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!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Law School Ads Busted

So what exactly is it that the law schools promise you?  My fellow scambloggers have put out a lot of data but let's do a little film critiquing shall we?  The video is below and what follows is my profanity laced commentary and line by line evaluation of what Fordham Law School Admissions proffers.

I have no bloody idea where Fordham Law School is located or its rank (I hooked up with a Fordham undergrad after a concert once & I think they said they went there for undergrad & it was either in Jersey or Pennsylvania but I was too drunk to give a shit so I won't check now).

Now this video, entitled "Careers After Law School," was made in 2007 and features 4 "interviews" with "different" Fordham law students.  I know the kind of people school who would volunteer to be in an admissions vid for their law school...enough said.  Also, I have no idea what these people are doing now or even care (but if you want to waste your time doing some "Where Are They Now?!" research, then feel free to add it in the comments section).  

They opened themselves up for satire and parody via the following comments by agreeing to appear in the video.  I'm sure they're fine upstanding human beings, but as soon as they consented to being a prop for an endeavor to recruit unsuspecting people into debt with this kind of sugar coated fluff then I have a concern (more so with the law school than anyone in here as they made it & they still have this video up on YouTube).

FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, realize that this is the same advertisement that every single law school puts out regardless of their name.  The people featured in it are also always the same and they always make it appear as if their career will be as certain as the position of the Earth and Sun.

Interview 1 - Lezlie Madden, Class of 2006, United States District Court

"The path after clerkshipsssssssssss....." 

[snakelike emphasis on the S not mine watch the vid. Cut to scene of awkward walking to convey a sense of purpose to viewer]

"Can depend kind of on the nature on the clerkship as well certainly."

[Wow, kind of very astute counselor]

"Mine is just a one year clerkship, annnnd [Notice how she grimaces and slightly shakes her head? FBI nonverbal communication experts will tell you that such body language betrays her true thoughts, i.e. letting us know that she has no idea what she's talking about/being disingenuous.] it's kind of open from here."

First, I don't want to get all ad hominid but this girl is all shoulders/shoulder pads.  I instinctively don't trust people whose throat I can't watch as they lie to me.  Her body language screams, "I'm so tightly wound that if I were to break wind every dog in the city will perk up its ears."  While I'm on ad hominid, you're next to the courthouse...go in and change your name. Leslie with a Z? Go fuck yourself.

Interview 2 - Duane L. Loft, Class of 2005, listed as working for Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

"At the beginning of your 2nd year, which I did, you interview with all these law firms and you have callbacks with all the law firms and then you're offered a job as the summer..and at the end of the summer you get your offer for permanent employment. So that was essentially my track...with the exception that I took the year off after graduating to uh clerk for a judge which uh was an amazing experience, an amazing addition to my law school experience."

HOLY FUCKING JESUS!!! PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT?! YOU MEAN LIKE FOREVS?!?! The god damn Chinese emperors never even got that! Law School must be a smart choice! I'll bet a lot of those recently/permanently laid off associates and low ladder partners thought they had jobs for as long as they wanted too.  Pretty sure only Supreme Court Justices get that kind of deal.

As far as Duane goes--Cookie cutter lawyer. White male. Dark, slicked back hair. Suit. Always makes sure to get his own orgasm during sex but leaves you hanging.  Uses a middle initial in his name for no reason.

Once again body language is important. Notice how his eyes are constantly shifting from side to side as he talks.  That indicates "I'm making this shit up as I go along." [*see the movie, The Negotiator - actually the idea about the position of the eyes as a way to determine whether a person was recalling memory is from a largely debunked pseudoscience called Neurolinguistic Programming, NLP for short.  Its teachings though are still used by Frank Luntz and others in politics, but shifty eyes is still considered a tell tale sign of inauthentic speech].

I've got 5 bucks that says the real story is "Made a call to a friend" or "Dad lined me up" both the clerkship and the summer job.  The OCI was merely a formality. Eat shit Duane.

[Cut back to Lezlie]

"I think that my thought process for now is that I will probably go to work for a law firm for a few years and then hopefully go to work for the government maybe either in Washington or as a U.S. Attorney here in New York."

You and the rest of the world.  Nice way to vaguely indicate that it's possible in the same way that an 8 year old wearing a superman cape would to the question, "What would you like to be when you grow up?"  The only difference is that you're in a pantsuit not a cape.

[Cue bad stock, transition music with what I think is New York?]
Interview Number 3 - Abraham Salcedo, Class of 2007, Graduates in May

Hey there easy rider! Look at you in your jeans, button down shirt and sweater. I bet you're into public interest law...let's find out!

"I'm initially going to start at a...uh one of the firms in the city uh and uh and probably work there for a few years and trying to incorporate uhm some of the public interest work that I've been doing here with the firm's pro bono program and then you know kinda springboard from there."

Springboard from where?  The top of a tall building to the cold, hard pavement below?  Know how many people are getting "paid" in today's world to do pro bono type work?  Two guys in Atlanta.  Also no state bar, as far as I know, even requires pro bono.  Instead they have pro bono "aspirational" goals (pro bono from the Latin for evil socialism commie type shit).  If the ABA really cared about Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice then pro bono work would be fucking mandatory.  I can't lie to them. I don't have to break confidentiality if I know my client is going to steal a whole lot of fucking money or rape and kill someone.  But forcing me to take on someone's case who can't afford it?  Fuck that shit, we don't care, just don't lie to us saying that you did do some to make yourself look better.  The ABA: Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice.

