built to modern specifications, was considered a risk. Lawyers also said that Scouts might get hurt by the open flames and didn't want to pay medical bills. So, the fireplace was never built.)

Lawyers have become mainly a profit oriented profession, meaning major profits and who cares if they have to bend the rules, create ludicrous new laws or set precedents which can negatively effect everyone else down the line?

So, the schools have responded. At one time we churned out more lawyers than physicians because the lawyers could start making major bucks in much less time and with much less schooling than the Dr.s. Plus, the Dr.s were high on the list of people being slapped with lawsuits.

Most of Congress are lawyers so with lawyers making the laws, don't look for any relief anytime soon.
 
2013-11-24 08:21:12 PM

d23: ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.

Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.


Realize it?  It's their f*cking business plan!
 
2013-11-24 08:22:44 PM
I graduated law school this year and wanted to go into public service. Spent 18 months at a public defender's office only to get passed up for the job. Was down for a few days and got picked up by the local Prosecutor's office. But I'm a lucky one. My veteran status allowed to make some connections that helped me land the interviews.
 
2013-11-24 08:30:45 PM

Rik01: They invented the 'nuisance suit' a lawsuit slapped against someone just to drain his funds, with the plaintiff knowing they would loose.


AUGH!  God   DAMNIT... look, sorry, but this is rampant and it makes me cringe

This is loose

makingmemories.typepad.com

This is lose

i.imgur.com

Somebody please put up a note about this sh*t.  Please.  English.  It's important.
 
2013-11-24 08:32:14 PM
I hated law school.   Too many arrogant, hyper-competitive and treacherous people all concentrated in the same place.
 
2013-11-24 08:33:28 PM

BravadoGT: I hated law school.   Too many arrogant, hyper-competitive and treacherous people all concentrated in the same place.


So, lawyers.
 
2013-11-24 08:38:59 PM

bunner: Somebody please put up a note about this sh*t. Please. English. It's important.


Yeah! Better late then never.
 
2013-11-24 08:41:36 PM
Attention.

The justice system is an industry.

Cops, criminals, thugs, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats - sometimes interchangeable - all make coffee, put on their respective uniforms and go and clock in at the same factory.

Avoid interacting with any of these motherf*ckers as if your life depended on it.  You're welcome.
 
2013-11-24 08:41:51 PM
Ah the lengthy post of "conventional wisdom" in any thread about lawyers by someone who has no idea what lawyers do or what happens in the world of law, but is REALLY REALLY angry about it.


Rik01: I've known court cases to be dragged out for years in reluctance to settle a suit, over minute items, eventually costing more in legal fees than the original suit wanted as a settlement. I've known lawyers drag suits out to deliberately bankrupt their opponents, so the suit would be dropped or the plaintiff would settle for much less.


This is called clients.  Not lawyers.  Given that clients are paying for all that delay, if they don't want lengthy tactical delays  they tend to get rather . . . pissy about it if the lawyers are, to use a term of art "churning."

Rik01: I don't suppose you recall the first lawyer who came up with the bright idea of having his criminal client sue his victim for rough handling when he got caught stealing the person's goods


ah and now we have hit the FW: FW: FW: FW: part of today's show.

Rik01: About 20% of your hospital bill goes towards paying for the team of hospital lawyers on retainer and 99% of all hospitals are fighting lawsuits constantly.


Medical malpractice costs, including the pay of attorneys amounts to a whopping 1-2% of health care spending. and costs are going down as doctors are actually getting sued less due to tort reform that generally caps awards and makes suits harder.

Rik01: Most of Congress are lawyers so with lawyers making the laws, don't look for any relief anytime soon.


Congress is about 37% lawyers.   Give or take.  But of course, the last people we would want writing laws would understand how such laws work.  I would much rather normal schmoes passing unconstitutional law after unconstitutional law because of Jesus and such.  So thank goodness most of congress isn't lawyers.
 
2013-11-24 08:50:24 PM
None of the above is to say that the article isn't true and the legal field isn't a shiat-show right now.  Because it is.  A tri-modal shiat-show where 10-20 percent of grads earn $160K on graduation, 35% earn $40K and 45-55% earn $0.  I have seen brilliant personable people working at Ann Taylor Loft and living in mom's basement because they have to pay back $200k in loans.  And douchey third generation lawyers skating through life like assholes are wont to do.

But none of that is cause for making shiat up.  Reality is bad enough as it is.
 
2013-11-24 08:52:01 PM

whatshisname: bunner: Somebody please put up a note about this sh*t. Please. English. It's important.

Yeah! Better late then never.


Oh, it's never too late to stop drooling on your shoes while writing.   :  )
 
2013-11-24 08:57:33 PM

bunner: The justice system is an industry.


And an oxymoron. Like everything else these days, it's about money.
 
2013-11-24 09:01:43 PM

BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.


What "more and more" is being demanded? I mostly wanted the admin and staff to ignore me when I was in college.
 
2013-11-24 09:03:22 PM
So many damn lawyers in this country, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one. And they'll sew your ass when you do.
 
2013-11-24 09:03:41 PM

whatshisname: bunner: The justice system is an industry.

And an oxymoron. Like everything else these days, it's about money.


And,

Say it with me,

"As soon as something becomes primarily about money, the thing it is supposed to be about is the thing it used to be about."

And that's how America crawled up it's own ass while on it's knees to manipulative thieving pricks, Charlie Brown.  *sigh*
 
2013-11-24 09:05:26 PM

BetterMetalSnake: And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration


You sound administrative.
 
2013-11-24 09:05:29 PM

corn-bread: I went back to law school at 30 after doing IT for 12+ years.  I did a night program and continued to work during the day.  Over time I gradually transitioned from IT to law full time.  As a result I suffered no decrease in income and am actually making more now than my last years in IT.

The law profession is changing.  Lawyers today have to be agile, they have to roll with the punches and always be hustling business.  The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.  If you're able to do that, then you'll do fine in law.  If not, perhaps you can land a nice general counsel gig or work at a government agency.  Baring that, you're screwed.


Do you have to be able to break through the clutter and re-orient to new paradigms? I think that moving forward, robust synergy with organic growth is going to be the win-win strategy for spin-up to renewed sustainability.
 
2013-11-24 09:06:41 PM

Bandito King: Do you have to be able to break through the clutter and re-orient to new paradigms? I think that moving forward, robust synergy with organic growth is going to be the win-win strategy for spin-up to renewed sustainability.


I didn't get a harrumph out of you.
 
2013-11-24 09:13:49 PM
I didn't get a harrumph out of you.

Do I normally make you harrumph?
 
2013-11-24 09:22:03 PM
d23: ladyfortuna: desertfool: Now we need the followup: Why MBA's are useless and their graduates are ruining America.

I think the 2008 recession covered that one.

Wish the farkheads in corporate america would realize that.


and jump already.

/farkers
 
2013-11-24 09:23:13 PM

Bandito King: I didn't get a harrumph out of you.

