Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

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Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
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Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

 

C Martenson on the crash course calls student loan debt "good" debt. I would like to counter that this is not true as many graduates are coming out of school owing record debt with horrible job prospects. Pre crash perhaps this was the case with many graduates, but as the economy has shifted many grads are finding themselves with no "use" of their degrees. The "fuzzy" numbers theory holds very true with regards to education as well. Many colleges and law schools use very shady methodoligies in publishing their graduates employment stats. Total outstanding student loan debt is projected to hit $1 trillion by 2012. We are talking about the first generation in the US entering the work force with record debt and horrible job prospects. How are these grads (myself included) going to purchase cars, houses, appliances, when up to 30% of our incomes are going towards student loan repayments?   I was heavily critisized on this site when I first complained about this situation. Many blamed me for attending a low ranked school and that I got what I deserved.

To clarify one thing, I looked at my debt load before attending, figured the monthly payment with a debt calculator online, and then looked at the "average starting income" that my American Bar Association approved school posted in the Princeton Review law school catalog. Based on those numbers, the calculation showed that by living frugally and having some assistance from my family, I would be able to pay off the 70k in student loans in 4-5 years. To date my law degree has netted me $700, 13 months after graduation. Luckily for me my parents have been paying the loan because if they werent then i would be in deferment, which means the amount grows and grows and grows.

As most of you are aware from my prior posts, I am a recent law school graduate who is very angry and bitter with lies and manipulated data employed by the law schools to decieve naive applicants into attending their schools. Instead of just complaining about my situation, I decided to take action and created my own blog. I have had a surprising amount of success with 200 hits per day! And I dont even post daily but have become more active as of late as my readership has grown. The blog name is www.subprimejd.blogspot.com

I regularly advertise the crash course and have PeakProsperity.com on my blog list. There are a dozen other "scambloggers" that post daily on the situation in the legal field. The other day we had the latest addition, www.firsttiertoilet.com, who we are guessing is a georgetown law grad blogging away against the law school cartel. The main ones are as follows: www.thirdtierreality.com , http://butidideverythingrightorsoithought.blogspot.com/, http://lawschoolscam.blogspot.com/. There are many others and our influence continues to grow. Last week, a law professor from a prestigious school even referenced our blogs and AGREED that law school is a scam. http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/06/wake-up-fellow-law-professors-to.html

The post education bloodbath is not limited to JD's but also to MBA's, PHD's, MA's, and many other degrees. Again, what makes this time different is the nondischargeable debt that not only stays with the grad for life, but also grows in a quick fashion in the event of nonpayment. The PTB better come up with a plan and soon because a growing number of the nation's educated youth are becoming angrier and angrier. To owe $150,000 and only make $30,000 per year is tatamount to making $15,000 per year when you account for the student loan payments. One of the bloggers works at home depot with a law degree. He and his co-workers make the same money, except that the others arent forking about $750 per month while the others get to save for the future.

Again my blog name is www.subprimejd.blogspot.com. My blog has a economic twist to it as I discuss the usual topics discussed here in addition to the holocaust in the legal field for entry level attorneys.

 

Take care everyone

BMT a/k/a subprimeJD

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

I just finished my 2nd year at GMU law school, and am seriously considering taking the next year off. I currently have only about 16k in debt to be repaid, but I would also pay at least $1k/month for rent next year. I figure I could save that money and use it to prepare buying hard assets and maybe use some to gamble in the casino markets on their way down. Then I could see what happens next year and if somehow things don't get too bad and it seems worth it, I could get my degree.

But at the same time I would really feel bad about just giving up after two years, and I feel like waiting could place me in an even worse situation in terms of getting the degree and finding a job later. I guess the real unknown factor for me is the timing of events and how they will go down (right now I'm thinking severe deflation in the next 1-2 years and then maybe peak cheap oil problems and/or hyperinflation between 2-5 years from now). So my question would be is it worth taking on another 8k in debt and spending maybe 10k+ in rent/utilities over the next year in order to get my degree in a horrible job market (let's assume I'll end up in the top 50% of my class but no better than that)?? I am just extremely pessimistic about what a law degree will get me in a very different future and am also thoroughly disenchanted with the entire idea of working within this joke of a legal system we have.