"You know I definitely still appreciate and enjoy business but I definitely got involved with more public interest type work and I look forward to being involved with that in some aspect."

Too easy to even warrant analyzing. Besides the real point of this interview is to market the law school product to as many potential customers as they can.  God forbid, some bright eyed and bushy tailed save the world type, like I was, thinks they can do so by going into crippling debt to attend law school.  Once again notice the shifty eyes, dead voice and vagueness about general plans after graduating.  Sorry Fordham, I call Shenanigan's on this advertisement named "Careers After Law School."  Everyone I know in a real career can give me specifics.

Interview 4 - Cara E. Greene, Class of 2005, Outten & Golden LLP

"When I came to Law School I wanted to do something good with my degree and I didn't really know what that was." [Pauses and swallows out of shame]

Stop right fucking there!  That's the god damn problem and I'm just as guilty as this chick.  We had no business whatsoever going to law school as a general idea (that's what college is for).  That's one of the reasons why the law school market got supersaturated.

Fordham left this in? They chose not to edit that out? That means that they know the people who would look at this video and consider law school are a bunch of clueless lemmings that they can trap? Fuck me.

"But just by being exposed to people and the different opportunities that were available in law other than corporate law which was not my interest uhm I discovered the field of Employment Law."

Really?  And where the hell are you filming this, the set of The Breakfast Club?

[Cut to classroom, show interviewee talking with  slave drivers Law Professors nodding & seeming to talk about important things, continue this montage with voiceover so as to convey to viewer a sense that the interviewee is learning from a professor about important things, oh look a book! Btw you don't learn from your professors they just test you and brag about that fact. Cool check out the free product placement for Poland Spring!]

"There were great professors here in Employment Law and they were able to point me to different areas and different firms and through that experience I found my firm of Outten Golden which is an employment side, plaintiff's side law firm."

God damn it.

[Cut back to Duane. Why?]

"I really got a sense that Fordham would prepare me well and by kind of uh teaching core legal principles and doctrine and and uhm setting me up well to practice them."

Alright asshole, you and I both know that's a fucking lie. The first day in the real world of legal practice I had an "Oh Shit" moment where I realized that I didn't know anything about real practice.  What's that Jaime from two posts ago?  You say that Law School's just like med school and the first day they hand you the scalpel? Shenanigans.

Don't take my word for it that Duane's lying through his teeth. 

Here's the Dean of Harvard Law School parsing words as only attorneys can while admitting that they don't teach shit.  Amongst other things she says, "the school’s revamped curriculum in 2007, which includes new required courses for first-year students in international law, legislation and regulation, and starting this year after two years of pilot versions, the first year Problem Solving Workshop..." 

It took you 2 years to test drive a Problem Solving Workshop? For reelz? You're the trendsetter for this field?  We're all fucked.

Dean Minnow, wow perfect name, also said that the recent financial crisis has accentuated the need for  "lawyers who have long-term and systemic thinking capacity about risk, regulation, and institutional design."  I don't know what that means but it sounds a lot like someone sitting in a corner office spouting bullshit that's supposed to sound enlightened & go unquestioned just because you went to Harvard.  If lawyers had the potential for long term & systemic thinking capacity they wouldn't have gone into law (especially when it comes to risk & institutional design).


[Oh fuck, it's Leslie with a Z to take us out.]

"The things that stand out kind of foremost in my mind are certainly the faculty and alumni at Fordham.  The faculty are very generous with their time, they're very supportive, they're very willing to help you, but not just to help you so that you achieve something which is desirable for the school necessarily but to help you so that you make the right choices for you."

Oh good well no one gets a job through alumni so that's useless. The faculty are supportive you say? Generous with their time? Oh fantastic! Not like that should be a mandatory part of their god damn job description.  I personally was amazed that the professors would be so kind as to not spit in my face during class...who knew?

Speaking of supportive and generous, did the faculty at Fordham and other schools take pay cuts as the writing on the wall became apparent about the job market?  Noticing their students' suffering, they all obviously held meetings and pushed their school's career placement/services/bullshit office to do something with their days rather than make videos like this one?  Did they advocate on behalf of students for the schools to reconsider their models or business plan?  NO?! For reelz?!  Because that would have been really helpful and supportive of them.

Leslie with a Z actually redeems herself in the end by saying:


Here endeth the lesson.


  1. I noticed the shifty eyes, too. Also, the students who volunteer for these blatant ads are the same person, i.e. the suck-ups and sycophants. These people have the creativity of a dead fish, and no backbone. They share their "positive" experiences, and in so doing, help capture a few more lemmings - for the school. It does not get much lower than that.

  2. Nice cinematic touch - do you have a background in linguistics?

    What's with the black wall? You're going to give me epilepsy.

  3. Too bad, the lemmings think they'll all end up like Duane, Biglaw and rich.

  4. i am in law school now. 2L. it was the biggest mistake of my life, by far. I want to quit but I'm worried i'm too deep in debt. Now I live to simply save one person from making the same mistake I did.