Do I normally make you harrumph?


Sure, say something funny then poop all over my Blazing Saddles reference.  I see how it is.  Maybe I need a lawyer.
 
2013-11-24 09:33:22 PM

bunner: Bandito King: I didn't get a harrumph out of you.

Do I normally make you harrumph?

Sure, say something funny then poop all over my Blazing Saddles reference.  I see how it is.  Maybe I need a lawyer.


shiat, then I'm going to need a lawyer to stand a chance in Thunderdome. Can we just agree to both burn our money and call it square?
 
2013-11-24 09:39:58 PM
All my friends making $160K at IP firms at age 26 are going to be surprised to hear this.
 
2013-11-24 09:44:09 PM

bunner: Attention.

The justice system is an industry.

Cops, criminals, thugs, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats - sometimes interchangeable - all make coffee, put on their respective uniforms and go and clock in at the same factory.

Avoid interacting with any of these motherf*ckers as if your life depended on it.  You're welcome.


brookhavenbear.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-11-24 09:44:32 PM

Chach: All my friends making $160K at IP firms at age 26 are going to be surprised to hear this.


As are we that you have friends.
 
2013-11-24 09:47:09 PM

Bandito King: Can we just agree to both burn our money and call it square?


I'm gonna keep a fiddy for sammiches and beer and soda.  You want mayo or mustard?
 
2013-11-24 09:49:29 PM

whistleridge: That...was an overly verbose piece. Allow me to simplify:

1. Law school tuition is high, and continuing to rise in excess of inflation
2. This is in spite of the fact that the job market for attorneys stinks and isn't likely to improve soon
3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge
4. The law schools don't seem to feel bad about this.
5. A bunch of whining about teaching models and WHARRGARRBLLL that even people who went to law school don't care about
6. Therefore, money is bad and law schools should feel bad. But won't.


Thank you for the summary! I should have come straight to the comments & not clicked the article. Instead I read far enough to realize it was a willing buyer/willing seller situation we should all aplaud, like prostitution. Someone wants to pay to be f'ed, & someone is willing to be paid to f he or she. Problem?
 
2013-11-24 09:53:39 PM

dj_bigbird: It's so cute how the author completely avoids the main point of universities (of any sort) these days. It's a make-work program that is administration/staff heavy, making tons of $$. The problem in law school is the same as it is in any university.


Education is a scam.  Avoid it like the plague.
 
2013-11-24 09:53:47 PM

bunner: Bandito King: Can we just agree to both burn our money and call it square?

I'm gonna keep a fiddy for sammiches and beer and soda.  You want mayo or mustard?


Mustard, mayo is gross.
 
2013-11-24 09:54:59 PM

FishyFred: whistleridge: 3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge

They should try business school.


The world doesn't need more MBAs in marketing.
 
2013-11-24 10:01:28 PM

Bucky Katt: Education is a scam.  Avoid it like the plague.


No, education is astoundingly valuable.  A priceless commodity and a process that can last a lifetime.  Just because the label  says "EDUCATION.  INSERT MONEY HERE", however, doesn't mean that's what falls out of the machine.
 
2013-11-24 10:02:06 PM

Gyrfalcon: To be honest,  it's not untrue, what he's saying...except that he's putting the em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LAB-le, as my grandmother used to say. Law schools aren't any more greedy and useless than any other college or post-grad school, or the vocational colleges that have sprouted like ragweed all over the nation. You get what you put into it. If you go to any of the above and party or just go to class and do the bare minimum, then no, you won't get much out of it. If, however, you study and intern and use school to make connections--then strangely, you'll come out with a good career.

The problem is that law, unlike, say, medicine or auto repair, is a bifurcated profession. There is a whole lot of completely theoretical, historical knowledge you must have (case law, constitutional theory, etc.) that is completely separate from practical knowledge that you cannot get except in legal practice and which is different from state to state, and even county to county. But without the law school grounding, you can't comprehend the practical work. If you think that's not true, just look at all the GED lawyers right here on Fark who think they know why laws are bad, who then get their asses handed to them by actual lawyers; or the poor sad Occupy movement who were so ANGRY that Wall Street fatcats were getting huge bonuses and couldn't comprehend that it wasn't somehow, someway, illegal.

So you can't just eliminate law school (although people used to be able to get a license just by working for a judge for 10 years)(and still can in some jurisdictions if they pass the bar); and as to why they are so greedy, well, this is America after all. it's not illegal to want $$$. Or to pay it.


Don't you know by now that logic and common sense have no place on Fark?
 
2013-11-24 10:10:54 PM

BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.


A fair amount of the bureaucracy is devoted to meeting the growing demands of the so-called "accountability" movement that requires endless reports, studies, and other mindless paperwork.
 
2013-11-24 10:11:26 PM

Bucky Katt: FishyFred: whistleridge: 3. This is because law school is the only way out for entitled upper middle class kids who think they're rare and special and who were stupid enough to get dead-end liberal arts degrees. Besides, they just think that makes it more of a challenge

They should try business school.

The world doesn't need more MBAs in marketing.


Careful, when I say the world doesn't need more ways to make disposable plastic trinkets I get called a Luddite and a troll.
 
2013-11-24 10:12:40 PM

Bucky Katt: Don't you know by now that logic and common sense have no place on Fark?


I am beginning to lose purchase upon the notion that looking at a sea of venom, greed and hypocrisy and saying "hey, well, that's how it is and, like, it's crappy, yeah, but hey, I mean, if that's how it is, who's to say it shouldn't be?" as being common sense.
 
2013-11-24 10:14:48 PM

Bucky Katt: reports, studies, and other mindless paperwork.


So, no actual accountability was pestered, enforced or arrived at in this movement?  :  )
 
2013-11-24 10:14:49 PM

Chach: All my friends making $160K at IP firms at age 26 are going to be surprised to hear this.


IP is a different animal because if the Patent Bar. That is a very small fraction of the profession.
 
2013-11-24 10:16:07 PM
I feel very bad for anyone in law school today.

CSBs: 1- every time my firm advertises for a secretarial position, among the 100 or so resumes are always at least one lawyer, desperate to get their foot in the door.

2- recently had a case with a guy managing a 75-lawyer firm. He said that they took on a bunch of contract attorneys to help with overflow work on some huge case they are working on. They will let them all go when the big case is resolved, as it's an economic necessity- they don't have the work to keep them employed. He said that contract attorneys used to be bottom of the barrel but now the market is so bad that there are some quite talented people working as contract lawyers.
 
2013-11-24 10:18:58 PM

mama's_tasty_foods: He said that contract attorneys used to be bottom of the barrel


Any firm with billionaire business and corporate clients would vastly disagree with this assertion.
 
2013-11-24 10:22:47 PM

itcamefromschenectady: corn-bread: I went back to law school at 30 after doing IT for 12+ years.  I did a night program and continued to work during the day.  Over time I gradually transitioned from IT to law full time.  As a result I suffered no decrease in income and am actually making more now than my last years in IT.

