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!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Updated -- Professor Brian Tamanaha - FRIEND OR FOE, YOU DECIDE!!!!

***WITH NEW REVISIONS***


There I was, trying to find a fresh vein to stick the needle in to see if I still feel as I cruised the series of tubes known as "the internet."  I found myself on Locke's awesome blog and began to comment on the latest post when I realized fuck this is going to take more than a paragraph.

As some of you "hipsters" may already know, the internet tubes have slowly been overloaded with professors and academicians who aren't satisfied with boring people just on the weekdays anymore...they blog.

The news that Locke was mentioning is that one of these over-educated ass clowns  professors suddenly wrote a blogpost, which has been making the rounds all over the place, about anti-law school/legal practice blogging (often referred to as scamblogging).

"As the conscience of the legal profession--- do you think maybe we are, at the very least, complicit in the decimation of an entire generation of potential lawyers for the sake of profit?"




Once again, I don't want to really cast aspersions on the man (as I have far less of a problem with the majority of what Prof. Brian Tamanaha wrote in his post than say...oh...I don't know the piece of shit writing copy for U.S. News' latest rankings issue).

I do have a problem with his argument about how law students should hold themselves responsible more than anyone else AND his characterizations of law professors and their own culpability.

I'll make sure to address them...and now, to quote that cultural treasure of my youth Mortal Kombat....FIGHT!!!!

Red = Professor T's text
Blue = My thoughts comments to both his arguments and the reader

Bee-tee-dubs, Here's a link to Tamanaha's unadulterated original post.

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, and linked sites. Read the posts and the comments. These sites are proliferating, with thousands of hits.


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.


SHIT! PISS! FUCK! CUNT! COCKSUCKER! MOTHERFUCKER! TITS!

Sorry about the vulgarity everyone, I have Tourette's...it isn't my fault... Piss & Tits were vulgar at one point? Really?


By the way Professor, I know Nando at Third Tier Reality has found some choice toilet pics for Third Tier Reality, but if you really want something to get prissy about why don't you Google blue waffle (seriously don't click that).  

Also, I got drunk with a lot of my professors in law school, which I thought wouldn't be such a common occurrence every time it happened, and prissy is the right term.  Your average law school professor is boring...really really boring.  They have had no lives to speak of because well, they're lawyers.  So vulgarity might be off-putting to some...or you could say make a whole argument about not only the necessity but the beauty of vulgarity as an expression of the First Amendment...but who wants to think about that when you can think about finger banging a nun with a monkey's paw?  God damn Tourette's!!!  I digress.


Anyway.... 

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.



Actually, no.  The argument that myself and other scambloggers make about the current paradigm is NOT aimed solely at the "non-elite" law schools.  In fact, Locke has to deal with the fucktards of all tiers on a regular basis, I feel your pain for having to do so.  Every American lawyer I know is miserable regardless of rank or job position, and I know ones from all over the little blue planet (Locke points out on Shilling Me Softly that the ABA published an article about lawyers fleeing the profession like rats on a sinking ship).

In my blog I mention mostly elite/top tier schools because:
1) It's way too easy to take down the "lower ranked" schools as Nando has shown, and
2) The "elite" are considered the best thus above reproach as institutions, one of the many reasons I wish Michel Foucault was still alive, and I like a challenge.   
(*See below for Prof. Tamanaha in the flesh).


I don't always drink beer...but when I do, I drink Dos Equis!

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.



Very astute sir, but I don't know if your math is quite right.  I went to law school, code for I can't add numbers, as opposed to something that I could earn a real wage like engineering (speaking of engineers, FUCK BP!!).  In fact, I think that most of my classmates and I wish we would be done paying off our loans in only 30 years but you know how those interest rates are tricky cunts. FUCKIN' TOURETTE'S!

This dismal situation was not created by the current recession—which merely spread the pain up the chain into the lower reaches of elite schools. This has been going on for years.

The law graduates posting on these sites know the score. They know that law schools pad their employment figures—96% employed—by counting as “employed” any job at all, legal or non-legal, including part time jobs, including unemployed graduates hired by the school as research assistants (or by excluding unemployed graduates “not currently seeking” a job, or by excluding graduates who do not supply employment information). They know that the gaudy salary numbers advertised on the career services page—“average starting salary $125,000 private full time employment”—are actually calculated based upon only about 25% of the graduating class (although you can’t easily figure this out from the information provided by the schools). They know all this because they know of too many classmates who didn’t get jobs or who got low paying jobs—the numbers don’t jibe with their first hand knowledge. 

