A reader wrote in:
I am an alum of NYLS and wrote in and asked Matasar for a refund. After first year, I told the school I thought I should drop out because my grades weren’t that great. They convinced me to stick it out and said if I did I would get a job. I graduated, and of course couldn’t find a job. When I went to the school for help with the job search, they suggested I get an LL.M to make myself more marketable. So I did take additional courses until a headhunter and one of the professors told me it was a waste of time and most of the students don’t get jobs. I sent the dean an email asking for a refund because it’s been two years since graduation and I haven’t even gotten one interview, let alone a job. I had to write to him three times, but he finally responded. This is his response:
Sorry I have not gotten back to you sooner, but I have been on the road a great deal this summer and am only now just catching up on my correspondence. I regret that you, like other recent law school graduates, have found the job market particularly difficult during this unprecedented economic downturn. However, I disagree with your sense that NYLS is somehow responsible for your predicament. You received a first-rate education. Hence the frustration you currently feel must be measured against the life-long skills and professional education you have received. I see no justification for your demand.
I wish you the best.
I just wanted to share this with you, and see if you had any advice for me. Feel free to put it up on your blog if you want.
In Debt and Unemployed
Well, In Debt, you are in the same boat as most of the folks who read this. I think his response was to be expected.That doesn’t make it right, of course.
What bothers me most about this is his claim that NYLS is not responsible. Couldn’t disagree more with the dean. If a school puts out false employment statistics to lure students in, and then convinces them to stay even when they are not doing well and know their odds for employment are slim, and then sells them an additional degree, well, I think NYLS is responsible.
My advice is to wait and see what happens with the current class action, and then consider suing them. Your claims are slightly different than the plaintiffs in the class action – they have jobs, you don’t, and NYLS kept egging you on to stay enrolled knowing that only they would gain from your being there. Keep me posted.
I broke the story in ’09 that NYLS had admitted an additional 250 students to pay for a new building and various other projects. Something else was recently brought to my attention again.
A former NYLS student informed me that up until a couple of years ago, NYLS students were automatically signed up for their federal loans through Access. That’s right, NYLS automatically hooked up students with Access for their federal loans.
Let’s recap. Matasar knowingly put out false employment statistics to get students to enroll in his school. Then he has the loans (up until about 3 years ago) funneled through a company that he is on the board of directors. Anyone else see what’s wrong with this?
Shouldn’t Matasar be investigated by the New York Attorney General for the employment statistics fraud and for his connection to Access loan?
The NYT plagiarizer reporter missed this. Woodward and Bernstein he is not. But now that this has been handed to him on a silver platter, maybe he’ll “investigate” and get it in the paper. I won’t hold my breath for a thank you or credit.
He just won’t shut up. What a shame there isn’t an over the counter medication for diarrhea of the mouth. NYL$ Dean Mata$ar, a frequent target topic of the scamblogs, stopped counting money long enough to give an interview to a Bloomberg reporter and NYL$ alum. No conflict of interest there.
He whines to his former student that he thinks law schools have received an “inordinate amount of scrutiny.” Yes, when scams are discovered, that’s pretty much what happens. Ask Bernie Madoff. He didn’t like the SEC’s scrutiny, so he paid them off. All the scambloggers are starving, . You only had to pay us, and the New York Times wouldn’t have picked up on it, ever. They don’t do their own research, your filthy secret would have been safe. Instead, you chose to have lackeys from your school send in comments about how your new building was needed and your professors aren’t overpaid. Yeah, I read the comments, I just don’t publish the crappy ones.
Listen to him dance around this question: Given the recession, do you think law schools have an obligation to reduce enrollment? I don’t want to give anything away from this gripping interview, but he didn’t get the right answer and it was a true/false question. Fail!
He’d also like to cut the time it takes to get a Bachelor’s degree in half and add that to a 5 year program (2 undergrad, 3 law school) and have his school provide that service. Crafty, Dicky! He knows enrollment is down, and to keep the butts in the seats they need a new scam. And he’s already come up with one! Well done, Dickster!
In addition to showing how folks can find a way to justify the evil they are inflicting on others, I think past and future students can take three lessons away from this interview. 1) Crime pays. 2) The best criminals are the most creative. 3) Quit while you’re ahead, and shut up. Just shut up.
I have not had many interviews since I received my JD, and not one for the legal profession. I had an interview a couple of months ago in another field for a job that I would have really liked. Instead of getting hired I got a call ten days later telling me that I was “overqualified.”
I have run that interview over and over again in my mind, and I am pretty sure I messed up when I let my law school education get the best of me. The interviewer asked me a bunch of illegal questions: Are you married? Do you have kids? Do you have a boyfriend? How old are you? After the last one, he said,”Oops, that question wasn’t legal.” I told him that the last 4 weren’t legal.
It was a reflex, and one I realize I should have tried to quell. I should have nodded politely, and said yes, I believe you’re correct. But the repressed gunner had to speak.
Yes, he was an asshole, and working for him probably would be up there on life’s suck-o-meter with taking property class again, but it would have been a steady paycheck with insurance.
So my advice is: If it’s not a legal job you’re applying for, do yourself a favor and forget you went to law school.