Law Schools, Student Loans

You Should Have Known Better Than to Go to Law School

Looking back on this week’s legal developments, it seems like the world at large has finally gotten a clue about the realities of going to law school in a post-recession world.

Sure, you could read the New York Times to find out that LSAT administrations are in a steep decline. But why go such a hoity-toity route when the same information is now available on gossip blogs like Gawker, with headlines like, “It Is Now Completely Clear to Everyone That Law School Is for Suckers.”

These days, law school is a sucker’s bet, and it’s even clear to judges. Just look at what happened with the class action lawsuit that was filed against New York Law School. That thing got dismissed faster than a recent law school graduate turned barista can ask how you’d like your coffee.

Indeed, it’s clear to everyone except prospective and current law students that law school is for suckers….

So why isn’t this clear to the people who are supposed to be “sophisticated consumers”? Here’s what Judge Melvin Schweitzer said when he laid down the law in his decision to dismiss the NYLS case:

Having a wealth of information at your disposal is certainly wonderful, and Schweitzer’s theory would work if not for the fact the only thing that these prospective law students are consuming in a sophisticated manner is bullsh*t. Because when it comes to information about law schools, bullsh*t abounds.

Employment statistics? Gleaming! Almost everyone is employed! Loan debt? Pffft, it’s not that bad! Salaries? Come on, you’re going to be a lawyer — you’ll be making bank!

But we’re told that these prospective law students, as “sophisticated” as they are, should have known better than to believe their law schools — or hell, they should’ve known better than to apply to law school in the first place. Apparently these “sophisticated consumers,” the same ones who don’t know what the hell they signed when they accepted the terms of their loan agreements, should have seen it coming.

But in truth, these prospective law students aren’t “sophisticated” in any way, shape, or form, and their utter lack of sophistication is only exacerbated when law schools lie to their faces. Even if some model citizen had done all of the research imaginable before deciding to go to law school, it’s still highly likely that he wouldn’t know which end was up in terms of the “factual” bullsh*t being spewed in his face.

And in the case of the NYLS plaintiffs, Schweitzer’s decision tells us in no uncertain terms they should’ve known that they would someday be able to wipe their asses with their law degrees simply based on the school’s mediocre U.S. News ranking. When Schweitzer more or less tells us that “only idiots trust law schools,” that doesn’t offer any assistance to the idiot who did trust his law school.

So what’s a once bright-eyed and bushy-tailed law student to do? What recourse do these now unemployed or underemployed law school graduates have? Are they supposed to calmly accept the fact that they’ll be slinging french fries or reviewing documents until the cows come home? Puh-lease.

The world isn’t going to magically change for these people, but maybe some kind of change can be had for the future generation of “sophisticated consumers.” Maybe the law school industry will stop feeding prospective law students the bullsh*t they’ve been swallowing for years. Maybe someone, somewhere — be it a law school administrator or an ABA decision maker — will decide that this madness has got to end.

And maybe, just maybe, these so-called “disgruntled” law school graduates will see some justice — not in the form of a check, but in the satisfaction that this situation won’t happen again.

Survey shows most college and grad students don’t understand the terms of their educational loan agreements [Legal Skills Prof Blog]

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