Carolyn Lamm of the ABA wrote a response to the great op-ed that Mark Greenbaum wrote for the LA Times a few weeks ago. Greenbaum took the ABA to task for not exercising greater control over law schools. The ABA responded and Above the Law rips them a new one (www.abovethelaw.com). Here is what the ABA’s Lamm said about law schools reducing enrollment:
He fails to acknowledge that in fact existing law schools have reduced voluntarily class size and therefore despite a minimal increase in the number of accredited law schools (7% over a 5 year period) first year enrollment grew by only two percent. Hardly producing a “flood of graduates”.
I guess Carolyn Lamm doesn’t read my blog, or check with the law schools to see how many students they admitted this year. Had she checked or read my post on December 29th, TTT Dean Matasar is a Hypocrite, she’d know that NYLS admitted an ADDITIONAL 250 students this year, for a total of 750, up from 500. Looks to me like Greenbaum knows what he is talking about, and the ABA is still clueless.
There seem to be four ways recent JDs are dealing with their school debt: paying, income based repayment (IBR),leaving the country, and becoming invisible (all cash) and staying in the US.
This is a tough decision, and everyone has to do what makes them happy; everyone has a different pain threshold. I could not deal with hiding out in the US, the fear of being found out would outweigh any joy of not paying my loans. However,if you have the stomach for it, there is an excellent book that will help you, How To Be Invisible by J.J. Luna, is full of useful tips for eluding just about everyone, sort of a guide to a modified witness protection program.
Leaving the country seems like a good idea, and I know a few of my former classmates that went that route; some went to Europe, others Israel. But what if 20 years from now, you want to come back? Hopefully, 20 years from now it won’t matter and there will be loan forgiveness for those who couldn’t find a job in the legal profession. Not likely to happen, but you never know.
That leaves paying and income based repayment (IBR). For those of us without a Big Law job or a winning lotto ticket, IBR is the way to go. IBR has calculator on their website which lets you plug in your salary, your debt amount, interest rate, etc.
It’s a tie!! Lunch Bozo and ’07 Grad have the dubious honor of winning the 2009 Sleazy and Horny Lawyer Award. Congrats, and here’s hoping 2010 brings you a kick in the balls.
And TomtheTemp of the great blog, Temporary Attorney: The Sweatshop Edition, has awarded the 2009 Beastly Behavior Award to none other than Dick Matasar, Dean of NYLS and loan shark / pimp for Access Group. Congrats, Tricky Dicky!
There are a lot of pissed off JDs out there, see the link to the article below. The world was a different place a few years ago, but still, is a third tier law school ever a good idea? I think not.If all you can get into is a third tier school, wait, take the LSATs again, and go to a decent school, or don’t go at all. Maybe it’s ok to try law school for a semester at a third tier if you couldn’t get in any place else. However, if you don’t place in the top 5%, the best idea is to drop out. If the bottom 95% dropped after first semester, it would have the added benefit of putting third tier diploma mills out of business. Go to this site for a great discussion on law school as an investment:(http://www.abajournal.com/news/is_law_school_a_good_investment_no_law_profs_say_for_many_typical_students/)
Should students be able to sue their schools if they can’t find jobs? Law students at the American Justice School of Law in Kentucky did, claiming that “that the dean and others had engaged in a breathtaking catalogue of wrongs, including racketeering, conspiracy, theft, wire fraud, mail fraud, extortion and abuse of their offices in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the students.” See full article here: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article2967141.ece Do law schools owe their students a reasonable expectation that after three years and $120,000 they will be able to find employment? Or should it be buyer beware? I think law schools should have to warn students that what the odds are of finding a good job. At the very least a warning in large print right next to where the student signs the master promissory note for their loans. Something like: A JD is no guarantee you will get a job. You could be throwing $120,000 away. Risks of law school include but are not limited to: losing your eyesight, losing your sense of humor, losing your friends, becoming a lawyer. Daily exposure to law professors increases your risk for depression and suicide. Studies have shown that law school greatly reduces your chances of getting laid.