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. The mission of these sites is to educate, to warn away, the incoming crop of prospective law students—to save them from becoming victims of the law school scam. 



As I mentioned before, I literally didn't look at the employment figures put out by my school---at all.  Those numbers did not enter my mind when making the decision to go to law school.  My decision was based on a lot of other factors, many of them sociological/cultural which I've touched on in this blog, and so I'm not quite sure how the school's total bullshit employment figures have come to dominate the discussion (no profession anywhere has those kinds of real numbers unless you're a North Korean dictator).  Also notice how he carefully chooses his phrasing to show that the "elite schools" are not only better, blameless, but also victims of the lower tiers?  I wonder if there's a remedy for that...damn wish I had a working brain but the LSATs proved that not to be the case...FUCK...Tourette's!

Wait a minute, we protest.

Law professors are not scammers. We advance the rule of law and justice. We promote efficient legal institutions. We develop legal knowledge and knowledge about law for the good of society. We are the conscience of the legal profession. Indeed, we made a financial sacrifice to become academics when we could have earned more money as practicing lawyers.

The students made their choices. They should have done more research. They should have thought more carefully about the consequences of taking on so much debt. It was their foolish over-optimism to think they would place among the top 10% of the class and land the scarce corporate law jobs. They should have known better. (If the numbers on our website are misleading it’s the Administration’s fault; and we don’t set the high tuition.) Don’t blame us.



God damn you. God damn you.  God damn you.  God damn you.  God damn you.  God damn you.  GOD DAMN YOU!!!

I really wanted to like you B-dog.  I did.  I thought maybe the "wildly intelligent intellectuals" that you professors so often like to pretend you are were starting to see the light, but no.  You self-important piece of shit.

You're using the same kind of logic that is used by people who blame rape victims for being raped.  Yeah, I fucking compared you to a rape apologist for that remark, you hack.



Look at your fucking words.  LOOK AT THEM AND THINK!  I can literally replace everything like a Mad Libs and make it the same argument made by someone on the logical fringe---whether it's blaming women who are date-raped or blacks for being genetically stupid (HLS 3L Law Review Editor, LOL!).  That's the best you've got?! But you're such a "renown" scholar of jurisprudence!


See artist's original here.

The students made their choices. They should have done more research. They should have thought more carefully about the consequences of taking on so much debt. It was their foolish over-optimism to think they would place among the top 10% of the class and land the scarce corporate law jobs. They should have known better. 

The ________ made ____ choices.  ____ should have __________.  ____ should have thought more carefully about the consequences of _______________.  It was ____ foolish _________ to think that ______________ and ____________.  ____ should have known better.

The girl who was brutally raped to death at a college frat party made her choices.  She should have stayed home and watched reruns of the Grey's Anatomy.  She should have thought more carefully about the consequences of drinking so much.  It was her foolish naivete to think that horny guys who'd been drinking all night with her would do so and not rape her when she was wearing that outfit.  She should have known better.



Silly rabbit, what kind of girl walks home alone and talks to her neighbors...you should have known better. You got everything you deserved


You know what asshole?  Based on that kind of reasoning, the Indians should have fought harder then maybe they'd still have America as their tribal lands (fuck you I'm half Quebecois & Ottawan so I get a political correctness pass). 

Oh by the way, if you and your fellow professors really are the bastions of liberties, the sentinels of the rule of law, the defenders of justice, the avengers of knowledge for the good of society---THEN HOW THE FUCK DID YOU LET IT GET THIS FAR!?!?! SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE BEEN DOING SOMETHING UNTIL EVERYONE WAS THIS SCREWED!?! WERE YOU DRUNK AT THE WHEEL OR WHAT?