The law profession is changing.  Lawyers today have to be agile, they have to roll with the punches and always be hustling business.  The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.  If you're able to do that, then you'll do fine in law.  If not, perhaps you can land a nice general counsel gig or work at a government agency.  Baring that, you're screwed.

You know that the legal IT field has been booming, right? You don't have to have a law degree to work for an e-discovery company. My impression has been that if you have a law degree you might make more money but you'll have to work a lot harder than if you have technical skills.



E-discovery is just the tip of the iceberg.  The profession is so technologically behind the times.  Many Courts and clerk offices are paper-based operations.  Many judges (at least in Texas) are old-school people who want paper case files in front of them.  Many clerk officers still won't accept e-filing, and a large subset of them also will not accept any form of fax filing.  And that's a big thing too.....law firms and Courts are still *huge* users of fax machines because the Criminal and Civil Rules of Procedure have not been updated to allow defacto service of process via e-mail.

The Federal system, of course, is the opposite of all the above.  It is integrated, all digital, and state of the art (relatively speaking).

The Texas Supreme Court mandated that starting January 1, 2014 all counties must accept E-filing.  A law passed during this past legislature further mandated that all criminal prosecutors are required to maintain open file policies.  As a result many DA offices have been making the move to putting their case files online.

A well placed IT firm with experience in document management technologies can make an assload of money over the next 2 - 3 years.
 
2013-11-24 10:24:01 PM

bunner: mama's_tasty_foods: He said that contract attorneys used to be bottom of the barrel

Any firm with billionaire business and corporate clients would vastly disagree with this assertion.


Heheh, point well taken, but I think what he meant was that, at least as he saw it, contract attorneys were people who graduated law school with lackluster credentials and had no other options because no firm would hire them. I take it he felt like the people he saw doing contract work these days, are people he could envision hiring as associates at his own firm, if he had the work. He sounded like he would've liked to keep a few of them on.
 
2013-11-24 10:26:18 PM

Bandito King: corn-bread: I went back to law school at 30 after doing IT for 12+ years.  I did a night program and continued to work during the day.  Over time I gradually transitioned from IT to law full time.  As a result I suffered no decrease in income and am actually making more now than my last years in IT.

The law profession is changing.  Lawyers today have to be agile, they have to roll with the punches and always be hustling business.  The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.  If you're able to do that, then you'll do fine in law.  If not, perhaps you can land a nice general counsel gig or work at a government agency.  Baring that, you're screwed.

Do you have to be able to break through the clutter and re-orient to new paradigms? I think that moving forward, robust synergy with organic growth is going to be the win-win strategy for spin-up to renewed sustainability.



If only lol.
Most of these dinosaurs still believe that theories of synergy and economic pressures don't apply to their industry.  "But but but.....the law is a public trust!"
 
2013-11-24 10:27:08 PM
That's what I've been saying.
 
2013-11-24 10:27:18 PM
mama's_tasty_foods: I  think what he meant was that, at least as he saw it, contract attorneys were people who graduated law school with lackluster credentials and had no other options because no firm would hire them

The late Richard T. Watson, once with Spieth, Bell, Newell and McCurdy had been in the Who's Who of law since they started publishing it, Harvard man. former CIA spook, widely regarded as the most brilliant contract attorney in the US for years.  Not exactly slipping by on C+.  :  )
 
2013-11-24 10:29:41 PM

corn-bread: public trust!


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-11-24 10:33:53 PM

bunner: mama's_tasty_foods: I  think what he meant was that, at least as he saw it, contract attorneys were people who graduated law school with lackluster credentials and had no other options because no firm would hire them

The late Richard T. Watson, once with Spieth, Bell, Newell and McCurdy had been in the Who's Who of law since they started publishing it, Harvard man. former CIA spook, widely regarded as the most brilliant contract attorney in the US for years.  Not exactly slipping by on C+.  :  )


ahhh, wait- I think we are talking about two different things. I used the term "contract attorney" to mean a kind of temp employee. These are lawyers who don't have a regular employer, but are often hired to do document review or other pretty menial and tedious tasks, usually on big class-action cases. Their work could often be done by paralegals or law students, but the firms like to pay them an hourly rate with no benefits, then collect at "lawyer pay" from the client or opponent when the class action settles. And when the case is over, they are all gone without a second thought.

You are referring to a lawyer who negotiates deals, who is hired as an associate at a firm and can make partner, and big big bucks. Yes I agree, of course, those lawyers run the big firms and make sky high incomes.
 
2013-11-24 10:36:58 PM
Ahhhh!  So, you meant "temp".  Gotcha.
 
2013-11-24 10:43:50 PM

corn-bread: itcamefromschenectady: corn-bread: I went back to law school at 30 after doing IT for 12+ years.  I did a night program and continued to work during the day.  Over time I gradually transitioned from IT to law full time.  As a result I suffered no decrease in income and am actually making more now than my last years in IT.

The law profession is changing.  Lawyers today have to be agile, they have to roll with the punches and always be hustling business.  The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.  If you're able to do that, then you'll do fine in law.  If not, perhaps you can land a nice general counsel gig or work at a government agency.  Baring that, you're screwed.

You know that the legal IT field has been booming, right? You don't have to have a law degree to work for an e-discovery company. My impression has been that if you have a law degree you might make more money but you'll have to work a lot harder than if you have technical skills.


E-discovery is just the tip of the iceberg.  The profession is so technologically behind the times.  Many Courts and clerk offices are paper-based operations.  Many judges (at least in Texas) are old-school people who want paper case files in front of them.  Many clerk officers still won't accept e-filing, and a large subset of them also will not accept any form of fax filing.  And that's a big thing too.....law firms and Courts are still *huge* users of fax machines because the Criminal and Civil Rules of Procedure have not been updated to allow defacto service of process via e-mail.

The Federal system, of course, is the opposite of all the above.  It is integrated, all digital, and state of the art (relatively speaking).

The Texas Supreme Court mandated that starting January 1, 2014 all counties must accept E-filing.  A law passed during this past legislature further mandated that all cri ...


And that's just the start.

Computer Forensics coupled with Forensic Accounting coupled with all the Law fixins - its practically printing money these days.
 
2013-11-24 10:50:01 PM

bunner: a sea of venom, greed and hypocrisy


whudat.de
 
2013-11-24 10:51:12 PM
I do audio forensics, recovery and unmasking if anybody knows of any brazillianaire firms who need such services.  *cough*shill*coff*
 
2013-11-24 10:56:23 PM

bunner: corn-bread: public trust!

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 320x240]



That was my reaction too, and I'm in that damn field lol.
There are those that hold the profession in way too high a regard IMHO.  Then again, ya gotta justify that $500 / an hour billing rate somehow.
 
2013-11-24 10:56:40 PM
Law school is my biggest regret.  Had I known then what I know now, I never would have attended.
 
2013-11-24 11:01:40 PM
So, I could replace "law school" with "Salon" and "legal profession" with "online content sites" and be equally valid.

