Rick Matasar

Outgoing NYLS Dean Rick Matasar

Even at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the criticism of the legal education business just flowed. Everybody, it seems, has an opinion on what is wrong with law schools these days.

While many of the law school deans and other administrators at the conference acknowledged problems with the system, most of the actual critiquing came from people with no power to change it. Media members (ahem) criticized law schools, judges criticized law schools, outgoing deans of law schools that shamelessly profiteered off of unwitting law students criticized — and the people who could actually change their systems dutifully listened.

But despite all of the critiques, there weren’t a lot of schools that seemed ready to institute sweeping change to the business of educating lawyers. And why should they? Change won’t come from above, and right now prospective law students are not demanding change from below…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Outsiders Criticize Law Schools, But Will Change Ever Come?”

Chris Christie

* Some bloggers stand up to dubious defamation lawsuits. [Techdirt]

* And some settle: St. Thomas Law (or its insurer) is paying $5,000 to Joseph Rakofsky. [Simple Justice]

* Another day, another lawyer accused of trying to kill someone — but not succeeding. (We might have more to say about this case next week; send us tips about Jason Smiekel.) [Chicago Tribune]

* My former boss, Governor Chris Christie, defends his appointment of Judge Sohail Mohammed, standing up to some of the Sharia-obsessed crazies on the right. Alas, some of these crazies could create problems for him in 2016. (Where are all the nice, moderate, socially liberal Republicans hiding? Establishment types, please take the GOP back from these icky populists.) [Arab American Institute]

* My co-author, Zach Shemtob, takes to the airwaves in defense of our New York Times op-ed, which has been controversial in some quarters. [AM 560 WIND]

Richard Matasar

* Dean Richard Matasar, outgoing dean of New York Law School, denies that law schools are all about the benjamins; rather, NYLS and other independent law schools “exist only for the benefit of their students.” [Bloomberg Law / YouTube]

* A woman is videotaped saying that she will claim sexual assault, when no such assault happened. (Staci’s take: “Pissed off women do strange things.”) [Houston Press]

* Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, accuses its competitors of being evil. [Corporate Counsel]

* Being a tenured professor can be a pretty sweet gig. Being an adjunct prof? Not so much. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* If you’re looking for something to do on Monday night in New York, check out this fundraising event, sponsored by Weil Pays It Forward (and featuring Survivor hottie and former Weil lawyer Charlie Herschel). [Celebration of Survival]

It’s time to announce the winner of our most recent caption contest, involving a photograph taken at New York Law School….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Winner: New York Law School”


Last week, we solicited possible captions for the following photo, involving New York Law School:

Let’s see what you came up with, and vote on the finalists….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Finalists: New York Law School”

The past week has been an interesting one for New York Law School. The school started off the week as the focal point of a major New York Times article, entitled Law School Economics: Ka-Ching! (which we discussed here).

The school’s outgoing dean, Richard Matasar, struck back with a forceful response. We took note of it on Tuesday.

We started the week with NYLS, so let’s end the week with NYLS. After the jump, we provide you with the photo for our latest caption contest….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest: New York Law School”

And now comes the part in our story where law school administrations, stung by the criticism they just received in the New York Times, start spinning. Yes, yesterday the Times exposed the law school business model to a horrified public of non-lawyers. Today, law schools are obligated to say, “No, no, no, that’s not our business model.”

It’s a perfect response. Law students already believe that they are special and will somehow overcome various odds stacked against them, and so they are particularly susceptible to the argument that while other law schools might have problems, the school they picked is the honorable school standing apart from the disreputable actions of others.

It’s like when women say “I have the best husband in the world.” Sure, 90% of husbands hate chick flicks, wish there was a way to get a hot meal without listening to your BS, and would bone Angelina Jolie 30 times in a row before they even remembered your name, but you found the best husband evah! Because you are so damn smart and discerning.

A bunch of law schools have tried to distinguish themselves from New York Law School since this weekend’s article, but the most outstanding example of this kind of distancing comes from: New York Law School….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Schools Head To The Bunker To Avoid New York Times Fallout”

Over the weekend, you may have noticed that the New York Times suddenly figured out that law schools are cash cows despite offering dubious value to the students attending law school. We pulled out a fun quote from the article on Sunday.

You know the game: we talk about the danger of going to law school a lot, but because the New York Times is talking about it now we all have to talk about it again.

If you haven’t been paying attention to how law schools operate, the Times article is very, very good. It should be required reading that they send to you when you sign up with LSAC. But even if you have been paying attention, you should still read it. The article, by David Segal, contains a brilliant case study of just how New York Law School goes about generating cash. It’ll make good people sick to their stomachs.

But while the Times takes a critical look at law school deans and university presidents and even U.S. News, one constituency escapes the NYT’s glare: law students themselves…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Times ‘Unearths’ The Law School Scam, But Still Can’t Explain It”

In these materials and in our conversations with students and applicants, we explicitly tell them that most graduates find work in small to medium firms at salaries between $35,000 and $75,000.

Richard Matasar, outgoing dean of New York Law School, quoted in a lengthy New York Times article entitled Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!

(We’ll have more to say about the Times article — by David Segal, who has written a series of pieces about legal education — tomorrow.)

UPDATE (7/18/11): Here are Elie’s thoughts on the NYT article.

We told you on Friday that somebody was literally trolling around Craigslist looking for people to sue New York Law School, in the same way that Thomas Jefferson School of Law has been sued.

I don’t think that effort will amount to much, and so I don’t think it has anything to do with the decision of New York Law School’s longtime dean, Richard Matasar, to make his exit from NYLS. Matasar isn’t telling people where he is going just yet, but he did tell the students that his stewardship of NYLS has left him with a great opportunity he didn’t want to pass up.

Let’s hope there are lots of NYLS students who feel the same way….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New York Law School Helps At Least One Person Get A Job: The Dean!”