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 28, 2010

Cheat...err I mean Work Smarter: Guerilla Guide, Part Deux

And now part 2....

***Disclaimer/CMA, make sure to double check your own school's honor code to see which of the following you can get away with should you actually be caught or outed by a fellow prisoner.  If any of these methods runs afoul of your school's honor code, then do not do it.  I would never ever ever encourage or enable anyone to cheat or circumvent this noble profession's code of conduct.  I have been repeatedly told is the most ethical profession ever!!!  As the decisions of the law school professors, administration, and governing bodies have shown--ethics is largely bull anyway...I mean extremely important.

Here's my four pronged attack to "work smarter" in law school for those of you not already doing one or more of the below items.  Because I can guarantee you that more people in your class are doing one of them, and probably the ones you least expect.

1) Have a family member-attorney do your work
2) Get "upper classmen" material
3) Pay "smarter" people to do your work for you
4) Use private/commercial outlets (you'll be doing it anyway when you graduate to pass the bar exam)

I'll explain step by step.

1)  The attorney-parent/close family member


This is pretty self-explanatory isn't it?  When you have a doting parent who is already an attorney you get the same thing happening as an elementary school science competition.  

"My lord Timmy, that volcano looks remarkably good for a 5 year old amputee!"

I had classmates who went to buy their casebooks and bought 2 copies, one for themselves and one for mommy or daddy to follow along.  They'd often call their parents to explain either what's actually going on in a class, what's important, or what's the latest trend in actual practice for class participation brownie points.  Their mock briefs, for classes that required it, looked strangely professional & to the heart of the issues for someone who had never been a paralegal/practicing attorney.

This strategy is also helpful later on in the job search & "networking" phase.  Although in today's world, the legacy law student may have no choice but to carry on their parent's firms (not that I can blame em--we're really in a great depression not recession...it'll just take time for the talking heads & policy makers to admit it).

Type 1 - Good for = pretty much everything.

2)  Get "upper classmen" material


The reason why so many 0L's and 1L's try to  suck up/offer oral sex network with upper classmen is that they've already gone through the torture classes so they know:

1) how the professors grade
2) what the professors personal "passions" are regarding the material--i.e. what minor rule they test on
3) which ones you can actually listen to without having suicidal tendencies.

If you happen to join one of the more "exclusive" extracurricular law school clubs or frats, some of which are invite only and only to a very specific kind of person--*see Duane L. Loft from my Fordham Career Services Ad post, then you get access.

Access to what?  One or all of their "mystically awesome" outlines that everyone has heard about!  These outlines are passed from generation to generation like a venereal disease venerated heirloom.  Without them, most of the club's members would never have passed a class, let alone do well.  These outlines are also closely guarded---so you will really have to work at getting them.  Getting one reminded me of buying good drugs...hushed tones, secluded conversations, building up relationships with favors, lots of bummed cigarettes, etc. before you're "let into the circle of trust."  JK, buying good drugs is wayyy easier than getting some of these outlines.  Mostly because of how hyper-competitive your fellow students will be/are over class grades.

If you can swallow your pride to do this or actually get into one of these clubs then you should definitely sign up & assume the position!

Also, a great way for an "in" to the club's goodies without being a member is to get your hands on an adderral/ritalin Rx script---as those pills sell like gold at law school (as many of you readers who needed them just for that extra edge in undergrad already know).  Cocaine works too...WASP law students fucking love to ride the white pony....but that's an foolproof expensive way to do it.

Type 2 - Good for = pretty much everything, but especially school specific electives.

3)  Pay smarter people to do your work for you


This was easily the most blatant example of what I'd consider "cheating" in law school (it happens way more than anyone likes to admit).  The key is just being able to keep your fucking mouth shut so you get away with it.  Some people I went to school with got caught because they couldn't help but brag and/or go out when everyone else was working, thus raising suspicion....