Any advice about this is more than welcome... and BMT thanks for the links to your blog and others I will definitely check them out.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Hi Bear

Maybe a little perspective will help.  70% of an attorney's income (after 30% for the student loan payment) is still more then probably half the population makes.  And they buy houses and raise kids on that.  Their potential growth in income is not even comparable.  Many of them worked hard for years in lousy jobs to get to that level too.  Maybe harder than law school in effort.

My sympathy is reserved for the people who lost good jobs through no fault of ther own, who then lost their medical insurance, their house, and the ability to support their spouse and children.Others have to work away from home and seldom see their families, but that is the only way they can support them.  Other people have lost their life savings and pensions, and face a bleak old age in poverty.  There are millions of people like this.

Then there are those who face diseases that will kill their child.  Or kill hem before they can get their children raised.  Or cripple them so they are unable to work, or must live everyday in serious pain.  These things happen to real people every day.

You are disappointed because your plans aren't gettng the quick pay-off you expected.  A lot of people have been there.  It sounds like you are young, healthy, and single.  You won't starve.  Blaming others doesn't help.  Things will get better eventually if you do your part. 

Good luck to you.

 

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Subprime JD
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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Travlin:

The market cannot absorb the 45,000 JD's that are currently being pumped out year after year. Many factors go into why the number of JD's continue to rise. The most important being that the gov guarantees student loans. With no risk to lenders tuitions continue to rise and naive law students/prospective lawyers get the financing. The JD is so much like the subprime mortgage market and thats why I named my blog as such.

You need to take the red pill on the education system in America. Just as many things have deteriorated such as the financial markets, the food market, and heatlhcare industry, so has the education system. It has been turned into big business leaving lives in ruin. 80% of my friends that have BA's are working in their parents businesses. Without parental assistance they would be working retail, assuming they could get those jobs. My point is that the JD is NOT what it used to be. Read the blogs and learn the FACTS. "Things will get better eventually" is a belief, and not a fact. The fact remains that many JD's will never find legal employment. In addition, a law degree is a career straightjacket, as it actually hurts your odds at obtaining employment in a non legal field. Our battle is a huge uphill one because of the perception that "lawyers make money". The reality is that they used to make money but after 20 years of mass production of JD's, there just isnt enough demand for legal services. Especially after the crash of 08, whereby up to 10 million people lost their jobs, its even worse now. In addition, the ABA recently permitted legal work to be outsourced to India and other nations, thereby undercutting the JD even more.

All we ask is that the information that is provided to potential applicants is REAL and not fluff. However, because this nation has turned into a kleptocracy no official data can be trusted, especially when it pertains to making a "investment" decision. Were we to have known that many law schools were diploma mills with no real value to any employer, we would not have attended. Eventually the word will get out and the lower tiered schools will crash just like the mortgage companies did.

I too believed back in 2006 that attending law school would be a good investment of time, money, and stress (law school grades, bar exams) that would lead to some reasonable yield. After the fact I learned the truth that the JD was losing its value year after year. The crash further exacerbated the problem. And despite the fact economic fundamentals of the JD continue to deteriorate, more and more BA's apply out of desperation that they cant find jobs with their BA's. The law schools prey on these types of students.

As CM said the future will be with less, and our society would de-complexify. Now what the hell do you with a JD which is a highly complex degree in a world where less complexity is the rule? That is the purpose of my blog: to warn potential students of the risks, to trash the schools, and to think of ideas that will possibly help us exit our specific predicament.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

I believe student debt is not "good" debt.  Except for the purchase of a house I say absolutely, positively stay out of debt!  Do not be a debt slave to the banking cartel!  I know this is a worse case scenario but on Dave Ramsey's  show last night there was a caller who, after getting graduate degrees with her husband had the most student debt I ever heard off, $160,000 for him, $125,000 for her, with both working in local government child support offices on modest salaries.  What are these people thinking!

