This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

End of the Beginning: Fight the Good Fight

Oh my dear dear zero lemmings, if only you truly grasped the implications of the mistake that you are making in attending any law school whatsoever--especially now--regardless of US News Ranking...you would think otherwise.  But understanding only comes from experience, so you have that to look forward to...dumb bastards.

Fortunately, after so many years and more public scrutiny than I, or the collective scamblogging community combined, could ever provide...you may finally seem to be picking up on the pointlessness of your schizophrenic delusions about  the lawyering.  

This realization seems to hold true despite the best efforts of various law schools shills, and those who benefit from your ignorance, that regularly declare the Juris Doctorate to be worth the ludicrous sum of time, money and effort to obtain...

"Oh it's so versatile!...Oh you learn to think!...Look I got bills--Just give me the money you stupid fucker!..." 

All of this, so that you waste billions of dollars of someone else's money filling the coffers of a few.  Then again that's the story of 90% of our modern economy (*See snapchat).  

Money that you, permanently indebted, will forever work to repay to no avail because those in power decided to favor one group of people over another.

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The fact that our "institutions of learning" have reached this point, and that this is basically common knowledge, is disheartening to say the least.

It's also not the first time that a society has decided to structure itself this way.  I couldn't have summarized the situation better than the authors did here:

Death by Degrees by N+1

The entire note is eloquent in its execution and logic, but my favorite excerpt is the following:

Americans have been affluent enough for long enough that it’s difficult to remember there was once a time when solidarity trumped the compulsion to rank. The inclusive vision that once drove the labor movement has given way to a guild mentality, at times also among unions, that is smug and parochial. To narrow the widening chasm between insiders and outsiders, we must push on both ends. Dignity must be restored to labor, and power and ecumenicism to labor unions. On the other side the reverse must happen: dignity must be drained from the credential. Otherwise, the accreditation arms race will become more fearsome. Yesterday’s medals will become tomorrow’s baubles, and the prizes that remain precious will be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

By attending law school in and of itself, I had unwittingly given in to the machinations of my socioeconomic class.  At the detriment of others I might add....that was never my intention, and if I had known then what I knew now I would never have done it.  But "intentions," as I learned in law school, whether good or bad don't make up for actions.

It's an error that I'll be correcting the rest of my life, not that any of you will ever know, or really anyone else besides a select few.  The most that I have explained in prior posts about my personal story is by coming from the "right family" with "good networking connections" in America, my decision to go to law school ultimately made no difference to my prospects.  That's not true for many of my friends and classmates.  

And that difference in outcome is the sole reason I took to time to write on this blog. 

=====

I've hinted at it several times but this will be part 1 of the "winding down" of  Outside Lies Magic.  

I just don't have it in me anymore to rage against the dying of this lie.  Not when so many others are doing it for me so publicly and so loudly.

I feel like I've done my part and I have nothing more to add to the conversation (but just one more time, for good measure...Fuck you Brian Tamanaha!!! Fuck you and all of the other law school deans, administrators and professors that you embody, you're all no better morally than war profiteers or people who sell server space in the cloud to pedophiles).

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I do not take any credit for any impacts or effects, whatever those may be, of Scamblogging's collective efforts.  

If any history were compiled of this brief flutter, I would say that, at the very least, the scambloggers had a a strong influence in raising awareness of the issue.  That awareness resulted in such things as Brian Segel's articles in the New York Times, which became a watershed moment--a watershed moment in stating the obvious.

How much did/do we contribute though? That's a question best left to more impartial scholars, should they ever care to examine this point in time.  

We certainly scared the shit out of the ball-less establishment and the embedded, feckless fucks known as "educators" or as I prefer to label them Crypto-Nazi Academic Fuckers (or as Nano says Pigs/Rapists/Pedophiles...although I think I first introduced the term rapist in describing professors...yay for me?).  

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For the ideal academic is there to advocate for the unpopular position because it's the right thing to do, whereas people like Campos had their "epiphanies" while staying in a motel after some bullshit conference in some kind of mid-life crisis what the fuck has my life meant period.  Those like Kimber Russell and Brian Tamanaha came to realize someone would actually give a shit about something they said and they could use it as a springboard for something better than what they currently have (Oh you didn't raise tuition Brian?! That proves you care and that you were ahead of the curve?! Go fuck yourself Brian!!! Go fuck yourself until every hole in your body bleeds uncontrollably!!!  Kimber...fuck you still you know what you did).

I think it's hilarious that my blog, if ever mentioned compared with others, is used as an example of some kind of pent up Jacobean rage that will consume the wealthier people in society in a homicidal blood lust.  Somehow my blog became a bottom signpost for hatred and rage.

I guess that makes sense in a vacuum, but not when compared to the behavior and ultimate result of those I criticized.  