[Cut to interior, Law School Library, dark corner showing me surrounded by papers, books, and empty coffee cups while typing with an unlit cigarette in my mouth because schools don't have the decency to let you smoke in building anymore]

Teddy: "Hey asshole, want to go over to the bar with me and see that new movie after?"
Me: "Uh, Teddy we've got that seminar paper due on Monday."
Teddy: "Not me, dude, I'm done.  I got Jane the 3L from law review to do it for $200 bucks."
Me: ".....you motherfucker."
Teddy: "Shit...so still no bar trip?"

This is a great option for those of you with plenty of spare cash (*if you have this much disposable income--try the white pony strategy--although if you have this much spare cash you're probably already riding it--in which case, WEEEEEE!!!!).  Most students who would fit that description generally don't care about their grades because they'll be "taken care of" upon graduation.

However, most of you readers are likely funding this disastrous expedition law school with loan money you'll never repay, so spare cash probably isn't going to be a concern for you.

At the end of the day, the legal profession itself is really just whoring yourself out to fight other people's battles in a "more civilized" way...so this can't be that wrong can it? (I actually have a list of attorneys that don't match this description including small non-profits & even, surprisingly for some readers, the often maligned Personal Injury attorneys)

Type 3 - Good for = Pretty much everything, but it's the riskiest & you are at the whim of someone who might be able to blackmail higher fees out of you.

4) Commercial Outlets aka Freemarket Legal "Supplements"



This is really just a "fairer" version of Type 2 because it's a cheaper, some of my learned colleagues nearly paid more under the table for prong 2 than they did for actual class tuition, and you don't have to brown nose.  Some students just bought graymarket copies of BarBri or PMBR bar prep material for core classes because it gave them the black letter law without all the bullshit.  Those were much better than CrunchTime or Emmanuel or any of the other nickel & dime supplements that are still "keyed" to the case books.  However, you may want to pick some of these up because professors will literally cut, copy, and paste questions from these commercial supplements and/or old bar exams, also freely available, directly into their tests and call it "teaching."  Yeah that's right, most professors don't even come up with their own original questions---why should they reinvent the wheel?  It's called cheating working smarter... 

Most people who use these commercial outlines know that it doesn't matter what they requote from a prof's boring lecture...if they throw in enough black letter law, their professors would have to give them a better grade than the jackass who recites the same example a prof used in the 13th day of class.  Plus, they'd get little gold stars on their essays from professors who were "amazed" at the keen analysis and issue spotting.

The problem is that these for-profit supplements won't cover a lot of the worthless electives like gender law or human rights--or any other useless pet project courses that the state bar examiners, thus BarBri, don't give a shit about.  So you may be stuck having to actually pay attention--try prong 1, 2, or 3 should you find yourself stuck here.

Here's the other way to do it, and the biggest shocker for me as I didn't discover it until I was a 3L.  I had one fellow classmate who I thought was mildly brain damaged every time I ever had a conversation with her outside of the classroom.  But in the classroom...Holy shit!

It was almost like she was reading the professor's mind (the professor was equally enamored with this student who made law review).  Then one day she let me use her computer in the library while she went to do a couple lines of blow in the bathroom use the ladies' room.  When I went to log onto WestLaw to try and find some obscure case from the late 1800s about railroads hitting cattle, this popped up on her recent sites visited.  Since it also had her account info already logged in, I took a gander.  I sat in stunned silence for quite some time.

Here's a sidelink to the real site--OutlineDepot.com--which I am in no way endorsing or want to drum up more business for without a cut of the action, but oh well fuck it doesn't matter now.  This is also not the only site but one of the most popular as I came to find out.

Some of the outlines I saw on her computer were not that great, but others were word for word of the professor's "script" for that class (some professors literally read a script that they've made out saying the exact same thing word for word every time they teach a class--including bad jokes).

So it depends on your professor...
I'll use Professor Steinberg as a case study.  If you go to the faculty part of Thomas Jefferson's site, you'll find his profile and the classes that he teaches.  Let's say you get stuck in his Criminal Procedures class.  I couldn't imagine sitting in a class about CrimPro, a subject which regularly covers drugs, hookers, and killing, from a guy who looks like he's never even jaywalked.  By the way, 90% of CrimPro is learning how the courts have made lots of exclusions around Constitutional rights to bust criminals--so you're not the only one out there who is "cheating/working smarter."

