We don’t cover Touro Law School a lot on these pages because frankly it would just be mean. The school, located in New York, is ranked fourth tier by U.S. News, and that’s probably generous. The school charges $40,000 a year which is just… I mean… Well, “crime, boy I don’t know.”
Its reputation just isn’t the best. I had drinks with a St. John’s Law graduate once, and after calling me an “elitist prick” she said, without a hint of irony, “Great lawyers can come from anywhere, Elie. We’re not talking about Touro here, we’re talking about real, legitimate law schools that you overlook.”
Fair enough. But really, there’s no reason to look at Touro Law differently than any number of law schools the ABA allows to run around doing their thing. At least, there was no reason until today, when the New York Post unleashed a scathing report
which they probably stole from someone else without giving credit that detailed the shenanigans of the late Bernard Lander, the president of Touro College, who was apparently the best paid university president in the country.
While the allegations focus on the college and not the law school, the taint on Touro is terrible….
The report on salaries of university presidents from the Chronicle of Higher Education lists Lander at the very top:
Nearly four decades after Bernard Lander founded Touro College with a class of 35 students, the trustees decided that he had been underpaid during his tenure as president. To make up for the difference, they awarded him more than $4-million in deferred compensation in 2008.
Mr. Lander, who died in February at age 94, received a total compensation package of $4,786,830, making him the highest-earning private-college president, according to The Chronicle’s review of federal tax documents from the 2008-9 fiscal year. The review, which included 448 chief executives, found 30 private college leaders who received more than $1-million in total compensation. In the previous year’s report, 23 chief executives earned over $1-million.
Did Touro make all its money from tuition checks paid by the government? Well, some school officials were allegedly supplementing their incomes in innovative ways. From the New York Post:
Lander’s fat paycheck came in the same year some of his own administrators were accused of selling grades and diplomas.
Prosecutors said 10 school officials pocketed tens of thousands in bribes from students who wanted to change bad grades to A’s — or purchase fake degrees.
Even people who never attended the school would pay thousands of dollars for phony transcripts, officials said.
I wonder how much it would have allegedly cost to purchase a fake J.D.? Assuming the price of the fake degree was less than $120K, I’d say Touro Law students are getting price-gouged even more than they thought.
In all seriousness, in light of these allegations about the former president of the university, shouldn’t the American Bar Association at least consider reviewing the accreditation of Touro Law? Do we really think the law school is fine and dandy when these kinds of allegations are running around about the university? What’s the point of having accreditation oversight if not to stop a fourth-tier school which charges $40K a year while paying the university president more than the leaders of Harvard and Princeton and Yale?
Come on ABA, this is a softball.
Compensation of 30 Private-College Presidents Topped $1-Million in 2008 [Chronicle of Higher Education]
School for $candal [New York Post]