For me, the fact that I used "strong" or "offensive" language like rapist, nazi, pedophiles, fuckers, etc. to describe those in positions of power at law schools will never be worse than the initial offense that I was trying to describe.  We are talking about a concerted, deliberate effort that has permanently destroyed individuals, yet I'm the monster.

That's so fucking ridiculous you have to laugh.

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In reality, as many people have either asked or guessed at on several occassions, this entire blog has been an overly hyperbolic, exaggerated circus done for rhetorical effect.  

Demosthenes, are you a character? Are you serious? Do you really think like this?

If I, as an anonymous law school grad, had presented my arguments in a serious, well rationed presentation...then a fewer number of people than who already have would have ever visited this site in the first place.  

No one would have given two flying fucks.  

Exhibit A: Miley Cyrus and Cat


But by being outrageous and ridiculous, I made people like Brian Tamanaha, whose testicles could be found wanting for the majority of his existence, actually take the effort to reassert some kind of position.  *Wink wink if anyone knows the history of Huey Long, FDR and the democratic party, they'll know that, as Frederick Douglass stated, Power concedes nothing without demand...by pushing farther than is reasonable, we actually end up where we should be. 

No no, it took Nando to post pictures of shit covered toilets next to a "prestigious" school's name for anyone to take notice. 

Based on the way that our society now processes information, Obama should have just fucked a dead animal with a sign that read "Health Insurance Costs Alot" rather than making an evidence based, logical argument about his Affordable Health Care Act.

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I came into scamblogging by accident...as an uninterested observer and sometimes commenter who fell into an advocacy role (ironically the same position that most "hero" attorneys find themselves in those pro-lawyer stories, see Philadelphia, Rainmaker, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc. ad infinitum).  

When I started posting, scamblogging was in its nascent stage, an infancy in both purpose and goals.  I had no idea, that for the majority of people regardless of subject area, that the package they were sold was a complete lie.

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I say this not to discredit the efforts of true advocates like Nano, Crynn, etc., but I honestly don't know how much of scamblogging is just the simple "pointing out the obvious."  Although others have said that during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

Even if scamblogging had never existed, which I find dubious/impossible, the reality of the situation for law school graduates, and many other products of non-profit higher education, would be the same.

I came across these blogs, by other anonymous posters many of whom are no longer posting, before it was such a cause celebre that law school professors, looking at you Campos and Tamanaha, decided this could be their claim to fame in terms of market capture (as no one paid any real attention to their prior efforts).  

Why do I bring this point up about the potential bias, or as you could say motivation, of professors?

Simply, I don't fucking believe anything that people like Campos or Tamanaha, Henderson or Leopold, Kimber Russell, etc. etc. will ever say about this as long as they benefit from the perpetuation of the system or the notoriety they achieve from criticizing it (especially Kimber the Cunt).

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*The above picture is the best representation of my current state of mind regarding education, artwork is entitled "Mezzanine" by Mansur.

Ultimately, my generation is just a profit stream for their elders (in a way that has never been true before except I guess for child workers in the guilded age).  Not a profit meaning the provision of some kind of value to us, but instead profit in the worst sense of the word.  

As Nando might say, the baby boomers, but specifically those who directly benefit from thousands of young people going through higher education, are in fact exploiting, indebting, destroying my generation.  It is a complete perversion of the purpose, intent and promise of education generally, but specifically education at the college/graduate/professional school level.

The fact that this has occurred at law schools, the very same institution that claims to be a bulwark for all good things in civilized society.  The institutional members who claim to be prophets/advocates for the ideals and realities that the unenlightened masses are not prepared for makes it that much worse.

I will never know the degree to which my criticism of the law school industrial complex is influenced by my general maturation versus the moral failure of the enterprise.

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 I do think that my generation, as alluded to in Fight Club, is the first to be raised on the premise that "You can do anything! Go live your dreams!" compared to the reality of those who came before them.  For my grandparents, who grew up around WWI, were raised in the Great Depression and endured WWII, the idea that life is about fulfilling your fantasies and living your dreams is the most ridiculous shit that one person could ever say to another.  Even more ridiculous than "Oh yea, there is one, true, just God who loves you and if you do what he says you will be welcomed into a miraculous kingdom of heaven." *Hint hint probably not the case either...at least there's no evidence supporting it other than traditional assertive literature which, by itself, is negated by the fact that there are numerous variations of the same myth (sorry Christians!!!).

Monday, July 22, 2013

Saul as Saint: Very Little Point or Time Left

When this is the cover of what I'd consider to be a fairly "mainstream" media publication:

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I'd say that the jig is very nearly up.  The article is worth the read as it is a pretty accurate insight into a very small portion of the legal world--the Major Leagues of this shitty profession--BigLaw.  Just saying that makes me queasy.

