LSAT

Hot on the heels of the news that administrations of the LSAT are down 16% from last year, we now know that the number of students applying to law school has also declined. But just how bad are the numbers? Let’s just say that applicants and applications for this cycle have “dropped precipitously.”

It would seem that people have finally gotten the message that going to law school won’t necessarily guarantee financial success, much less a job as a lawyer. These days, prospective law students are more in tune with reality, and they obviously don’t like the pictures of law school doom and gloom that have been displayed prominently in the mainstream media.

But that doesn’t mean that people are going to stop applying to law school, or even that they should. So, for these prospective law students, does news of fewer applicants mean that tuition prices will drop, too?

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On Wednesday, we reported on Baylor Law School accidentally releasing personal academic information for its entire admitted class. It was a massive screw-up, and on Wednesday, we showed you the GPA and LSAT scores for Baylor’s admitted students (with the students’ names redacted, of course).

But there were other fields available in the accidentally released spreadsheet, including racial categorizations for each student and scholarship information. I didn’t include the race field earlier this week because, frankly, I didn’t want the entire news story (of the screw-up) to be overrun by a discussion about race and affirmative action.

But, look, I ain’t afraid of you people. Getting a complete racial breakdown of the class to go along with their grades and LSAT scores is a look inside the law school admissions process that we don’t often get to see.

So, let’s play our game. Looking at the Baylor numbers, you can see the affirmative action “bump” in LSAT scores, and to my eyes, it really shows how foolish the opponents of affirmative action really are….

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There are data breaches, and then there are data dummies. The people at Baylor Law seem to be in the latter category.

Nobody was trying to steal the personal information of the admitted students at Baylor Law. But a screw-up by someone at the school resulted in all of the personal information of the admitted class getting transmitted to everybody else in the admitted class.

All of it. Names, addresses, grades, and LSAT scores. Pretty much everything besides social security numbers.

And, we have it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Baylor Law Screw-Up Reveals Personal Data of Entire Admitted Class: Data That We’ve Got”

Yesterday, news came out that the number of people taking the LSAT declined for the second year in a row. Sharply declined.

The LSAT Blog reports that administrations of the test are down 16% from last year. That’s the largest decrease ever. Moreover, in absolute numbers, administrations of the test are at their lowest numbers in a decade.

It took four years, but perhaps prospective law students are starting to get the message the law school is not a guarantee for a good job or financial security.

So what’s going to happen to the law schools that exist by the grace of the stupidity of prospective law students? Well, the New York Times is eager to start throwing dirt on the graves of the law schools at the bottom….

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* The definitive post on why we cannot sue Rush Limbaugh for exercising his right to have enough rope to hang himself with. [The Legal Satyricon]

* Bill Maher is also defending Limbaugh. Why can’t people understand that most acts of speech aren’t punishable offenses, even if that speech is very stupid. [Entertainment Weekly]

* Go to page three of this article. You’ll find a woman who did horribly on the LSAT, twice, and instead of going to some God-forsaken piece of crap law school, she found something else to do with her talents. And now she’s rich. Because processing new information about your own skills and limitations is what successful people do. [Forbes]

* Footballer blames Baptist Church for ruining his professional career. Similarly, I blame the Catholic Church for that one girl who nearly ruined me one night in college. [Lowering the Bar]

* Do black kids face harsher discipline in law school too? I don’t know, but I know in Soviet Russia, the blacks discipline you. [New York Times]

* The three basics of trial advocacy. Or six. Lawyers aren’t great with math. [Underdog]

* I’ve got twenty bucks for the next employed law school graduate who gets this kind of bitchy paragraph into their alumni newsletter. [Gawker]

* Holy s**t. A few hours ago, several people were wounded after being shot in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse in Oklahoma. We have video from the scene after the jump…

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Last week, we asked our readers to submit possible captions for this photo:

Over the weekend, you voted on the finalists, and now it’s time to announce the winner of our most recent caption contest….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Winner: You Have to Sing for Your Supper”

Earlier this week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this photo:

Let’s have a look at what our readers came up with, and then vote on the finalists….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Finalists: You Have To Sing for Your Supper”

We admit it. We have a certain fondness for poking fun at organizations like the Law School Admission Council, the folks who help run the law school show. Because, as you all know, it has been getting harder and harder to make a successful living with a law degree. That’s why we are excited, courtesy of a Chicago tipster, to have visual evidence of a new and innovative money-making use for the Law School Admission Council, or at least some of the organization’s giveaway swag.

The subject of this photo is not necessarily a lawyer, but let’s just say he is music to our ears.

Here’s the photo for our latest caption contest….

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As I mentioned Friday, the National Jurist (subscription) came out with a very interesting ranking of law schools. As Tax Prof Blog explains, the publication looked at schools that helped people pass the bar despite their low LSAT scores.

It’s an interesting methodology: the Jurist predicted a bar passage rate for people, state-by-state, based on their LSAT scores, then looked at the 25th percentile LSAT scores at each school, and figured out which schools had the largest deviation from the predictions. High-ranking law schools were the ones that significantly outperformed the bar passage rate expected from their low-scoring students.

These could be significant findings: while poor performance on the LSAT doesn’t necessarily mean the student is dumb, it almost certainly means the students is bad at taking standardized tests. If schools have students who go from being bad at taking a relatively easy standardized test (the LSAT) to passing one of the hardest and most stressful standardized tests out there (the bar exam), it sounds a lot like they are educating people, instead of simply benefiting from the achievements of motivated admitted students.

But, should the law school get the credit for the success? Or are there some test prep companies that should take a bow?

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Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.” In contrast, Thomas Jefferson School of Law does not tremble before the toothless authority of the ABA. In fact, the school feels free to respond to utter institutional FAIL with peevish blame-shifting. Either TJSL has a serious problem with its admissions standards or it fails students once they arrive. Or some combo platter thereof. Does it matter? Let’s all stipulate that this is a “bad thing.” But what, if anything, should be done?

There are obviously a range of legal/societal stances toward the treatment of “bad things.” Bad things like cigarettes are legal but have mandatory warning labels. Bad things like the New York Lottery are just a Darwinian tax on the ignorant. Predatory subprime mortgage lenders are subject to a patchwork of federal and state laws. Ponzi schemers face criminal fraud charges. Where a law school charging $120,000 for a dubious product fits into the scheme of bad things is open to debate. So we reader-sourced the question. Last week, we conducted a research poll asking:

• Should the ABA impose national minimum LSAT and/or GPA standards for entry into accredited law schools?
• In what range should the LSAT & GPA cutoffs be?
• Should law schools lose their accreditation if their graduates’ bar passage rates fall below a certain threshold?
• Below what level should a school’s accreditation be in jeopardy?

After the jump, you tell us whether and where the lines should be drawn….

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