Salon is the Ric Romero of online content, except it's got a slightly bigger vocabulary (just slightly) and takes itself far more seriously.

but go ahead and keep greenlighting those links.  there isn't a "rolleyes.gif" big enough.
 
2013-11-24 11:12:07 PM
Greedy, useless, and toxic?

Who would have thought an institution run by lawyers, for the purpose of breeding more lawyers, would have any of those qualities. I'm shocked.
 
2013-11-24 11:19:23 PM
I am not a lawyer.

This is why.

Years back, I decided to go and get my baccalaureate and enter law school, whereupon my father said "If you become a lawyer, I'll ever speak to you again."  And that was tempting, but I also realized I could never afford it.

And I dodged a freakin' artillery shell, in retrospect.
 
2013-11-24 11:29:17 PM

bunner: I do audio forensics, recovery and unmasking if anybody knows of any brazillianaire firms who need such services.  *cough*shill*coff*


after all the nasty things you've said about lawyers good luck with that.
 
2013-11-24 11:30:06 PM

corn-bread: HotWingAgenda: Last Man on Earth: valar_morghulis: Gyrfalcon: alexjoss: Rincewind53: No. shiat.

/3L

/22 years as criminal defense apologist

/Law school grad and bar applicant.

/LSAT student and recent atheist

/2L

/paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)

/Attorney 2 years out of law school, doing criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation.


/oil and gas attorney, 6 years out, working in-house. Strangely, wouldn't have this job if I had not taken a non-legal position right out of law school.
 
2013-11-24 11:31:32 PM
Not happy to be forced to agree with Gyrfalcon, but as stated it is what you make of it.  Public service minded?  Attack or support the powers that be, be hero-lawyer with your law degree.  Work in politics or on legislation.  Need to get yours, Jacq?  Excel.  Even at the biggest or fastest paced urban firm, you can leverage the power of the firm to continue your fight for justice during pro bono hours, so long as you do the other work.

The article claims law students are competitive.  If trying to excel is being competitive, then some of them are.  What actually happens: the overtly competitive or cutthroat are outed and disapproved for that.  There are a few oddballs and eggheads but the prevailing culture is more like business school, all about making connections.   In 1L and the Paper Chase there are study groups that try to share outlines, with some friction.  We just 'liked' our classmates who published them on the intranet for the whole class.  Each time I put one up there it meant I had learned the material well enough to write it, and the whole thing did not seem enough of a zero sum game to resent if it helped others in the class.
 
2013-11-24 11:33:01 PM

Bucky Katt: bunner: I do audio forensics, recovery and unmasking if anybody knows of any brazillianaire firms who need such services.  *cough*shill*coff*

after all the nasty things you've said about lawyers good luck with that.


No lawyer worth his shingle has a problem serving his interests over his self importance when the quality of the results make him more money  :  )
 
2013-11-24 11:44:06 PM

4tehsnowflakes: the prevailing culture is more like business school


So...greedy, useless, and toxic.

Glad we cleared that up.
 
2013-11-25 12:12:42 AM

Bumblefark: 4tehsnowflakes: the prevailing culture is more like business school

So...greedy, useless, and toxic.

Glad we cleared that up.


Well, you have that life coach thing to fall back on, anyway.

i1277.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-25 12:52:20 AM
Tucker Max may be one of the world's biggest douchenozzles, but he wrote a good article:  Why You Should Not Go to Law School.

To his article, I would add a couple of points --

First, there is no law in American society anymore.  It's all politics, all the time.  It's just a bunch of people bickering about their prejudices and irrational biases, which is not an argument that can ever be resolved.

Second, law is a government-monopoly field.  As a result, judges are basically just upper-mid-level bureaucrat managers, with bureaucrat mindsets.  They care only about is themselves, just like all other bureaucrats -- it's the same attitude you get from the people who manage prisons, schools, tax authorities, regulators, etc. The courts are, of course, grossly inefficient, to the point of being absurd.  This is the sort of thing Kafka wrote about.
 

Third, the courts' absurd rules bleed out and infect the litigants -- the courts don't resolve disputes; they encourage pointless, counter-productive antagonism, by requiring the parties and the lawyers to engage in every point of conflict possible, strictly out of self-defense and self-preservation, which multiples the volume of busy-work. If you actually want to help people, you'll be thoroughly demoralized and discouraged by the end of your first week.

Finally, the people are awful.  The legal field only wants, needs and promotes three kinds of people -- pedants, bullies and frauds.  If you are a natural-born nitpicking Poindexter with a grudge against every cool kid who ever shoved you into a locker, law school may be for you.  If you are a sociopath, law school may be for you.  If you are a smooth, slick salesman, with no substance, no functioning sense of shame or humanity, no ethics, and no end to your desire and ability as a bullsh*t artist, then law school is definitely for you.

Don't do it.  Save yourselves.
 
2013-11-25 12:58:56 AM

HotWingAgenda: /paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)


I believe you're non-IP. Don't do it. I know many paralegals who went to law school and, despite what attorneys and clients said, made themselves effectively unemployable while racking up huge debt. Stick with the moderately lucrative and safe career.
 
2013-11-25 01:03:11 AM

corn-bread: The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.


Tell that to the recruiting department at my firm. Please.

/"But this guy graduated from  Harvard!"
//"Yes, but he's a kid who has never earned a paycheck a day in his life, and he writes like shiat. Can I have the one who worked continuously while in school and has five years of professional experience in the relevant industry before going to law school?"
///"But, but, but Haaaaaaarvard!"
 
2013-11-25 01:17:03 AM

4tehsnowflakes: Bumblefark: 4tehsnowflakes: the prevailing culture is more like business school

So...greedy, useless, and toxic.

Glad we cleared that up.

Well, you have that life coach thing to fall back on, anyway.

[i1277.photobucket.com image 610x404]


...or, superhero.

ct.fra.bz

/but, seriously, they're both just awful...
 
2013-11-25 01:23:00 AM

Theaetetus: HotWingAgenda: /paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)

I believe you're non-IP. Don't do it. I know many paralegals who went to law school and, despite what attorneys and clients said, made themselves effectively unemployable while racking up huge debt. Stick with the moderately lucrative and safe career.


Thanks for the advice. I actually do a mix of contracts and trade secrets/copyright cases, and I'm database guru for my firm. But the only way I would ever willingly become an attorney is if I knew for a fact that I could spend my entire career doing nothing but trade secret cases, especially dealing with computer fraud and abuse. Regardless of the money, I would just go insane dealing with any other areas of law.
 
2013-11-25 01:26:18 AM
I'm glad some folks here have explained what the article said.

And I mean that, because I wanted to read it, but every time I click on a Salon article, it appears on screen for a few seconds, then it all goes blank and the page stalls (computer is fine), like an ad is trying to appear...

So I don't read Salon articles.
 