Just do a search by school, subject, or professor on the website and....Eureka!


Now when I looked through the outlines my classmate had, which I emailed to myself, I later found out that they were spot on what the Professor said every single lecture.  I could have zoned out for a half hour in class and pick up right where he left off.  I didn't even have to be there.  Unless of course your school has a mandatory attendance policy, because they know no one would show up without one.  You poor bastards...you'll still have to sit through this horseshit...

Type 4 - Good for = pretty much everything, possibly the best strategy for "working smarter."


In conclusion, I finally understood how she could spend all of class shopping for shoes online in class, while most other people seemed to be furiously typing every word our boring professor shitted out of his/her mouth...yet still get some of the best grades.  Oh! Surely not! I can hear some of you say...but I respond, I've seen it!.  She knew better, she knew to...

Work smarter--not harder a.k.a. be a cheating bastard!

Till Next Time!  What do I care for the logic of kings?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Work Smarter: A Real Guerilla Guide to Success, Part 1

"I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating." ~ Sophocles

"Your best?!  Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen." ~ Sean Connery in The Rock

So here's the problem I have with scamblogging.  Eventually it gets repetitive.  I could write essentially the same argument 100 different ways but it all comes down to the same thing: we were scammed, the people who did it got away with it & with lots of money, they continue to do it to more Zero Lemmings than ever before, and we're all still fucked.  Every passing day it seems more evidence stacks up on our side of the justice scales, but I'm still amazed how much resistance scambloggers get.



Any asshole, namely me, can tear down (I often hear this said by commenters and emails).  The better question is what do you build--you cynic?  Ok, fine, how about I give current 0L's and/or those currently trapped in law school, who refuse to cut their losses for some bizarre fucking reason, a few insider/veteran tips on how to improve your "hiring profile."  By "hiring profile," I mean the one thing you actually have some measure of control over now that you've passed the first part of the process where the Nazis remove your valuables having taken the LSAT and accepted a school's fleecing offer letter.  Although, your grades really don't matter anymore in this market, what the hell, worth the shot.

Let's begin with advice from one member of the "establishment" would give to law students on how to succeed (shoutout to westside blogger Subprime JD  because it's from a Cali school).  These kinds of empty platitudes are par for the course from law school admin & professors (just check your latest career placement office's email, if they bother sending them out anymore).

Here's an esteemed professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Professor David Steinberg, giving his tips on "Surviving Law School."



Jesus...Where do I start with this guy.  Well, there's the name of the school.  Thomas Jefferson School of Law?...in San Diego, California?  Yeah that makes a hell of a lot of sense.  Naming that school "Thomas Jefferson" is kind of like a dictatorship adding the words "republic," "democratic," or "people's" to their country name.

I HAVE 30 CATS!!!....Probably true.

So what does this Stanford grad, top 5 school, recommend to his students in order to succeed?

Basically the same thing that you would say to a high school dropout or a child attending their first day of kindergarten.

1) Treat the classroom like an office...be professional!
2) Get there early and stay for the whole time!
3) Get a good night's sleep, Eat right & Exercise!
4) Get involved with your school's extracurricular activities based on your "passions" (clubs/societies, panel discussions, clinics, volunteer with associations, internships--HA, work part time--where at the supermarket?)



Are you fucking kidding me? Professor Steinberg, that's not working smarter--I don't know what kind of fucking advice that is for "surviving."  If this is the advice he has for "survival," I'd put a ten note on him being the same kind of person who gets killed in the opening scene of a horror movie.  "Oh my, this alley is certainly dark! Let's explore!"


Above all else, Professor Douchebag David Steinberg wants you to know that you're special, you worked hard, you care, you want to have a career that mattered because you wanted to make a difference!!!



Look at you! So special...

The one thing I agree with Professor Steinberg about---work smarter not harder...or as I would say:

DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO TO WIN!!!

It worked for everyone on Wall Street, why not you?  Like they say, I'm gonna get mine.

But Demosthenes, How do I "legally" cheat?

