Friday, June 25, 2010

First Tier Toilet Apologists

The NYT mustered half an ounce of courage and published a letter with a sprinkling of law school criticism in it. This tepid letter to the editor is a smidgen more critical of the law school scam than the Times' own article.
Re “In Law Schools, Grades Go Up, Just Like That” (front page, June 22):

Raising the mandatory grading average is a disingenuous measure taken by law schools to appease students, many of whom are growing increasingly unhappy with the fact that they are graduating with crushing debt and meager job prospects.

Raising grades does no more than slapping a Band-Aid on the sliced jugular of the grim employment situation. Class rank relative to other students remains the same, and employers need only ask for a student’s class percentile to circumvent grade inflation.

Here's an admission that employment sucks, and schools are doing nothing about it. There's even a scamblog-worthy line about the "sliced jugular of the grim employment situation." Bravo, letter writer! Now that we've thrown that out there, it's time to hit them hard!

If schools are sincerely concerned about the well-being of their graduates, perhaps they should devote more of their resources to assisting students with finding clerkships and jobs, and even subsidizing them, as mine does.

At the very least, schools should address other factors within their control, like limiting the number of students enrolled so they can actually expect to find employment, or reining in skyrocketing law school tuition.

Nathan Rogers
Dallas, June 22, 2010

The writer attends SMU Dedman School of Law.

I had high hopes for this letter until we got to "schools should subsidize their students, like mine does." Would that I could sell my soul for a $3500 stipend, fend off unemployment for six months, and allow the school to count me as "employed." Other than that, the letter made some good points...apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Let's not encourage this kind of gamesmanship, Mr. Rogers! As long as there is support for half-baked schemes like SMU Dedman's "Test Drive" program, schools will continue to use such trickery to cook the books and deceive unwitting 0Ls.

SMU that supposed to refer to your employment prospects as a graduate? Dedman...Dead Man Walking? The test drive program is $3500, or thirty pieces of silver, that the school will throw its unemployed grads to keep them busy and out of the "unemployed" category. For a school that reports a whopping 97% of its class of 2009 as employed, they've got to keep those fake numbers up for the class of 2010. This program is not about helping students, it's about boosting SMU Dead-man's US News ranking and pulling a fast one on prospective students.

Despite what the dean claims, when the employment survey comes out, we can expect to see these "test driven" students listed as "employed." Really, it's a good deal for DeadMan...$3500 a head seems a small price to pay if you can put up good fake employment data because of it. For every student that they shell out 3500 bucks for now, they can be sure to get more suckers in the door come fall, paying a cool $38,406 a year in tuition alone.

Let's see where a "test drive" will land alums of this presTTTigious institution!

* 2:59 pm May 18, 2010
* Anonymous wrote:
I graduated from SMU in 2009 – they are disingenuous about their graduate employment statistics. I can name six peers that are employed outside the legal field and/or still looking for work. Another five are doing contract labor (i.e. document review). One of my friend’s was working at Toys-R-Us when these statistics were compiled. One was “employed” by the career services office. At least another five are working in the Barnett Shale doing door-to-door oil & gas leasing and/or title checks for Chesapeake Energy’s subcontractors (along-side college drop-outs). And one that became so frustrated with career prospects that he is studying to be a pharmacist.

Talk about a first-tier toilet! Mr. Rogers, don't tarnish an otherwise accurate letter to the editor about the perils of law school with a shill for the latest brand of law school scammery!

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