2013-11-25 01:35:05 AM
Must have had just the right mix of sociopath, pedant, and bullshiat artist because got a kick out of most of the classes and would not give back the law degree for a triple refund of the tuition.  Unless I could do those three years over using a time machine, because time machines are good.

TFA sounds like whining you see every year about too many law grads.  Meanwhile the top schools are racing each other to add more and more clinical and practical programs to the curriculum, trying to avoid turning out people who come in to the firm with some abstract knowledge but little or no practical skills.  This trend is replacing the old way of expecting law students to get any practical skills from law-related summer jobs.
 
2013-11-25 01:52:30 AM

Theaetetus: corn-bread: The days of lawyer incubating in large firms until they can learn the profession are over.  These days you're expected to hit the ground running and start producing from day 1.

Tell that to the recruiting department at my firm. Please.

/"But this guy graduated from  Harvard!"
//"Yes, but he's a kid who has never earned a paycheck a day in his life, and he writes like shiat. Can I have the one who worked continuously while in school and has five years of professional experience in the relevant industry before going to law school?"
///"But, but, but Haaaaaaarvard!"


The Harvard grads drive up the firm's rankings.
 
2013-11-25 02:20:08 AM

bunner: Attention.

The justice system is an industry.

Cops, criminals, thugs, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats - sometimes interchangeable - all make coffee, put on their respective uniforms and go and clock in at the same factory.

Avoid interacting with any of these motherf*ckers as if your life depended on it.  You're welcome.


Truth. Luckily I have no direct experience with the system, But my idiot step-son got caught after a string of burglaries from a known department store. Gave a full confession the night he was arrested, and it only took 12 months and 10 trips to the courtroom for him to get sentenced. No complications, just took that much to get in front of the judge and be sentenced.
/yay Austin, Texas.
 
2013-11-25 02:53:42 AM

BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.


Jesus I don't think you could of be more wrong in your analysis. Schools in general are more expensive because of the torrent of paper money printed in washington funneled to the idiot hands of the young who having nearly zero experience in financials happily sign away. These starry eyed idiots feel it is a wonderful idea to blow 200k on a 17th century art degree, gets vomited out into the real world, then discover they have no prospect of every paying it back until they are 60 and they are now indentured servants.

Schools are expensive because the EASIER money (education loans) is to get the more schools notice that they can just keep jacking prices up.

Now where the @#$% have we seen this before? OH yes mortgages! Easy money coupled with liberal pressure to give loans to people who are bad bad risks results in a torrent of cash, home owners/developers respond to the market pressure of that cash and raise prices, which go up and up and up then as we all know crashes to the ground.

So no you are wrong, students and parents are not demanding more each year, the easy availability of cash that GIVE THEM THE OPTION TO ATTEND COLLEGE is the problem. A large chunk of college enrolls are people who have zero business going to college, it's just a extenuation of childhood financed by the government party time money.

Meanwhile the guy you made fun of in school who started plumbing reached 60-100k a year halfway through the college idiots 3rd year, has no education loan, and will be ordering his Mcdonalds from the graduate in another year.
 
2013-11-25 04:07:10 AM

mama's_tasty_foods: I feel very bad for anyone in law school today.


A friend of mine recently completed law school; I found out that he was in about two years ago, after I'd already seen some Fark threads about how much of a scam it can be. However, if I had tried to warn him, he never would have listened, because he really IS a lawyer at heart. He's also living with his parents again.

Lawyerism is also the reason why I stopped running D&D for him, incidentally.
 
2013-11-25 04:29:22 AM

BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.


The computer networking education I received at engineering school in no way helped me, at all, ever. First off, good luck finding a professor who is a) knowledgeable about the subject and b) was actually paid for their opinion prior to becoming a professor. When I was going through school (in the 1990s), all they were trying to mint were cogs in the video on demand machine. They stressed bandwidth, and latency, and there was no training on the 1,000,000 and 1 other complexities that go into a network ecosystem.

Most of those complexities being due to the fact that your bandwidth and network latencies on a real network are about as predictable as traffic in Boston.
 
2013-11-25 04:39:48 AM

Theaetetus: HotWingAgenda: /paralegal (under pressure from both attorneys AND clients to go to law school)

I believe you're non-IP. Don't do it. I know many paralegals who went to law school and, despite what attorneys and clients said, made themselves effectively unemployable while racking up huge debt. Stick with the moderately lucrative and safe career.


I'm a software engineer with 5 years of engineering school, but no degree. My employers are on me on occasion to go back to school. It's a negative value proposition for me. At this point, I'm 15 years out. 5 years ago, I got a bug in my butt to go back to school. I rang up my alma mater, and inquired what it would take to finish up my degree. Well, it turns out that the education I received 10 years prior was horribly out of date, and they would only accept their own credits on a case by case basis.

And they'd figure out what cases after I cut them a check and started the enrollment process.

At this point, when the kids are out of nest and I'm horribly bored, I might, *might* go back to school out of sheer vanity. Or I might just accept that I'm throwing money into a burn pile and buy a Porsche. Actually, the Porsche would be a) cheaper, and b) contribute more to my business image.
 
2013-11-25 06:10:37 AM

BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.


Which part of the library, janitor, room and single professor requires dozens of student to shell out a shiatload of money per credit hour?

Why is it the same shiatload of money as the university's chemistry department or anything else with a lab?

Its the administration. My university president doubled his salary and after I left resigned after some serious allegations of mishandling the money and nepotism.

My professors at the time were seeing cuts.

But it certainly all because of my parents right?
 
2013-11-25 09:45:52 AM

4tehsnowflakes: Must have had just the right mix of sociopath, pedant, and bullshiat artist because got a kick out of most of the classes and would not give back the law degree for a triple refund of the tuition.  Unless I could do those three years over using a time machine, because time machines are good.

TFA sounds like whining you see every year about too many law grads.  Meanwhile the top schools are racing each other to add more and more clinical and practical programs to the curriculum, trying to avoid turning out people who come in to the firm with some abstract knowledge but little or no practical skills.  This trend is replacing the old way of expecting law students to get any practical skills from law-related summer jobs.


Law SCHOOL is great. I had a blast. It was intellectually stimulating (some of the time -- administrative law, business org and family law were particularly insomnia-inducing). I even had a more active social life than college (which was unexpected). I interned for both a federal judge and the DA's office, and loved both experiences.

The problem is that this bubble of school-world is nothing like daily lawyering, especially civil litigation, which is bullsh*t piled on top of more bullsh*t.

And I count myself as lucky. I worked at mid-sized boutique litigation firms with loads of money and no corporate board to answer to. I had it about as comfortable as it gets, and it was still just paper-pushing, dog-and-pony shows, and doing everything in the most complicated, pointlessly-inefficient way, either to make money, appear tough for a client, or to appease a judge who's either stupid, biased or corrupt.

It's like being an actor, in some kind of weird soap opera, only it's your life and you can't ever drop character.