Professor Steinberg said:

Nothing in the casebook is going to tell you what you need to do on the exam, you're going to get that out of your law school classes.  

Oh really? In class you say? I beg to differ.

Professors rarely teach a class for the first time or off the cuff.  Instead, you'll see them do the same routine over and over, reading from their own notes that are their personal interpretations of what THEY find important/interesting about each case and subject.

The whole model of "teaching" in law school is to make you sit through hours of these assholes reading their notes to you.  As the future lawyer, you're supposed to transcribe their babblings into your own "outline" and study from it so that you can ace their exams!  That's a really great way to actually learn how to practice law...hope the next doctor I go to learned by watching Gray's Anatomy reruns.


To clarify, what I call "cheating" is anything that circumvents this ridiculously useless process because these were the "rules" of the game that were given to us by our respective schools (and the ones that people entering the law as total novices will stupidly follow).  So here are Demosthenes' tips for improving your chances, use  any combination of the following to best suits your needs & resources.

Stay tuned for part 2, and I'll show you some fun tips!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Microlending: Higher Ed Students = Developing World

At first, when one imagines the prototypical American college student---it would accompany some kind of feeling of success---or at the very least not begging.



Not really the case anymore, as this article points out, there is now micro-financing for college degrees

My favorite snippet? The opening reads:

"Heather Coleman had racked up almost $18,000 in debt before she posted her tuition "help wanted" sign on the Internet." 


BUT BY USING THE MICRO-FINANCE OPTION?


"The efforts netted her $8...She'll start repaying her loans in a few months, and she still plans on attending law school."

That's right.  Still plans on attending because when you're already 18K in the hole, might as well throw another 100K onto the pile.  To quote Luke Wilson in Anchorman, after having his remaining arm ripped off by a bear---THIS IS GETTING RI-GOD-DAMN-DICULOUS!!!




Child Soldier in Western Africa or Grad Student on the East Coast?...Lines surprisingly starting to blur....(not really).



*See artist's original and page

Of course, the go to site for this particular development buzzword, micro-financing, is probably still Kiva.com (which does have a pretty good record).  As a concept, micro-finance was originally designed to provide positive, trust based lending/development practices in poorer communities in the second and third worlds who would be overlooked by the larger donors and NGOs---the idea was that such a system would allow for people to move beyond a life of daily struggle to survive in terms of food, water, and shelter...or, for our purposes, help first world kids do book learning.



I haven't looked at the numbers of this school based manifestation, in terms of cost/reward/participation, and some readers out there may automatically recognize "micro-financing" as the system that gained notoriety a few years ago when Muhammed Yunus won a nobel prize for his organization's efforts (no, he did not invent the idea).  Yunus also recently criticized the corruption of the system he had envisioned saying that stricter regulation was needed or greed would take hold, gee where have I heard that before...hmn...law school & higher ed as a whole maybe?....but whatevs shit happens.



On one level, micro-financing education in the first world is rather clever (as scholarship/fellowship competition etc. is getting mighty fierce nowadays).  On the other level, there are societal concerns I have for a system that has to rely on what is essentially a form of charity, at least as I read how this sponsor my degree site works, in order to survive.  I may delve into this emerging trend later, I honestly just don't feel like typing out a longer post on the pros and cons of this (there are many on both sides of the coin).  I wonder if there's gonna be a competition for prospective donor attention between hip college set and second world entrepreneurs...I guess it'll come down to whoever gets Angelina on their side...

Stay tuned! Stars in our eyes cause we're having a good time!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

PRO-Law School aka Anti-Anti Law School Blogs

Here is my take on anyone who writes a pro-law school/anti-scamblogger site...especially anyone who hasn't even been to law school:




Some of these fucktards have written "critiques" about scambloggers like Nando, Scammed Hard, or JD Underdog, etc.  I won't dignify these ass clowns by mentioning their sites or giving them the Outside Lies Magic treatment because 1) it is way way too fucking easy to "destroy" them...and well...that's...that's...all I have to say about that...


*Above video is demonstrative of both 0Ls/Zero Lemmings & the legal profession as a whole.


