‘Brother, can you spare $150K so I can pay off my loan debt?’
So, remember back in August when Cooley Law School put up a bronze sculpture of the school’s namesake lecturing a homeless man at its Grand Rapids campus? At the time, we thought it might’ve been some kind of abstract art representation of Thomas M. Cooley telling a recent graduate of the second-best law school in all the land that he wouldn’t be issued a refund, despite his homelessness (and presumable joblessness).
But it seems that after successfully getting a lawsuit over the school’s employment statistics tossed out of court, the powers that be at Cooley Law decided this deceased bronzed jurist was no longer interested in lecturing the poor and downtrodden — after all, a living judge already effectively did that, by telling the world that Cooley’s job data was essentially “meaningless,” and couldn’t have been reasonably relied upon by otherwise prudent people.
And so, like any evil despot, the law school gave the poor bum one last kick in the nuts for old times’ sake….
Was one of the essay questions “design an American truck that runs on candy and rainbows but still has enough power to make a Texan feel better about his small penis”? Because that would be a hard question. And it would explain the abysmal bar passage rate achieved by test takers on the July 2012 Michigan bar exam.
The people who took the Michigan bar exam passed at a rate as if all of them went to Cooley. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it was still pretty bad. The bar passage rate for the state was 55 percent. Tipsters and commenters contend that those ridiculous numbers are due to a change in scoring the essays, but the Michigan Bar hasn’t released an official reason for the low rates.
Hell, maybe they want it this way. One way of slowing the saturation of the legal market is to make it a harder market to enter.
Let’s take a look at a school-by-school breakdown…
Hey, don’t blame us. We didn’t make this list of the worst law schools in the country.
In the Above the Law Career Center, we just give law schools letter grades, based on user surveys completed by ATL readers. But the Daily Caller has compiled a list of the ten worst ABA-accredited law schools. Mwahaha.
One really strong point about this list is that it’s more outcome-oriented than other rankings. It’s not looking at LSAT scores and GPAs; it’s looking at bar passage rates, cost, and employment data.
So, send your angry emails to the Daily Caller, or your own administrators, if you are unlucky enough to be going to one of these schools…
Back in July, we brought our readers news of Kurzon LLP’s defamation lawsuit against the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. The suit claimed that the Cooley Law administration had engaged in a “misguided effort” to stem the tide of forthcoming class action suits against it and similarly situated schools by sending out an allegedly defamatory school-wide announcement.
Much has happened since the filing of Kurzon’s defamation complaint: the underlying suit over Cooley’s employment statistics was dismissed (a decision that is now being appealed by Team Strauss/Anziska), the school moved to dismiss Kurzon’s defamation action, and Kurzon’s small New York firm recently filed a motion to amend its suit to add additional causes of action.
But that’s not the only thing that managing partner Jeffrey Kurzon did in what’s being called a “David versus Goliath” litigation. You see, Kurzon decided to write a letter to the chief judge of the state’s highest court, a man who’s been hailed for mandating a first-in-the-nation pro bono requirement for would-be lawyers, asking him to weigh in on the problems law schools are currently facing.
Did we mention that in his letter, Kurzon used Cooley as an example of everything that’s currently wrong with legal education in our country?
* Dewey know whether Judge Martin Glenn approved this failed firm’s $71.5 million partner contribution plan? We certainly do, and D&L’s chief restructuring officer, Joff Mitchell of Zolfo Cooper, is simply “delighted” about it. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* Bitch better have my money? The United States is suing Wells Fargo under the little known Financial Institutions Reform, Recover, and Enforcement Act for allegedly screwing it out of approximately eleventy billion dollars. [DealBook / New York Times]
* “Flat is the new up for the legal sector,” except in Cleveland, because law firms there have been on hiring sprees throughout 2012. But unfortunately, there is a down side — it’s Cleveland. [Cleveland Plain-Dealer]
* Diversity: no longer just an old wooden ship. Almost every law school-related amicus brief filed in Fisher v. University of Texas has backed the consideration of race in admissions decisions. [National Law Journal]
* There’s officially at least one benefit in attending Thomas M. Cooley Law — the school collects so much money from students that it’s able to attract big-name speakers, like ex-rocker Henry Rollins. [Michigan Live]
It seems like we’ve written about the general decline in LSAT administrations and law school applications ad nauseum. At this point, people know (or at least, they should know) that there is a problem with the legal education system in this country.
But according to U.S. News, that’s not stopping would-be law students from applying in substantial numbers. The leader in law school rankings recently compiled a list of the ten schools that received the most applications for full-time programs in 2011. At almost 75,000, the sheer number of applications remains astounding.
When looking at this list, we noticed a trend: all of the law schools are in the traditional first tier, and most of them are in major cities. But not everyone can get into these schools, and given the reported drop in admissions at Cooley, curiosity got the best of us.
So we created a top-ten list of the unranked schools that received the most applications last year — the cream of the crap, if you will. Is your school on either one of these lists?
Cooley is getting some competition for low-hanging fruit.
Some law schools are voluntarily cutting back on the number of students they admit as they try to be more focused on getting jobs for the kids they do admit. Other schools aren’t making the cuts voluntarily, but want everybody to think that smaller class sizes are a choice and not a reality of fewer law school applicants.
And then there’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School. They’re looking at a precipitous drop in their number of applications and admitted students, but they can’t pretend like they’ve voluntarily decided to stop admitting so many students. Instead, Cooley’s dean acknowledged that other schools are accepting less qualified applicants, which has caused downward pressure on Cooley’s numbers.
Hey, that’s a better story for Cooley than the alternative: that prospective law students have gotten wise to Cooley’s game and are staying away….
* The Sixth Circuit delved into the question of law professors’ tenure in a recent decision, noting that it doesn’t guarantee a job for life. But seriously, why on earth would you want to have a lifetime career at Cooley Law anyway? [National Law Journal]
* Was the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting a hate crime? Well, the shooter was in a racist skinhead band and purchased supplies from a neo-Nazi group, if that gives you a clue. [Reuters]
* Bet nobody saw this kind of douchebaggery happening: Jackson Lewis has been tapped to represent a member of Penn State’s board of trustees to appeal the NCAA’s unappealable sanctions, and he’s recruiting fellow trustees to join him. [Am Law Daily]
* No more “no comment” for this former reporter: Bruce Brown, a partner at Baker Hostetler, was appointed as the new executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. [Blog of Legal Times]
* As expected, Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty in the Arizona shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others. He’ll likely receive several life sentences as opposed to the death penalty. [Wall Street Journal]
* “This sh*t ain’t no joke yo, I’m serious, people are gonna die like Aurora.” Twitter, please cooperate so the police don’t have to subpoena you when a user threatens to commit a massacre in NYC. [NBC New York]
Here’s the problem with running a law school that publishes a laughable rankings system that magically ranks your school second in the nation. If the school is willing to do that, it makes it possible to question (and laugh at) every single thing that comes out of the school.
Hell, the shoeshine boy who tried to troll Staci couldn’t be dismissed out of hand because he said he was a Cooley grad.
It’s not entirely fair, but the school brings it upon itself, at least in part. That’s probably why I received a number of tweets about the new statue at Cooley Law.
At a regular law school, nobody would take much note of a sculpture of the school’s namesake. At Cooley, it’s pretty easy to read in a hilarious motive….
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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.
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