Now let's be clear there's always going to be some level of sensationalism with these kinds of stories but the "market correction," "force contraction," "rightsizing," of the legal industry is going to happen.  I don't think this segment of the population will disappear as there will always be some form of the BigLaw, just like how many understand that technically we will very likely never totally "run out" of oil on Earth.  It may become economically prohibitive due to costs, but unlike oil, there's no fracking on the horizon to save the day and increase supply.  




By the way, speaking of fucking Fracking, this should be the kind of thing that the Government steps in and taps some of that unused legal talent to advocate on behalf of people but fuck it they can't even afford full time employees at EPA.  If you can see if for free, because who can afford HBO without IBR, I'd recommend watching Gasland if you really want a reason to hang yourself.

But unlike domestic oil companies--there won't be any new big money trends to swoop in for attorneys in the past like the glut MedMal against doctors (both the good and bad) or Asbestos against companies (who didn't know any better then dodged the bill like all people do--pieces of shit) or Personal Injury (that's a beg borrow and steal if you're lucky type gig), sorry Gamer rights real people don't give a shit about your character points or whatever the fuck it is you do on your experience machine to avoid the actual world.

There may still be slivers of markets that can afford to have a use for a BigLaw aresenal--the likes of Apple/Samsung/others that use litigation as a business strategy (which also won't last forever either).  But how many of the 150-200 firms are needed full time for a handful of companies out of the Fortune 500?

The situation is inevitable and unavoidable as the article points out, everyone knows it--but no one wants to say it out loud for the fear that like a disturbed butterfly it will disappear from sight forever (isn't that cutesy---blow me).  My one critique is that the author could have spent some time extrapolating the ripple effect from BigLaw's demise.  The article references one poor BigLaw attorney who was laid off while pregnant and managed through much hardship to find a criminal law gig that paid $40K which is nowhere near the $230K that she had.  Normally I'd say fuck her but I'm guessing she only maybe made a couple of years of that salary which get eaten up quick with other expenses, especially in a city.  

Add undergrad, possibly grad, and then law school debt and you're looking at a hefty bill that a decade of $230K a year could barely make a dent in.  It was fairly common for my fellow classmates to be facing upwards of $250K of debt before they even started working the kinds of jobs this lady managed to get as a fallback.  She may have gotten the chance to pay down some of that but honestly the odds are brutal.  It reminds me of a very well done element of one of my formerly favorite law movies A Civil Action where Travolta goes through the dispassionate odds for every case to be successful.  The numbers for law grads are becoming impossible to ignore and it doesn't take the awesome, deep dive take downs of my fellow bloggers like Matt and Nando.

It's just hard fact.  If you go to law school you're fucked.
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I know that some of my readers may have wondered where I went and why there are no more epic rants.  Well I keep debating about whether to post my already composed "farewell" posts then disappear into the ether, but then things like the above keep popping up.  Honestly, I'm also happier not thinking about it even though I still follow other blogs and headlines and developments.  When I write this, I go into a true meditation on other aspects of this and most of that doesn't make it to the keyboards.  It's not a happy place and I don't want to dwell on something that doesn't matter to my life anymore.

I was one of the very lucky few who managed to escape in tact, which by the way meant running from the law faster than Brian Tamanaha towards fame a wet cat from a rabid dog.  Part of that fact still makes me feel guilty somehow.  This summer, it will have been 4 years since I graduated from law school, and my life is just now on track with where it should have been 7 years ago.  Meanwhile, very little has changed the schools are just targeting the even dumber lemmings with dreams of a place and time that is no more.

Of the classmates I still keep in touch with, a lot are solo--some are in small firms doing whatever they can to still get in money---and some of us have left it entirely.  Very few want to do whatever they are doing in the law for much longer--everyone else dreams of something other than this.

I had a long conversation with one of my classmates who unlike some went back to her old pre-law job which she managed to do only because she's one of the nicest, and easiest people to be around.  Many post-grad lemmings won't have this chance because either a) they have no pre-law job to go back to or b) they are the type of people who are attracted to law school which means they're generally the kinds of antisocial, borderline assholes that make the world a worse place so people don't exactly line up to welcome them with open arms.  That's something the article touched on:

Even lawyers with a dedicated mentor have trouble making equity partner unless they meet a second criterion: demonstrating a potential for attracting clients. There is an irony that flows from this. Lawyers at an elite firm like Mayer Brown have typically spent their lives amassing intellectual credentials. They are high-school valedictorians and graduates of elite universities, with mantles full of Latin honors. They have made law review at top law schools and clerked for federal judges. When, somewhere between the second and fifth year of their legal careers, they discover that brainpower is only incidental to their professional advancement—that the real key is an aptitude for schmoozing—it can be a rude awakening.