Till Next Time! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Screw U Assclown, Higher Ed Incorporated & Magazines


"Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education." ~ Bertrand Russell by way of Nando at Third Tier Reality

“I didn't learn shit from book learning.” ~ Spongebob Squarepants, fry cook extraordinaire



Unlike my fellow scamblogger Jobless Juris Doctor, I'm lucky enough to still have my own laptop (although it's seen much better days).  I honestly don't know what I would do without it (but that's a whole different can of worms for discussion's sake).  Because I live in a major city that has free WiFi, my laptop has become one of the few last outlets I have to what is going on in the world at large.  The amount of information available on the internet for free is amazing...if you have the means to process, interpret, and synthesize it...otherwise many of the little brains will be overloaded (though a strong case could be made that the internet exists solely for porn).


Look at that Ted! These schmucks think they'll have an economy one hundred years from now! Makes me smile at the stupidity!

Back when I had a living wage, hope, and my soul hadn't been destroyed by the process of becoming a lawyer  Before I went to law school, I used to buy essentially useless yet enjoyable consumer products do things that, at the time, I never gave a second thought about...and now view as amazingly wonderful luxuries that I completely took for granted.  Things like seeing a movie in a theater instead of having to find a bad cam version from a foreign server that takes three hours to DL, eating at a restaurant where the napkins aren't made of paper, or, probably, my favorite simple pleasure---buying a magazine.  God how I used to love magazines.  I used to spend what I now consider a fortune on magazines (in fact one of my lifetime goals was to own a copy of every month of National Geographic until I died but you can now see the gap in the long line of them where the economic reality struck).


I know babies...I miss you too, but you're not the first thing in my life I've loved and lost.

They were both outlets and material object in one, its something Kindle and iPad people don't understand (much like books...in fact I used to collect rare or first edition books as a hobby...but they're gone now I don't want to discuss further).  I used to love having the time and energy and spirit in going to a news stand and picking up the latest edition of one of my favorites like Playboy Esquire or Barely Legal Foreign Affairs Journal.  I'd sit down at some hip coffee place outside in my sunglasses and really the same thing as the orange jumpsuit from the tv show Oz business suit to have a cup of coffee as I reveled in the latest news and opinions.



What happened to my joy of magazines?  Take a wild fucking guess.  To paraphrase Professor Tammy---what do you think happens when you spend over $100K, have no income for 3 years as you can't be a full time student and work more than 20 hours a week...even if you wanted to...according to ABA regulations, and you have worse job prospects than you did before (as well as the inability to shift into anything other than the "law" because no one would touch you...probably for good reasons on their part).

In short, Life and the Law Scam happened.  I'm not about to write a Woe Is Me story, because 1) it's too fucking easy 2) it bears no relevance to the substance of my arguments 3) if for no other reason, my particulars would make me readily and easily identifiable.

SO...what does this have to do with Higher Ed and Professor Brian T's bullshit post?

My learned colleague, and I'll call him a "colleague" unless of course he let his bar license(s) lapse because he said to himself "Well now I've got this steady revenue stream w/out ANY LIABILITY so I guess I won't need these anymore because there's no way I'll get booted out of this fucking racket and have to actually earn a living!", Professor Brian Tamanaha's blog has been picked up by several "mainstream" outlets.  One of my many criticisms about the post, that some of my fellow scambloggers who have never worked in academia may not understand, is that Professor Brian T benefited from it---not exposed himself by writing about it.  He's helping himself the way professors in Higher Ed are forced to by the system they're a complicit part of to put food on the table (as well as "research & write" if that's what you call what he does, jet set to conferences and the other job perks on the backs of students' futures).  There's a reason why I have previously compared law school to slavery, and I'm not the first or only one to do so.

