Phillip J. Closius

Another law dean blows the whistle.

Law School Deans, rise.

At some point, the deans of law schools will have to stand up and stand against the way universities use law schools as cash cows. At some point, law deans are going to have to tell their bosses that university programs cannot be funded on the backs of law students who are already paying too much for tuition in a still terrible job market.

And you know what? Standing up for what’s right, and standing up against the blatant price gouging happening at so many law schools, will cost some people their jobs.

Law students who read this resignation letter should ask themselves if their law deans are going to the mattresses for them every day, or if the deans are just rolling over and submitting to university pressures while trying to hang onto their jobs….

UPDATE (7:15 PM): We’ve added a response from the president of the university in question after the jump.

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* The Ninth Circuit denies en banc rehearing in the Prop 8 case. Can we please hurry up and get this thing in front of the Supreme Court already? [Ninth Circuit via Metro Weekly]

* Even more law schools are shrinking their class sizes. Do we have a trend on our hands yet? [Crain's Cleveland Business]

* AOL’s attorneys at DLA Piper sent a nastygram to a Maryland blogger, alleging intellectual property infringement, based on the blog’s aggregation. Because you know, AOL/the Huffington Post has never aggregated anything. [Maryland Juice]

Laura Flippin

* Speaking of DLA Piper lawyers, just before she was found guilty of public intoxication, partner Laura Flippin was also accused of lying under oath by the judge in the case. In short, things did not go as well they could have. [The Flat Hat]

* Remember the law school martyr Phillip J. Closius? He may no longer be Dean of University of Baltimore Law, but he has not finished his crusade to improve the financial security of students. Keep fightin’ the good fight, Phil. [Baltimore Sun]

* Congratulations to the 15 firms that made the NLJ’s 2012 Appellate Hot List. Most are Biglaw shops, but three elite boutiques made the cut: Bancroft, Horvitz & Levy, and Kellogg Huber. [National Law Journal]

* Ever wondered what life in prison is like? Check out this podcast, in which Jeffrey Deskovic, who served 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit, is interviewed by Professor Zachary Shemtob (disclosure: Shemtob is Lat’s co-author and special friend). [Cruel and Unusual: A Podcast on Punishment]

Perhaps there is an everlasting reward for those who won't wantonly take advantage of law students?

You might remember the story of brave Philip Closius. He is the former dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law. He gets to be called “brave” because he went down fighting for the financial security of his students and future UB Law students in the face of another university president who treated the law school like a cash cow.

Dean Closius might have lost his individual battle with University of Baltimore President Robert L. Bogomolny, but he may have won the war.

Today, Baltimore announced a plan to give its law school an extra $5,000,000 to play with….

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HBO should make a show about law school. It should be called "The Faculty," and in the final season the law school should get sued.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to be playing Tommy Carcetti of The Wire. University of Baltimore President Robert L. Bogomolny has to be Clarence Royce. Outgoing U. Baltimore Law dean Philip Closius gets to be a disgruntled Cedric Daniels. All the UB Law students are the hoppers in Hamsterdam.

On Friday, Dean Closius blew the lid off the way the University of Baltimore has been making money off the backs of the UB Law School, despite the down legal economy. Evidently, the UB administration took the weekend to examine its motives. Then, on Monday, UB President Bogomolny struck back hard. He sent an open letter to the U. Baltimore community (and the media), disputing Closius’s claims.

Oh, the University still takes money from the law school. A lot of it. President Bogomolny just claims that the University retains less than Closius says it does.

Yes, these kinds of “juking the stats” discussions are usually handled behind closed doors, but now we all get to see it…

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* I’m flying this weekend for the first time in over a year (it couldn’t be avoided). I’ll need to brush up on what rights I still retain during air travel. As long as I acknowledge TSA’s droit du seigneur to my wife, I’m allowed to carry an unopened water bottle on board, right? [Legal Blog Watch]

* There’s a statement from the University of Baltimore on the Phillip Closius situation. They say their “forward momentum” will continue. Does that mean they expect future Baltimore Law students to be unable to run a Google search? [WSJ Law Blog]

* Lat imagined a future legal career for Casey Anthony that starts with a Anthony getting a GED (before clerking on the Supreme Court and becoming a law partner of Jose Baez). But doesn’t Hustler seem like something more in her wheelhouse? [Gawker]

* Have we done irreparable damage to our credit rating, unless we can prove we have a legal “fail-safe” in case a vocal Tea Party minority hijacks the entire freaking nation again? [Blackbook Legal]

* Taco Bell employee fired for refusing to get his hair cut. I guess they were worried about 100% real hair mixing with their isolated oat product — er, seasoned beef. [Associated Press]

* Howrey going to massively reduce our assets for bankruptcy reporting purposes? [Chapter11Cases]

Are law students being financially victimized by their universities?

It’s the not-so-veiled secret of the law school tuition game: law schools are the cash cows of the university system. University presidents, often feeling a budget crunch from a decrease in state educational funding or weak, recession-era fundraising initiatives, know they can get cash out of law schools. For some reason, law students always seem willing to pay more for the same education.

When the New York Times wrote its big exposé on law school funding, I highlighted this exact issue. The most interesting part of that Times article was the research David Segal did into how much money universities take from law school coffers. After the article went up, I wrote: “[N]obody in their right mind would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get additional education in some of this crap, because they know they’ll never make enough to justify the cost. The university needs to subsidize that education in some way — and so they turn to law schools.”

Apparently, we didn’t know the half of it. One brave law school dean has been asked to tender his resignation by his university president. On his way out of the door, the dean decided to shine a light on the whole ugly mess of law school economics…

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