THE LAW SCHOOLS ARE RUN BY YOU, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS! PROFESSORS ARE THE ADMINISTRATION! DEANS AREN'T AN ALIEN SPECIES WHO APPEAR OUT OF THE ETHER, THEY'RE CHOSEN FROM PROFESSORS! YOU'RE THE ONES WHO MAKE EVERY DECISION ABOUT ADMITTANCE, TUITION, COURSEWORK, EXAMS, FUCKING EVERYTHING!!!! YOU CAN'T WASH YOUR HANDS OF THIS ONE LADY MACBETH!  IT'S ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT!


They might have been Nazis, but at least they tried to stop the madness...which is more than what I can say for you and your learned colleagues.


It is their dream to become a lawyer—we provide them with the opportunity and what they make of it is up to them. Besides, a law degree is valuable even if you don’t get a job as a lawyer. It improves your reasoning ability. It opens all kinds of doors. 


Alright fine. That's it I'm done with this bullshit article, I'll let Les Grossman sum up what I think of this piece with the following:



So, in closing, I guess it would be fair to say that I have some skepticism regarding both the importance and content of Prof. Tamanaha's post [You should visit his full post that I linked above if for no other reason I think he did it mainly to increase his readership and profile by getting the attention of the readers of the scamblogs who we all now are starting to get into the kinds of numbers that makes the Nazi-fuckwad law school establishment nervous about profits]. 
 
Also funny, if you read to the end of Tamanaha's post you'll see him close with the emotionally charged line "The negative consequences for individuals and for society of the extraordinary price of entry to the legal profession will become more apparent over time. And it all happened under our watch."  I agree ass clown professor, that's why your earlier assertion that Law Profs are blameless angels about the current predicament is magical thinking.  You created this, you spurred it on, and it will continue "under your watch".



I don't see anyone having the "courage" or "balls" or "decency" or "humanity" to admit the above.  Not that I'm comparing Law School Professors to Nazis, yes I am...well kinda...not really.  Watch the above clip, which is from a fantastic movie, and it applies to a person who was involved in something horrible---knew it, but did nothing.



I also don't see any kind of Martin Luther nailing a theses to the church door on our situation's horizon (at least any time soon).  Instead, I see business as usual for the Law Schools of every tier until the market self-corrects, which I think it is doing right now to people like me.  Although, I'm sure someone like Brian will come along and take credit for being a champion of justice...fucking assholes.



 
Till Next Time! Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, Boy we've had a real good time and I wish you the best on your way, I didn't mean to hurt you, Eh Eh...Nothing Else I Can Say!!!!

11 comments:

  1. You are WAY, WAY too hard on him man. He basically agreed with everything on these blogs. If respected people like him want to help, they should be embraced with open arms. It can do a lot of good.

    I don't get this attack at all....

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  2. I actually don't think I'm hard on him at all. As I said at the top, I don't take issue with the majority of what he wrote. Although, I don't think that he agreed with everything on these blogs; he just summarized the arguments he saw being made & then removed himself from the debate (not that I have a problem with that per se). I don't think he wants to help. I think he's merely commenting on a trend he noticed for what I suspect are different motivations & goals than you've ascribed to him.

    I don't want to embrace him or any other professor with open arms. I admit my own responsibility, no one on the other side will ever do that, in part, because it's against the nature of lawyers to admit any liability for anything ever. Some of the scambloggers are hoping to sway the professors onto our side. That will never happen in large numbers or in any way that will create change. In some ways, the professors are, structurally, just as trapped as many graduates.

    The only thing I think I really took him to task for was the section of his article where he blames law students and paints law professors as messianic figures who enlighten and enrich the lives of their students. He characterizes himself and his colleagues, along with some other ridiculousness, as the "conscience of the law profession." Conscience isn't enough---it's action that's needed and I'm not talking about a single blog post that a small percentage will ever read.

    And once again, if his assertion is actually true about the role that law professors played, I once again ask how did we end up here if the law professors were responsible for and do all that he claims?

    If I haven't made myself clear, let me analogize it this way....

    In many states, there are statutes that create liability for any bartenders who serve people to the point of intoxication. The bartender bears both civil and criminal liability, in some cases, and for good reason. If a person is getting intoxicated beyond the allowable limit, then they're breaking the law. The nature of drinking doesn't just lead to people who have 1 glass of wine too many, it leads to people who are barely able to speak, walk, or operate a motor vehicle safely. Someone who is that drunk or who is made that drunk, clearly can't make a good decision for themselves of those that they endanger from their state. So who is ultimately responsible? Well the bartender is the most obvious person (the bartender shouldn't profit off of that person's state or help contribute to them becoming even drunker/more dangerous).