My classmates who went to mega-sized corporate firms for 10% more money and convenient in-office dry cleaning service had that sort of "kill me now" look on their faces. The women all quit after a few years. The people who stayed are divorced in their mid-40s. There is only one guy I knew who thrived in that field, and he never had kids and works as an entertainment lawyer in LA. All the rest burned out, from a sample of over 150 people.
 
2013-11-25 12:04:05 PM

Smackledorfer: BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.

Which part of the library, janitor, room and single professor requires dozens of student to shell out a shiatload of money per credit hour?

Why is it the same shiatload of money as the university's chemistry department or anything else with a lab?

Its the administration. My university president doubled his salary and after I left resigned after some serious allegations of mishandling the money and nepotism.

My professors at the time were seeing cuts.

But it certainly all because of my parents right?


I can't claim some schools have crappy administration. What you describe absolutely qualifies. Sadly, executives boosting their compensation while cutting that of the people actually doing the work is not only new, but not exclusive to higher education.

I won't say that the example you give is not representative. I simply don't know. I do know that it is not like that at every school, certainly not mine. Here, everyone had to take a pay cut while increasing tuition. Nobody has seen a raise since the recession hit, except for faculty and that only a fraction of what they lost initially. When cuts have to happen they happen at the top first and to faculty last. This is how all organizations should be run.

Given the wage stagnation at my school, I find it hard to attribute the tuition increases over the last 3 years to top-heavy administration. I do know that every year some government or the other is asking for more reports and more accountability while clawing back how much they contribute. And don't think we can pay a graduate student to teach a course, as that is the worst thing ever apparently. Anyone with any teaching duties must have a PhD (not cheap) and anyone else not working with a broom needs a Masters to walk in the door. We need to spend tons of money on security and still face getting sued every time a snowflake passes gas.

I don't know man. It's a tough business unless you are in the largest universities in the region. They pull away from price pressures since people will form up, no matter the price. The rest of us have to compete for every student and every dollar.
 
2013-11-25 12:05:51 PM

Evil Twin Skippy: BetterMetalSnake: He's not wrong, but he sounds like an asshole. Law schools recruit because they want to exsist. Who want to volunteer to close down because the industry as a whole produces too many graduates? Would we expect McDonalds to close up shop because people are fat?

And I am getting pretty sick of the generalization that universities are expensive because of administration. They are expensive because students and parents demand more and more every year. If we don't give the client what they want, they will get it elsewhere, even if it costs more.

Ultimately, we should only teach networking and enguneering at any schools because that is the only thing worth pursuing as a career.

The computer networking education I received at engineering school in no way helped me, at all, ever. First off, good luck finding a professor who is a) knowledgeable about the subject and b) was actually paid for their opinion prior to becoming a professor. When I was going through school (in the 1990s), all they were trying to mint were cogs in the video on demand machine. They stressed bandwidth, and latency, and there was no training on the 1,000,000 and 1 other complexities that go into a network ecosystem.

Most of those complexities being due to the fact that your bandwidth and network latencies on a real network are about as predictable as traffic in Boston.


I have heard that from my buddies in CS programs when I was in college. I was being facetious about the worth of education vs. job training.
 
2013-11-25 01:26:17 PM

BetterMetalSnake: And don't think we can pay a graduate student to teach a course, as that is the worst thing ever apparently


Would that even make a difference?

Assuming the University is still charging as much as it can get away with for its product, only competition could make them lower the credit hour selling cost when they make it cheaper on their end to provide.

I had classes that were taught by professors, and classes which weren't.  They cost the same amount of money.

U of M estimates an out of state freshman taking an 8-week spring course is spending 10,000 dollars. 40,000 for the four month fall/winter semester, based on a 12-18 "full time load".  We are looking at roughly 10,000 dollars per class. If a professor teaches 20 students, that is 200,000 dollars he brings in with one class.  A full professor earns, on average, 150k per year there for fall/winter. 200k if they work all 12 months.   Associate professors average just under 100k.

So let us say he teaches only two courses per semester and two semesters.  The professor is now bringing in, with his work, 800,000 dollars.  He is paid for that work 150,000.  The other 650,000 dollars going into the school are going where?
Subsidizing other departments?
Subsidizing scholarships if the school directly offers any?

They cannot need the money to cover sports - that is profitable. They cannot need it cover the costs of the law professor's equipment: what, a projection tv, some dry erase markers? He gets an office, and his room to teach from have to exist. Of course the latter probably gets shared by a half dozen classes in any given semester.

Specific to Law (but I lack the pay info for law professors only):  http://www.ro.umich.edu/tuition/tuition-fees.php 10+ credit hours averages to 25k per semester.

I would hardly think what the students paying 25,000 dollars per semester need in return for that money is less experienced instructors. Supposedly there is a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. I cannot find average class size, but I am guessing over 20.

Interestingly, the estimated cost to be a fulltime student in dentistry, where surely you need malpractice fees covering hands on training that requires more oversight as well as equipment and specialized rooms at some point, comes in at a mere 12/18k for resident/nonresidents of michigan.

So I dunno, when around 8% of the costs go to actual instructors, I have to question claims that it isn't an increasingly growing administration pushing costs up.
 
2013-11-25 02:05:10 PM

Smackledorfer: BetterMetalSnake: And don't think we can pay a graduate student to teach a course, as that is the worst thing ever apparently

Would that even make a difference?

Assuming the University is still charging as much as it can get away with for its product, only competition could make them lower the credit hour selling cost when they make it cheaper on their end to provide.

I had classes that were taught by professors, and classes which weren't.  They cost the same amount of money.

U of M estimates an out of state freshman taking an 8-week spring course is spending 10,000 dollars. 40,000 for the four month fall/winter semester, based on a 12-18 "full time load".  We are looking at roughly 10,000 dollars per class. If a professor teaches 20 students, that is 200,000 dollars he brings in with one class.  A full professor earns, on average, 150k per year there for fall/winter. 200k if they work all 12 months.   Associate professors average just under 100k.

So let us say he teaches only two courses per semester and two semesters.  The professor is now bringing in, with his work, 800,000 dollars.  He is paid for that work 150,000.  The other 650,000 dollars going into the school are going where?
Subsidizing other departments?
Subsidizing scholarships if the school directly offers any?

They cannot need the money to cover sports - that is profitable. They cannot need it cover the costs of the law professor's equipment: what, a projection tv, some dry erase markers? He gets an office, and his room to teach from have to exist. Of course the latter probably gets shared by a half dozen classes in any given semester.

Specific to Law (but I lack the pay info for law professors only):  http://www.ro.umich.edu/tuition/tuition-fees.php 10+ credit hours averages to 25k per semester.

I would hardly think what the students paying 25,000 dollars per semester need in return for that money is less experienced instructors. Supposedly there is a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. I cannot fi ...


Sports generally aren't profitable. They may be so for a select few schools, but for the most part athletics are funded through some sort of student fee (not tuition). This outlay usually far exceeds what proceeds they bring in from ticket sales, concessions and merchandising. There are some notable exceptions, but do not describe more than 5% of all schools with teams (I am guessing on that one). This comes from student affairs professionals and not my own analysis.