The typical lawyer, especially the higher up in the tiers you go--and this is from my anecdotal experience, is about as easy to deal with as trying to assfuck Temple Grandin with a buggywhip.  Add to this the fact that no one willingly goes to see a lawyer except for people looking to use the justice system as a lottery or get revenge on someone and these people aren't exactly Saul Goodman....Anyway back to my friend.

I asked how it was going, and I could feel the smile on my face because I was genuinely interested and wanted to hear how my friend was after such a long time (since we now live on different sides of the country because in this economy).  Then my smile went away as rapidly as it had appeared when I heard her answer.

Without skipping a beat she started, "If I had known that I'd go on a journey that cost me 3 years of my best years and a fortune I'll be paying off forever only to end up where I began..."  Her voice tapered off in a long drawn out sigh and a stream of consciousness sorrow that you only reveal to people you know.  You know the butterfly scare-away kind of stuff that everyone knows but no one vocalizes.  She lost the marriage that she had been in for 7 years before law school during, and had missed a lot of time with family and friends outside of it because of the grind.  Just wasting time on shit that doesn't matter to anyone or anything.

I tried to change the subject not realizing I had opened pandora's box of regrets for the lost opportunities, moments, and memories she gave up because of her choice.  I talked her through it somewhat without trying to be patronizing or condescending like so many law school deans, administrators, professors and others do nowadays to whoever will listen and is still dumb enough to pass over money and their future for a fraud.

That's the point--even though the article talks about BigLaw's historical prominence, and stability, and the "position" it gives one in society, the compensation models, the competitiveness, the anxiety etc. this gets lost.


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These are people and what we have let our society do in the name of "education" and "empowerment" and "bettering" what didn't need to be touched in the first place is lost.  That's where my vitriol and rage and calling out of the fucks like Tamanaha and Campos and all of the other schmucks comes from that they never seem to address directly, only at angles and half-truths.  It's not about professional ethics, or career husbandry, or any of that other shit.  You are ruining the lives of my generation with falsehoods and dreams and false expectations to unjustly enrich yourself.

Only the crash will stop that.


Till Next Time!!! Magna Carta Holy Grail?! Oh Fuck you.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fuck 'em, that's why.






Provided without comment.  It's so obvious now it doesn't even bear mentioning but for ridicule.


What is intelligence, anyway? 


When I was in the army, I received the kind of aptitude test that all soldiers took and, against a normal of 100, scored 160. No one at the base had ever seen a figure like that, and for two hours they made a big fuss over me. (It didn't mean anything. The next day I was still a buck private with KP - kitchen police - as my highest duty.)

All my life I've been registering scores like that, so that I have the complacent feeling that I'm highly intelligent, and I expect other people to think so too. Actually, though, don't such scores simply mean that I am very good at answering the type of academic questions that are considered worthy of answers by people who make up the intelligence tests - people with intellectual bents similar to mine?

For instance, I had an auto-repair man once, who, on these intelligence tests, could not possibly have scored more than 80, by my estimate. I always took it for granted that I was far more intelligent than he was. 


Yet, when anything went wrong with my car I hastened to him with it, watched him anxiously as he explored its vitals, and listened to his pronouncements as though they were divine oracles - and he always fixed my car.

Well, then, suppose my auto-repair man devised questions for an intelligence test.

Or suppose a carpenter did, or a farmer, or, indeed, almost anyone but an academician. By every one of those tests, I'd prove myself a moron, and I'd be a moron, too. 


In a world where I could not use my academic training and my verbal talents but had to do something intricate or hard, working with my hands, I would do poorly. My intelligence, then, is not absolute but is a function of the society I live in and of the fact that a small subsection of that society has managed to foist itself on the rest as an arbiter of such matters.

Consider my auto-repair man, again. He had a habit of telling me jokes whenever he saw me. 


One time he raised his head from under the automobile hood to say: "Doc, a deaf-and-mute guy went into a hardware store to ask for some nails. He put two fingers together on the counter and made hammering motions with the other hand. 


"The clerk brought him a hammer. He shook his head and pointed to the two fingers he was hammering. The clerk brought him nails. He picked out the sizes he wanted, and left. Well, doc, the next guy who came in was a blind man. He wanted scissors. How do you suppose he asked for them?"

Indulgently, I lifted by right hand and made scissoring motions with my first two fingers. 


Whereupon my auto-repair man laughed raucously and said, "Why, you dumb jerk, He used his voice and asked for them." 


Then he said smugly, "I've been trying that on all my customers today." 

"Did you catch many?" I asked. 

"Quite a few," he said, "but I knew for sure I'd catch you." 

"Why is that?" I asked.

"Because you're so goddamned educated, doc, I knew you couldn't be very smart."


And I have an uneasy feeling he had something there.



~from Isaac Asimov