Law Schools

Google's new privacy policy is not this sexy.

* Remember Phillip Closius, the former dean of University of Baltimore Law, who said the university was raiding the law school’s funds? Yeah, he was totally right. Just guess what percent of the law school budget was going to the rest of the university. Starts with “A” and rhymes with “dot.” [National Law Journal]

* The humanity! Oklahoma’s worst fears have come true; American judges are enforcing Sharia Law! Whatever are we going to do? There is no solution in sight — except to maybe stop overreacting… [CNN]

* Mitt Bot won in both Arizona and Michigan last night. Can we send Santorum back to the 16th century yet? [Washington Post]

* Twenty-five suspected members of Anonymous were arrested across Europe and South America. They ain’t anonymous anymore. [New York Times]

* In other cyberlaw news, Google’s new privacy policy not only stinks, it probably violates European Union law. Hey Google, don’t be evil! [New York Times]

Professor William Birdthistle

Welcome to the latest installment of Lawyers & Economics, our occasional video series on financial topics by Professor William Birdthistle of Chicago-Kent College of Law. He’s joined in some of these videos by an acting professional: Johnny Kastl, television actor turned 2L at Iowa Law, better known to some of you as Dr. Doug Murphy of “Scrubs.”

In the last video, Birdthistle and Kastl tackled the Greek debt crisis. Sadly enough, that problem remains unsolved, to the detriment of the world’s financial markets.

Today’s topic isn’t going away anytime soon either. If you have — or are thinking of taking on — student loans, keep reading….

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* Huh. It turns out people have been criticizing law schools for the same reasons for more than 100 years. There is literally nothing new under the sun. [Inside The Law School Scam]

* This takes my disgust with airline cell phone rules to a whole new level. Congress needs to get on this, stat. [The Legal Satyricon]

* Two Emory law professors say law school deans might be guilty of “mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, racketeering, and making false statements” as part of the creation of the U.S. News rankings? Holy s**t. I don’t even know if Elie would go that far. [Social Science Research Network via Chronicle of Higher Education]

* If for some reason you are considering going to a correspondence law school in New York, you may want to reconsider. Especially if you want to sit for the bar exam. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* How many lawsuits would a Fighting Sioux file if a Fighting Sioux could file suit? A lot. [The Legal Blitz]

*A Georgetown law student had the gall to tell Congress that birth control is too expensive. This apparently makes her “sex-crazed” and incapable of “sacrificing temporary pleasure for the sake of long-term success.” [CNS News, Hot Air]

It has been a while since we covered the rash of law school lunch thievery that had been causing much suffering and afternoon hunger pangs for students across the country. But that doesn’t mean the cafeteria drama has been contained. Over the last month, we have continued receiving tips from law schools across the country about Hansen’s soda heartbreak and the adventures of a refrigerator warrior.

Today, we have a round-up of the most recent law school lunch wars, courtesy of UC Davis Law, Cornell Law School, Iowa Law, and the University of Cincinnati College of Law

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Which law school helped her land a fabulous Biglaw job?

The general economy started to turn around last year, but the legal job market remains sluggish. In 2011, many top law schools sent fewer graduates into first-year associate jobs at the nation’s largest 250 law firms than they did in 2010. That’s the bottom-line finding of the National Law Journal’s annual survey of which schools the NLJ 250 firms relied on most heavily when filling first-year associate classes.

The results of the survey should be interesting to current law students and law firm attorneys. And they’re of possible practical import to prospective law students who are now choosing between law schools (or deciding whether to go to law school at all, based on a cost-benefit analysis that pits tuition and student loans against post-graduate job prospects).

So let’s look at the top 10 law schools, ranked by the percentage of their 2011 juris doctor graduates who landed jobs at NLJ 250 firms (i.e., “Biglaw”)….

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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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People going to bottom-tier law schools ought to know that they won’t go like hot cakes on the job market. But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to exploit their vulnerability.

Mark Gergen, a law professor at Boalt Hall (UC Berkeley), commenting on the lawsuits filed against law schools over allegedly misleading employment data.

(That’s just one professor’s opinion. What do other experts think?)

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It reads like a true, Jerry Maguire-style “mission statement.”

Emory Law Professor Howard Abrams submitted an application to become the next Dean of Emory Law School, and boy did he call out the school and legal academia for the whole backwards process of choosing deans and running law schools. Emory Law has had a rocky relationship with its students over the past few years, and Professor Abrams wants it to stop. He wants Emory to get better. He wants law schools to get back to providing value to the students instead of just taking their money.

And, as a result, he probably has no chance of actually getting the deanship…

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Going to law school worked out great for this guy.

And now we come to the real reason I, and so many others, went to law school: I wanted to go into politics. Before I was married, before my father’s name recognition spiked, before I was in debt, before I realized I had no talent asking people for money, I thought elected office was in my future and a law degree was an important credential.

Don’t act like I’m the only one. For as long as anybody can remember, a training in law has been viewed as a good foundation for an eventual career in politics. Even if you never practice, it makes sense that a person who would make laws would have a fundamental understanding of how laws work. A law degree also suggests a certain respect for the rules, a useful quality for those who would be in charge of the rules. In the modern era, law has been the best “career” for would-be politicians to start out in, and historically only military service has been a more common way to elected office.

But maybe that’s all changing? Catherine Rampell of the New York Times has a great piece showing that while lawyers are still the dominant profession among our senators and congresspeople, there are fewer former lawyers running Washington than there have been for a generation.

So, you know, just add one more way in which law school isn’t as valuable as it used to be…

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Every year, heck, every semester, we have to run a story about professors being unforgivably late in performing one of their few job requirements: transmitting grades to students. I simply don’t understand why so many professors won’t perform this basic function. But it probably has something to do with the fact that law school administrators don’t make it clear that it’s important for professors to provide student services.

At most schools, exams were two months ago. The “grade deadline” at schools that have them has already passed. If you don’t have your grades by now, your law school should be offering you a refund for the outstanding classes.

Oh, I’m sorry, there goes me thinking that law schools are providing a competitive service in an open market. Actually, the 200 of them of have a monopoly on accredited legal education, and they seem to have collectively decided that they don’t give a crap about this issue.

Well, students might not be able to do anything about late grades, but they don’t have to be happy about it…

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