You think that Brian exposed himself or risked anything by that carefully worded statement?  Absolutely not, in fact it was wildly clever of him.  Here's why---

In the Higher Ed Scam Industry, one of the many elements of the rubric used by the Admin-Professors for determining your "value" and "tenure position" at the institution is what's collectively known as "professional development."  Professional development means exactly what it sounds like---your development/evolution/notoriety as an "intellectual" within "serious" fields of study (law schools differ slightly but not by much).  If you notice the resumes & credentials of any Higher Ed professor, the vast majority, including those in law, aren't exactly overflowing with what real world practitioners would consider "experience."  They may have some sure, but not the kind that makes you say "Oh Wow" at most you'll get an "Oh--ok so he/she did that...private aviation law...exciting..."


Wait a second...why steal it when we can get the idiots to GIVE IT TO US...I know let's con them with "education"!!!!

You see one of the maxims in Higher Ed is "publish or die!"  By publish---I mean shit like writing a book entitled Understanding Law in Micronesia: An Interpretive Approach to Transplanted Law (Brill 1993).  How many people do you think read that?  Even if you include everyone who is in Micronesia maybe a total of seven.  How much do you think changed for the better because of his interpretive approach?




Publishing in academia is like shitty bands for indie hipsters---the more obscure or weird sounding name the band has, the more desirable "street cred" it gets amongst your peer group.  It's spun as being "scholarly" or "academic" about some fucking issue that fucking matters.  This may be true to some extent for things like oh I don't know...curing AIDS.  But for the rest of the disciplines...no one gives a shit otherwise you would see people enrolling in "political science" able to open up on the corner "Ye Olde Shoppe of Political Science, Established 2010."  Academia is a giant echo chamber, a cult devoid and removed from reality...that's where the whole Ivory Tower metaphor comes from...you know a lofty place full of bullshit (ironically there's actually a building at GWU--top tier law school, literally named the Ivory Tower, but then again you want to talk prestige whore go have a convo with your average T1 Law Student).

There's a sliding value scale depending on Institutional Culture/Ranking but usually always includes the following:

1) Trade or discipline specific journals [take a look at this ridiculous list from the Washington University in St. Louis, Anthropoetics: The Electronic Journal of Generative Anthropology...really?]

2) Conferences & reports/studies

3) Books

4) Increasingly, appearing on television news programs or getting things "published" in popular magazines or journals...or having your story picked up & carried on the internet (some of my former teacher friends now rely on this exclusively as they can't break into the door of the "written" published world).

In the "hard" sciences, you may have seen it depicted in television and movies that you get a lot of "props" from the University powers that be for private or public grants/corporate or government partnerships.  This is absolutely true.  In fact when I worked in Higher Ed, the less a professor actually taught in the classroom with students the more valued they were by the institution.

The reasons for this are:
 
1) Prestige/name recognition brought to the university brand  
2) Amount of money that researcher/academic brings into the institute through their work  
3) Cat fights that invariably ensue amongst professors over workloads in terms of classes with the newest and most inexperienced getting all of the required classes because they're the largest thus have the most students thus the most grading and actual work involved.


Oh look at that! A real teacher! Making a real impact! I bet she gets paid shit tons of money!...what? It's Haiti...nevermind.

Higher Education as it has come to exist in America---is not education.  It's a fucking for-profit business conducted by people with a non-profit status (although that depends on the school because some are just blatantly for profit...see Locke's blog on U of Phoenix like schools). 

It's always been a business to some extent, but Harvard is starting their own fucking fashion line for Christ's sake.  They already have an obscene endowment.  Just go wikipedia university endowments to see what I mean if you don't believe the influence of money on the "learning" that goes on.

But let's face it.  There are a lot of fucking schools in the world now with a lot of fucking professors.  It's not that fucking easy to get published anymore even with the number of "important scholarly outlets" in the world (huh...what does that kind of market saturation sound like...oh I fucking know LAW SCHOOLS!!!)



So in conclusion, and done rambling, How did Professor T benefit from all of this given what I've said?

Professor Tammy is now ahead of the curve of his peers at the esteemed Tier 1/2/3/4/5 Law Schools.  

1)  He got his name out there in a way that his Micronesia study would never have done.

2) He's found a "niche" that allows him to continue commenting or even get acclamation for putting on a caring face about the plight of students (I predict a much longer "study" or "journal article" from him on the subject that has fucking nothing to do with changing the situation just like the rest of his scholarly work).