    In his article, Professor Tamanaha essentially poured someone who was drunk off his ass 5 shots of patron and handed them car keys then said "Not my problem." He followed that by writing a sonnet about the joys of bar tending, spirits, and the valuable service that he provides to the community at large just as the person he poured 5 shots of patron to proceeds to run over a family of four.

    I have a problem with that.

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  3. He threw us a bone, but you and JJD correctly pointed out his true self -- an appendage of the industry. Industry and scam busters cannot peacefully coexist.

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  4. But his piece is still the best known criticism of the industry from an industry player. He's still closer to James Leipold than any of us.

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  5. I think you misread his post. He was summing up how most professors rationalized the issue rather than saying it as his belief imo. It actually is a little unclear.

    Either way, there is nothing to lose by embracing him and antagonizing him risks losing support.

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  6. Yeah I hate to be cynical...but I really don't think my post is gonna have that much of an impact or that he will ever even read it (although I hope he does because I want answers to some of my questions).

    I'll offer him a happy ending massage when he actually does something praiseworthy (not just do a weekend post on a blog no one reads).

    *Sidenote, if a cause is morally just or even logically sound, I should have no effect. I really doubt my rantings will make him stop and say "Oh you know what, I just read this one blog and I've reconsidered...Let's keep screwing the students!"

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  7. Have you noticed that all the "top tier" types end up needing a job and land in academics. So you have a bunch of "thinkers" who were unable to practice law teaching you law. There is something terribly, terribly wrong with that.

    And no, four years at Big Law does not teach you how to practice law.

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  8. Demos, I am not trying to get "professors" onto our side. That will not happen, to any large degree - and that is not my goal, anyway. However, if we want to put together some sort of panel discussion on the state of the (shrinking) legal industry, we could use someone like Tamanaha to help set that up. I have contacted DOZENS of "professors", deans and law publications trying to get ONE of these people to agree to such a debate. NO TAKERS. NOT ONE OF THESE SILVER-TONGUED, IVY LEAGUE, SNAKE-OIL SALESMEN/WOMEN HAS ACCEPTED MY OFFER.

    At least his piece gives some "credence" and "legitimacy" to our vulgar, disgusting blogs. He makes some admissions. Then again, a German Shepherd could have pointed out the situation. The fact remains that he sided with us, on our basic positions regarding the industry. I am cynical, and don't think much will come of this admission. But at least, it puts the spotlight on the shortcomings of the industry – from someone in academia.

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  9. Tamanaha is an ally Demosthenes. I think you completely misread his post. This latter paragraph makes it pretty clear that the preceding paragraphs were part of a "devil's advocate" rationalization made by your typical law school professor (which Tamanaha is clearly not) -

    "When annual tuition was $10,000 to $15,000, these rationalizations had enough truth, or at least plausibility, to hold up. When annual tuition reaches $30,000 to $40,0000, however, it begins to sound hollow. Students at many law schools are putting out a huge amount of money for meager opportunities." -

    Seems pretty clear to me that Tamanaha does not agree with the preceding paragraph. He thinks that things are out of control and that change needs to be made. He is precisely the kind of guy we need on our team. You and I both know that the scam bloggers have very little clout and if we really want to make a difference we need allies like Tamanaha. Your post is not doing anyone any good and it will likely alienate Tamanaha - the very type of guy we need on our team.

    I think you should strongly consider posting some kind of apology - we need this guy to have any shot at true change, and I hope you can see that.

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  10. I do not disagree with Tamanaha; I agreed with most of what he said, and I am happy he has the balls to say what he did. I don't like the condescending attitude and I don't like that he is profiting from the scam; he teaches at two TTTs. But I like that he said what he did.

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  11. Some of the scambloggers are hoping to sway the professors onto our side. That will never happen in large numbers or in any way that will create change. In some ways, the professors are, structurally, just as trapped as many graduates.
    <== The most profound and precise analysis of the TT, TTT, TTTT, TTTTT law school problem. How can you change a wrong when you live only as a result of the wrong.

    ReplyDelete