Speaking of my own analyses, I am planning to do one on just the question you and many others are asking. Is it really administration costs? If not, then why is tuition increasing the way it has been these past few decades? Aside from the cuts in state funding, of course. And I would do it too, if only the state would stop demanding all these reports they will never read.
 
2013-11-25 02:34:44 PM

BetterMetalSnake: Sports generally aren't profitable. They may be so for a select few schools, but for the most part athletics are funded through some sort of student fee (not tuition). This outlay usually far exceeds what proceeds they bring in from ticket sales, concessions and merchandising. There are some notable exceptions, but do not describe more than 5% of all schools with teams (I am guessing on that one). This comes from student affairs professionals and not my own analysis.


http://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-myth-of-profitable-colleg e- athletics/

25% are directly profitable, and two thirds of those  profitable departments are still receiving academic subsidies.


Indirectly, there is no accurate way to measure whether or not Alumni donations and free press from a school's athletic program make up for any shortfalls in the money they bring in directly.


I am surprised you chose to only respond to my passing mention of the possibility that tuition is where it is to subsidize sports programs. Even if the programs NEEDED subsidizing in that manner, I highly doubt the bulk of students would approve of what is essentially them directly paying more tuition to support the jocks at their school. It would still be an unnecessary portion of tuition and an unnecessary item to tack onto the cost of an education - having a football team adds absolutely nothing to the quality of education a lawyer receives.

BetterMetalSnake: (I am guessing on that one)


I would appreciate if you wouldn't ignore any of the numbers I'm bringing to the table, and bring something other than random guesses to support your own conclusions.  I mean, it is just an internet conversation so you are welcome to do whatever you want, but why would you want to keep your preconceived conclusion locked in place when you have to ignore numbers to do so?  In many situations I understand why someone would keep their head in the sand, but do you really have the emotional attachment to college tuition costs that you break out the cognitive dissonance?
 
2013-11-25 03:56:55 PM

Smackledorfer: BetterMetalSnake: Sports generally aren't profitable. They may be so for a select few schools, but for the most part athletics are funded through some sort of student fee (not tuition). This outlay usually far exceeds what proceeds they bring in from ticket sales, concessions and merchandising. There are some notable exceptions, but do not describe more than 5% of all schools with teams (I am guessing on that one). This comes from student affairs professionals and not my own analysis.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/the-myth-of-profitable-colleg e- athletics/

25% are directly profitable, and two thirds of those  profitable departments are still receiving academic subsidies.


Indirectly, there is no accurate way to measure whether or not Alumni donations and free press from a school's athletic program make up for any shortfalls in the money they bring in directly.


I am surprised you chose to only respond to my passing mention of the possibility that tuition is where it is to subsidize sports programs. Even if the programs NEEDED subsidizing in that manner, I highly doubt the bulk of students would approve of what is essentially them directly paying more tuition to support the jocks at their school. It would still be an unnecessary portion of tuition and an unnecessary item to tack onto the cost of an education - having a football team adds absolutely nothing to the quality of education a lawyer receives.

BetterMetalSnake: (I am guessing on that one)

I would appreciate if you wouldn't ignore any of the numbers I'm bringing to the table, and bring something other than random guesses to support your own conclusions.  I mean, it is just an internet conversation so you are welcome to do whatever you want, but why would you want to keep your preconceived conclusion locked in place when you have to ignore numbers to do so?  In many situations I understand why someone would keep their head in the sand, but do you really have the emotional attachment to college ...


I didn't respond comprehensively, as I seldom do on web forums. It's not you it's me. =)  I find I normally skip longer posts, so I try not to subject others to the same. Please don't take my brevity as a sign that I am disparaging or disregarding your points; unless I do the research myself, numbers published in media are always suspect, so I comment on things I have experience with. In this case, I have been involved with funding decisions at several universities for several years, though most of those are not recent.

So, please take my commentary as anecdotal (n = 1 and all that). In my experience, athletic programs are not self-funded, but rely on funding from some other student fee. And you are right that most students dislike that idea. Administrators have taken the position that intercollegiate sports are important for the overall undergraduate experience and have basically told students that these fees are not optional.

As for my ignoring your numbers, I didn't address them as they are overly simple. But since I didn't want to take the time to counter with more accurate numbers and other budgeting factors, I didn't say so. So , I guess I will do my best to do so briefly: The article you linked agrees with me in spirit, if not in degree. The article mentions that 3/4 ths of athletic programs aren't self-sustaining and I believed that figure to be higher. The other numbers, well, budgeting simply doesn't work that way. Perhaps it should, but it is not as granular as the scenario you presented. The university (depending on the state funding model) basically retains tuition and fees and in addition gets a state allocation (sometimes federal and local). Departments aren't rewarded for reducing teaching costs by substituting grad assistants. Hell, they can't even normally react to swings in enrollments; when these shift, we are always caught with our pants down- either too many faculty or not enough because hiring faculty has to be approved by board of regents, not administrators.

I could go on, but my point is that basic, rational math like you provided don't reflect the reality. Like it or not (personally, not), our universities are run by state and local politicians that just happen to know the newest governor.
 
2013-11-25 04:23:59 PM

BetterMetalSnake: I didn't respond comprehensively, as I seldom do on web forums. It's not you it's me. =)


No worries.

BetterMetalSnake: I didn't address them as they are overly simple


They are simplistic.  That does not make them worthless to the discussion, and certainly should not be judged so by someone who uses numbers they pulled off the top of their head and poorly generalized from anecdotal evidence. So maybe I take back that no-worries.

BetterMetalSnake: I could go on, but my point is that basic, rational math like you provided don't reflect the reality.


Well, it does and it doesn't.

Does budgeting on the whole work the way I ran the numbers? Of course not.  But the numbers (had I actual class size and specific salary of professors for any given class) do work exactly the way I used them.  They show exactly how much extra money is floating around between paid tuition and class services. The remainder can spread throughout any number of valid areas (building costs, subsidizing some other areas, even sports programs, and yes I do acknowledge there should be significant administrative costs even if they were as limited as possible).

So the question is, then, why is the salary of the most valuable portion of the entire process, the professor, only accounting for a mere 8% of the admittedly rough estimate, and why can I not question whether there is really enough other services provided by a university to justify the tuition they have?

If you read my post and concluded I thought the entire budget was designed around a single semester's costs with magically accurate projections for everything else going on, then I'm sorry I gave you that impression.  But I don't have interest in any more appeal to authorities combined with condescending dismissal.  You might as well have called me a poopyhead after my Weeners to you in this thread and been done with it :)
 
2013-11-25 04:50:09 PM

Smackledorfer: BetterMetalSnake: I didn't respond comprehensively, as I seldom do on web forums. It's not you it's me. =)

No worries.