3)  As the 1st "Real Professor" to talk about it, media sources will revert to him for comment or reference him if anyone else in the "mainstream" happens to write about it.

He doesn't give a flying fuck.  Even though I think 99% of what he does is absolute horse shit, he's not that fucking stupid.  It didn't take blogs like the ones he mentioned on my sidebar to know what was going on.  If Forrest Gump was a fucking law professor and had access to the same information as Professor Tammy, he would have seen the writing on the wall too. Lieutenant Dan! She tasted like cigarettes! No shit sherlock.

Someone who cares would have done something by now.  We would have already heard about it by now.  It's not a fucking accident or conspiracy---it's an opportunist seizing on a moment.

Until students stop enrolling in higher ed programs of all stripes that lead ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE or the market self-corrects, nothing will change at all (I'd include education reform but let's get real that ain't fucking happening...unless your overseas...they actually do job specific stuff there).



Till Next Time! I'm dreaming of crisp magazine stacks and some real fucking change! Oh and Professor Tammy can go suck on a bag of dicks!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clarification About Professor Tammy's Article!

"Society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases." ~ John Adams


"Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us?"  ~ Justice William O. Douglas


Since I first posted my take on Professor Brian Tamanahara's blog article about the scamblogging movement, there have been some, see comments, who feel/think I went too far in criticizing the learned scholar who paid lip service to the arguments advanced by scambloggers while actually making a don't kill the goose that laid the golden egg to his fellow academics dipped his toe in the waters of legal education reform.

Here's the main reason why Professor T should be embraced with open arms:

Tactically, his post is symbolic of the scambloggers gaining traction/being noticed by the very group that was responsible for the current paradigm, benefited from it, and will continue to benefit from it.  We should therefore embrace Professor T and others like him who will post other things on the internet because somehow it will create more press or lead to corresponding action from within towards change.

Really?  You think that the professors and administrative professors at these schools, who are teaching because they couldn't make it in private practice, burned out of private practice, got sick of it, wanted to play teacher, or just found a sweet retirement gig are going to be the agents of change?  That's how these kinds of things work?  You think they are going to voluntarily elect to take pay cuts, cut positions, or close schools?  In the words of Ricky Gervais, are you mental?  *See every social justice movement to see how well that works.

Currently I find myself as a blogger on one side of an adversarial zero-sum game, that can be framed in a number of different ways (but here are 2 for argument's sake):


Legally

Plaintiffs = 0L-3L's & Young Attorneys

Defendants = Law professors & their respective schools / State bars & ABA


Really

Victim =   0L-3L's & Young Attorneys

Offender = Law professors & their respective schools / State bars & ABA


Let's be clear, the Defendant-Offenders didn't break a single written law---whether it's the payment/debt structure created, the divorce between education & practice, the privatizing/massive subsidy of bar exam review, the multi-year procedural hurdles involved in becoming a licensed lawyer, the outsourcing of jobs overseas, etc.  All of the things that I rant and rave about are a-ok according to positive law.


In fact, the Defendant-Offenders wholeheartedly embrace the above mentioned items.  They even make regular claims about the amazing good they provide to the society at large along with the great calling that is the law.  What I'm talking about is justice--that nefarious and hard to define concept of natural law, the underlying current of imagination and a sense of what should be running through all hard legal doctrines.

Would I like this whole debate to be a cooperative, open minded, win-win process that leads to rational reform?  Of fucking course.

However, the founding nature of the law is that it is an adversarial win-lose dispute resolution system (literally replacing intra-societal combat).  It permeates the education and practice (understandably).  So it would be ridiculous to start thinking that my blogging is anything but adversarial/contentious/offensive in nature.  There's a reason this is all done anonymously.  You think if I made these same arguments, regardless of offense or vulgarities, that I wouldn't be the target of utter destruction by the powers that be?


The judge then threw Spencer Tracy in jail.


I'm sure Professor T is a great guy in his personal life, in fact I'd be more than willing to share a Dos Equis with him, but he cannot absolve himself of his role in all of this.  I utterly refuse to accept that.  The fact that he wrote about it and it's a sign of "buy-in" makes no difference to me.

