Law Prof Admits Scam Exists

Brian Tamanaha posted on his blog yesterday about the law school scam and scam bloggers. He takes our side for the most part, if you can stomach his occasional condescending attitude. He had this to say about us:

It’s grim reading. The observations are raw, bitter, and filled with despair. It is easier to avert our eyes and carry on with our pursuits. But please, take a few moments and force yourself to look at Third Tier Reality, Esq. Never, Exposing the Law School Scam, Jobless Juris Doctor, Temporary Attorney: The Sweatshop Edition.

Force yourself to look. Yes, force your Ivy educated asses to look at our lowly blogs. Oops, Tamanaha went to Boston University, and that’s no Ivy. Had he graduated from law school in 2010 instead of 1983, he’d be unemployed too; instead he’s at his cushy professor’s job at Washington University and St Johns (a New York TTT) and writing lots of books paid for with the tuition of former students whose lives and dreams have been destroyed.

Look past the occasional vulgarity and disgusting pictures. Don’t dismiss the posters as whiners. To a person they accept responsibility for their poor decisions. But they make a strong case that something is deeply wrong with law schools.

Look past the occasional vulgarity. I don’t know what the fuck he is talking about, I don’t whine, I tell it like it fucking is. Yes, something is deeply wrong with the law schools and the people that look the other way as the scam continues.

Their complaint is that non-elite law schools are selling a fraudulent bill of goods. Law schools advertise deceptively high rates of employment and misleading income figures. Many graduates can’t get jobs. Many graduates end up as temp attorneys working for $15 to $20 dollars an hour on two week gigs, with no benefits. The luckier graduates land jobs in government or small firms for maybe $45,000, with limited prospects for improvement. A handful of lottery winners score big firm jobs.

Yep, that’s basically our complaint.

And for the opportunity to enter a saturated legal market with long odds against them, the tens of thousands newly minted lawyers who graduate each year from non-elite schools will have paid around $150,000 in tuition and living expenses, and given up three years of income. Many leave law school with well over $100,000 in non-dischargeable debt, obligated to pay $1,000 a month for thirty years.

I hate to break it to you, but even students at “elite” schools can’t find jobs. Read here about a Harvard 3L who couldn’t find work. She’s not a scam blogger, but she really is whiny.

They know the score now. But they didn’t know it when they first applied to law school. They bought into the numbers provided by law schools.

Yes, we did buy into those numbers. How wrong of us to trust the information the schools gave us and not know that law schools scam people too. I expect that from used car salesmen and bankers; not from institutions of higher learning and law school deans.

He asks what the professors can do. Well, you can hit my donate button. Actually, Tamanaha is kind of hot, so he might be able to pay it off another way. He had less interesting ideas:

As a start, we can provide prospective students with straightforward information about the employment numbers of recent graduates. It is open knowledge that many law schools present employment information in a misleading fashion, or don’t disclose it at all. This lack of candor on the part of law schools is itself a telling indication that there is something problematic about the product we are selling to prospective students.

More crucially, law schools must shrink the number of graduates, and must hold the line on tuition increases. (The fact that many students get scholarships is no answer because it simply means that some students, those paying full fare—often the students with the worst prospects—are subsidizing others.)

Yes! Yes! Yes! He gets it! And then he reminds us he is still a law professor:

This will be painful: smaller raises (perhaps even salary reductions), smaller administrations, smaller faculties, more teaching, less money for research, travel, and conferences.

Aha! That’s what our tuition dollars paid for! Travel and conferences and research, oh my! He gets really honest here:

These comments are not meant to point fingers at others—I too want to earn as much as I can, with lots of time for research, knowing that this is paid for by students.

Leave a Reply