BetterMetalSnake: I didn't address them as they are overly simple

They are simplistic.  That does not make them worthless to the discussion, and certainly should not be judged so by someone who uses numbers they pulled off the top of their head and poorly generalized from anecdotal evidence. So maybe I take back that no-worries.

BetterMetalSnake: I could go on, but my point is that basic, rational math like you provided don't reflect the reality.

Well, it does and it doesn't.

Does budgeting on the whole work the way I ran the numbers? Of course not.  But the numbers (had I actual class size and specific salary of professors for any given class) do work exactly the way I used them.  They show exactly how much extra money is floating around between paid tuition and class services. The remainder can spread throughout any number of valid areas (building costs, subsidizing some other areas, even sports programs, and yes I do acknowledge there should be significant administrative costs even if they were as limited as possible).

So the question is, then, why is the salary of the most valuable portion of the entire process, the professor, only accounting for a mere 8% of the admittedly rough estimate, and why can I not question whether there is really enough other services provided by a university to justify the tuition they have?

If you read my post and concluded I thought the entire budget was designed around a single semester's costs with magically accurate projections for everything else going on, then I'm sorry I gave you that impression.  But I don't have interest in any more appeal to authorities combined with condescending dismissal.  You might as well have called me a poopyhead after my Weeners to you in this thread and been done with it :)


Smackledorfer: BetterMetalSnake: I didn't respond comprehensively, as I seldom do on web forums. It's not you it's me. =)

No worries.

BetterMetalSnake: I didn't address them as they are overly simple

They are simplistic.  That does not make them worthless to the discussion, and certainly should not be judged so by someone who uses numbers they pulled off the top of their head and poorly generalized from anecdotal evidence. So maybe I take back that no-worries.

BetterMetalSnake: I could go on, but my point is that basic, rational math like you provided don't reflect the reality.

Well, it does and it doesn't.

Does budgeting on the whole work the way I ran the numbers? Of course not.  But the numbers (had I actual class size and specific salary of professors for any given class) do work exactly the way I used them.  They show exactly how much extra money is floating around between paid tuition and class services. The remainder can spread throughout any number of valid areas (building costs, subsidizing some other areas, even sports programs, and yes I do acknowledge there should be significant administrative costs even if they were as limited as possible).

So the question is, then, why is the salary of the most valuable portion of the entire process, the professor, only accounting for a mere 8% of the admittedly rough estimate, and why can I not question whether there is really enough other services provided by a university to justify the tuition they have?

If you read my post and concluded I thought the entire budget was designed around a single semester's costs with magically accurate projections for everything else going on, then I'm sorry I gave you that impression.  But I don't have interest in any more appeal to authorities combined with condescending dismissal.  You might as well have called me a poopyhead after my Weeners to you in this thread and been done with it :)


I generally don't call people poopieheads unless I am in the politics tab (seldom).

Of course you have the right to question where the money goes. I often wonder this myself. Even though I have access to plenty of data from my own institution, I don't have as much from others. If you visit IPEDS you will begin to get a sense for the tremendous amounts of data available on student enrollments and graduation rates. What I find lacking are variable to conduct precisely the analyses you are talking about. So far as I can tell, there is no easy way of comparing administrative costs over time and across institutions. We can get approximations if we make a number of assumptions and if you get a terminal case of insomnia, you are welcome to tackle the analyses.

So here is where we agree: The correlation between faculty salaries and total institutional expenditures is likely moderate. I suspect (but do not know) that the same can be said for the relationship between administration salaries and institutional expenditure, but it is likely less stable as a result of greater variance in salaries across employment levels. But in my experience, I wouldn't characterize either as the driver of tuition costs. If any variable could be considered a driver, I would nominate cuts in state allocation. Also, in my state we have experienced a drop in enrollments as a function of population characteristics (fewer high school level students). The reduction in tuition income could not be adjusted by cutting academic units or student services (these are all fixed costs and are generally only cut under catastrophic circumstances). We experienced a reduction in our economies of scale, so we had to increase tuition.

Next time I will avoid an appeal to authority, honest. I will copy a pic of a scantily clad lady and hope to persuade you through other peripheral means.
 
2013-11-25 05:54:32 PM

BetterMetalSnake: I will copy a pic of a scantily clad lady and hope to persuade you through other peripheral means.


See that you do, sir.

I'll have to take your word for your experience, as while I don't try to put too much emphasis on anecdotal evidence, neither do I discount it out of hand.


Honestly I am looking at furthering my education. I have a BA, earn 6 figures, and want to go back for something. I really enjoy law, and I am unsure about whether I would use the degree (i make great money in my position for the government now, but you never know what the future holds).   And I feel like there should be a building I can go to, where I can pay a reasonable amount to a handful of someones who know there shiat, and get taught most of what I need to know.  

Yes, I could just buy books and study them, and I could probably even talk professors into letting me sit in for free.  But then society tells me my education is worth nothing and I couldn't even take the bar - or get a job interview in any field.

There is something wrong with how much that would cost me.  Whether the blame should lie on sports, over-subsidization hiding the real costs to students, lack of competition (which should NOT be an issue - especially in law or other arts areas where we have so many educated degree holders capable of teaching), or administrative over-run (which as a government employee believe me I know how quickly gets out of hand).

And don't get me wrong, I'm one of the farkers who defends even the BAs out there, because on average they DO increase salary enough to justify the costs.  So by that measure they are still within a justifiable level for things that aren't underwater basket-weaving.  But they shouldn't be as high as they are.  Buildings aren't that expensive, and knowledgeable people are not in such short supply.
 
2013-11-25 08:55:41 PM
If you are making 6 figures with a degree, you are in a good spot, Smack. It's where I thought I would be at my age, but even with a Master's (almost PhD), I have had a very rough start. Don't get me wrong, I am finally on the right path and doing something I enjoy, but 6 figures is tough to beat out there.

If you like what you are doing, then don't worry about another piece of paper. If you don't then think about what you would like to do and see how your current work experience can get you where you want to be. Additional degrees don't open doors, so much as prevent them from closing on you. Of course, this is just my personal experience (I'm full of anecdotes today, apparently). YMMV.

/Not bitter
//maybe a little
 
2013-11-25 08:56:48 PM

BetterMetalSnake: If you are making 6 figures with a degree, you are in a good spot, Smack. It's where I thought I would be at my age, but even with a Master's (almost PhD), I have had a very rough start. Don't get me wrong, I am finally on the right path and doing something I enjoy, but 6 figures is tough to beat out there.

If you like what you are doing, then don't worry about another piece of paper. If you don't then think about what you would like to do and see how your current work experience can get you where you want to be. Additional degrees don't open doors, so much as prevent them from closing on you. Of course, this is just my personal experience (I'm full of anecdotes today, apparently). YMMV.

/Not bitter
//maybe a little


Yeah, I was supposed to reply to  Smackledorferon that one. I bet if I had a PhD I would have used the preview function.
 
2013-11-25 09:30:05 PM
I don't like what I am doing. :)

Like the song says, " I can't complain but sometimes I still do."
 
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