From the files of “things that will never freaking happen,” the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) is telling law schools to discontinue divulging LSAT scores to U.S. News for the publication’s annual rankings. SALT should duck before that flying pig smacks it upside its head. The National Law Journal reports:
[SALT] has urged law schools to stop providing U.S. News with their incoming students’ LSAT scores on the theory that the immense pressure to snag incoming students with high scores is making it harder to admit diverse classes. The median LSAT scores of the entering class accounts for 12.5% of each law school’s U.S. News score — a greater weight than the magazine gives to average grade point average or acceptance rate.
Not only is this something that will never happen, it’s also an idea that is beyond dumb. Quite an exacta there from the law teachers…
In our little world, the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is a career-defining moment. A few points on the test can mean the difference between going to a law school that can get you a job, or going to a law school where you’ll be locked in gladiatorial combat with every other student in order to finish in the top 10%.
But does this test really tell us anything about a person’s logical reasoning ability? Does it tell us anything about one’s ability to be a lawyer? It’s been well-documented that the LSAT is a great indication of past performance, a solid indicator of law school performance, and a very poor judge of future legal success.
So what is the LSAT really testing anyway? We all know really smart people who didn’t do too well on the LSAT, and we all know incredibly dumb people who got a high score.
On the Huffington Post, Noah Baron argues that the LSAT is really testing one thing: whether or not you are wealthy enough to spend the time it takes to prepare for the exam…
We were beset by technical difficulties here at ATL yesterday (as we explained in our Twitter feed). We apologize for the site outages; hopefully the situation will be better next week.
At least we didn’t have to go out in the snow. Our brethren in D.C. were not as fortunate. The Washington Post reports:
The full weight of winter brought life in much of the Washington region to a standstill Saturday as a storm predicted to be one of the most powerful on record dumped 12 to 21 inches of snow overnight. …
[O]fficials pleaded with people to stay off the roads until conditions improve. People were confined to their homes by the mountains of snow, many in the dark as trees brought down power lines.
Stay off the roads? But we’ve got an LSAT to take, damn it.
Internet message boards tend to be rough-and-tumble places. Enter at your own risk. (This includes Above the Law comments — if you don’t like them, don’t read them.)
There may be employment risks for posters at Top Law Schools (“TLS”), a message board for gunners planning to apply to law school. This is one of those places online where people talk about what to bring to the LSAT and trumpet their acceptances by various law schools. In other words, it’s the place where future law school list-serv psychos cut their teeth.
Yesterday, Top Law Schools claimed that test prep company TestMasters is discriminating against its readers. A TLS moderator wrote a post alleging that a reader’s application to work as an LSAT instructor for TestMasters was rejected based on his being a frequent TLS poster. The moderator posted the rejection email the reader received (we’ve replaced the name of the TestMasters director with a pseudonym):
We have decided to cancel your interview and reject your application to work for us as an LSAT instructor. Applications are currently at an all-time high, and we do not have the time or resources to interview TTT candidates whose social lives consist of making thousands of posts on internet discussion boards. TestMasters only hires people who are cool, and unfortunately you do not meet that requirement.
When we got the first of many emails about this, we thought, “A programs director who actually uses the term ‘TTT’? ‘People who are cool’? C’mon. This is fake.”
But TestMasters is not disowning the email, and it appears that “I-Wish-I-Worked-For-Kaplan” actually waded into the cesspool to defend herself.
We’ve had a lot of evidence that prospective law students have hatched a diabolical plan to flood the legal market with fresh talent. But this graph from Most Strongly Supported tells it all:
Right now, I’m like Oliver Platt at the end of 2012. Shut the damn door or we’re all gonna die.
Some other observations after the jump.
In an interview with C-SPAN, Justice Antonin Scalia once again graced us with his worldview. As usual, it is as beautiful and terrible as the dawn.
The WSJ Law Blog sloughed through the interview transcripts and pulled out this gleaming diamond of truth:
I mean there’d be a, you know, a defense or public defender from Podunk, you know, and this woman is really brilliant, you know. Why isn’t she out inventing the automobile or, you know, doing something productive for this society?
I mean lawyers, after all, don’t produce anything. They enable other people to produce and to go on with their lives efficiently and in an atmosphere of freedom. That’s important, but it doesn’t put food on the table and there have to be other people who are doing that. And I worry that we are devoting too many of our very best minds to this enterprise.
We have some interesting statistics that suggest legal sounding majors — like Prelaw or Criminal Justice — have a negative relationship with LSAT performance.
Courtesy of Tax Prof Blog, Professor Michael Nieswiadomy of North Texas, has given us average LSAT scores broken down by 29 differed undergraduate majors.
The bottom of the list is very interesting:
A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. But is there something going on in criminal justice classes that makes people unable to complete a logic game?
After the jump, let’s look at what you should major in if you want to do well on the LSAT.
We all know gunners who spit hot fire at professors. But we rarely see gunners who spit at the police. According to the Charlottesville police, one UVA law student can roll both ways.
A Charlottesville woman is facing felony assault charges after an altercation with a police officer on Thursday.
Elisabeth Epps, 29, is accused of spitting on a police officer early Thursday morning in the Market Street parking garage.
It appears that initially she was trying to keep her saliva safe within the confines of her car, but the police were having none of it:
Charlottesville Police say friends of Epps were trying to get her out of a locked, parked car after a night of drinking. When Epps would not respond to continued police instructions, officers broke the back window to get her.
After police removed Epps from the car, she continued kicking and screaming and then spit in an officer’s face.
Epps is actually a little bit famous in UVA circles. More details after the jump.
We don’t have a lot to say about the MPRE, but maybe you do. Per the requests of a few Above The Law readers, here is an open thread for rejoicing, frustration, and general comment.
So that this post is not completely devoid of news value, we shall include a little meditation on test preparation materials for standardized tests.
Once the tests that lead to law school admission and esquire-dom are done with, many people celebrate by sending their test prep materials to Craigslist heaven. But those with TestMasters LSAT prep books should exercise caution before doing this. One ATL reader writes:
My friend (who decided not to take the LSAT) posted an online ad on Craigslist to give away her TestMasters books. Below is the email she got in response. DMCA? Copyright infringement for giving away a book? How do you “violate the LSAC”?
I get the idea of protecting their trade secrets and breach of the enrollment agreement but can there be any merit to some of these other allegations? Also, does she really have to return the books? The shipping on these textbooks is substantial and these are still her books for which she paid.
Obviously, it’s not worth the hassle to contest this, but there’s no way TestMasters can get away with these claims. Seems like the LSAC would want to know that TestMasters intimidates their clients with trumped up criminal charges.
Check out the threat-laced e-mail from TestMasters, after the jump.
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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