I don't care what the legal industry or its members have to say about this.  My focus is not on them.  My focus is on the Zero Lemming out there considering life/career/financial/happiness suicide going to law school.


What follows is the original blog post with revisions for clarification's sake.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fordham Law Update: Oh! Look Who's Fucked Now!

So, a few posts ago, I deconstructed a promo video put out by Fordham Law School about the bright, shining future of their graduates.  Supposedly, this is the major difference between the ranking Tiers.  Sure, someone at a T3 or T4 might pay the same amount as a T1, well over $100K in non-dischargeable, overinflated mind shackles debt,  but as the Fordham video pointed out, all you need is one of their degrees and a pulse to guarantee your pick of the litter for careers!....NOT!!!!!



Here's the link to the full article:
Fordham 2L's talk about struggle for summer jobs

One of my favorite aspects of this piece is the fact that it takes place in a bar, also known as the lawyer's den.  Although some of my readers informed me that Fordham is apparently in NYC so I wonder how these students are managing to afford living in that hell hole...

"It's really weird, but no one talks about jobs," says one student. Another takes a sip of his questionable concoction of bourbon and iced tea, and adds: "When you're stressing for months, searching for something that probably won't even pay, you feel pathetic. I don't want to know if the guy next to me has a job."

Well, I hate to be harsh upon my higher ranked compatriot but I have some not surprising news to the vast majority of us with skin in the game (*see below)



The old rules of the game no longer apply.  And let's not kid ourselves you fucking first tier Fordham Reh-Tards (pronounced as they would in The Hangover).  You are playing one of the most costly games you possibly could have voluntarily joined.  Oh Fordham Lemming, you've been lied to your whole life and now that the rug has been pulled out from under you it's as if a mole has seen the sun for the first time.

These three students -- two men and a woman, all in their twenties -- say they kept up their end of the bargain: They put in the hours and earned the high grades. "You're like, okay, I've got those grades, I've got a good shot," says Nick. (A pseudonym -- the students asked not to be identified, fearing the effect their quotes might have on future employment.)



Last fall, in the weeks leading up to the interviews, the students say, they began to get a "sense of impending doom," as Brian puts it. Every day, it seemed, they got e-mails from Fordham saying this firm wasn't coming or that firm would be hiring only a handful of students. An atmosphere of desperation developed. "It's like, 'I'll babysit your kids, I'll pick up your laundry, whatever it takes, just give me a job,' " says Brian.

Huh...that's odd Brian.  You know I'd think I'd be pretty safe to say that's how your peers at all of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tiers have felt for a long long time.  You or your classmates may even have met them and listened they expressed a similar sentiment.  But like a French nobleman passing a pauper on the street in the 1600s, you probably could barely mask your disdain...your disgust.  There were a multitude of reasons for their failure compared to your well earned success.  They should have worked harder on the LSAT, they should have studied harder in school, they should have gotten internships, they should have "Networked" (*See Fundamental Attribution Error). 

I wonder what that panic you're feeling would look like...



Karen and her two friends all landed some interviews with top firms during OCI -- and even a few callbacks -- but no one was offered a job. Karen managed to get a summer position with a small firm in New York during a later interview process. Nick will be taking a $9-an-hour research position, and Brian is taking an unpaid internship with a California public defender's office. 

Guess what kids?  I graduated well over a year ago and I still have a lot of unemployed classmates who would kill for even one of those unpaid internship spots.


At the end of the day I can't really blame or cast too many aspersions on these poor Fordham Lemmings.  They're just victims of the scam like the rest of us now...but you know I'm sure given the current economy Fordham and the other T1 schools will make sure to change their ways.  I'm sure they'll do everything they can to help ensure their graduates will get through this....

Until then...





Some of you may have noticed the increasing gaps between posts, well I've been going through a lot lately and I may be on my way out of this in more ways than one.



Till Next Time, know that we are young, And I know that you may love me, But I just can't be with you like this anymore, Alejandro!