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Hi Bear

I don't doubt what you say about law school overproduction and a shrinking job market.  I give you credit for having enough character not to flame me,  because my post to you was a tough message.  I almost didn't hit the send button, but I felt you needed to hear it.  My point is that you are intelligent and you can obviously learn.  It doesn't sound like you have dependents.  A lot of people would be happy to trade their troubles for yours.  Don't get caught up in your grievance.  You can do okay in the world, even if you never practice law.

Sincerely, good luck.

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Subprime JD
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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Hucklejohn: people are relying on the baloney stats that universities publish for the applicants to rely on. That is the purpose of our blogs, to warn people about the consequences of obtaining certain degrees and the debt that comes along with them. Good faith and fair dealing is now dead in america. Even our most "esteemed" institutions have turned into mortgage companies of the past, trying to make points off of applicants.

Travlin: I appreciate the support and am thinking of solutions to my current predicament. I love blogging away against the schools. Pay back is a bia*ch!

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

BMT,

I'm glad you are creating awareness.

The current cost of education is a huge factor in the collapse of the middle class.

This short quote comes to mind:

You are the way and the wayfarers.

And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.

Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.

~Khalil Gibran, Crime and Punishment, THE PROPHET (1923)

 

So funny...because it's true:

 

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

A lot of us get college degrees that we don't end up using directly. But we use them indirectly in terms of the skills we learned in thinking, writing and reasoning.

I do feel though that we need more scientists and technology people vs. lawyers. Maybe it's because we don't have a cool TV show focusing on the lives of scientists? A "Boston Science" show instead of a "Boston Legal"? Law seems to be what people do when they want a glamorous career and make a lot of money, but I know few people who study it because they LOVE the law. In that respect, no offense, I don't feel totally sorry for those who are now saddled with law school debt. Many with law degrees cynically went after a career for the money potential, not because they truly wanted to make the world a better place. 

 

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence
soulsurfersteph wrote:

 A "Boston Science" show instead of a "Boston Legal"?

We have "Boston Science" on TV.  It is call Fringe Laughing and is full of time travel, parallel universes, and crazy people.....

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Bear:

Education is a busness driven by economic subsidy and consumers (students) who believe they are recieving value for their educational investment.  Most institutions will pump out as many graduates as they can get funds for with no real feedback from the job market.  No state law school is going to say cut our funding in half and we will educate half as many lawyers, because there is an oversupply.  Same deal as music majors or even engineering majors.

The only rational for postgraduate education is a statistical one that they "tend" to make more than high school graduates.  Group statistics mean absolutely nothing when applied to an individual.  Sorry.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence
goes211 wrote:
soulsurfersteph wrote:

 A "Boston Science" show instead of a "Boston Legal"?

We have "Boston Science" on TV.  It is call Fringe Laughing and is full of time travel, parallel universes, and crazy people.....

 

Yes, but the scientist in Fringe is a crazy old man who spent 16 years in an insane asylum! Not particularly glamorous! :-)

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Docmins said:

Education is a busness driven by economic subsidy and consumers (students) who believe they are recieving value for their educational investment.  Most institutions will pump out as many graduates as they can get funds for with no real feedback from the job market.  No state law school is going to say cut our funding in half and we will educate half as many lawyers, because there is an oversupply.  Same deal as music majors or even engineering majors.

We wish we knew this before attending. Now its too late to take back time and money but we can still expose the business and fraudulent nature of the education cartel to other applicants. This is the point of the blogs. Every potential juris debtor that is deterred from attending is a victory. Bit by bit, one applicant at a time.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence
docmims wrote:

Education is a busness driven by economic subsidy and consumers (students) who believe they are recieving value for their educational investment.  Most institutions will pump out as many graduates as they can get funds for with no real feedback from the job market.  No state law school is going to say cut our funding in half and we will educate half as many lawyers, because there is an oversupply.  Same deal as music majors or even engineering majors.

littleone wrote:

The current cost of education is a huge factor in the collapse of the middle class.

The problem is that most people don't recognize why education had gotten so expensive?  They call for the government to supply more money not realizing that the reason it's expensive is because government has provided guaranteed student loans.  It encourages education suppliers to raise the cost since there is little to no market preasure from people having to pay their own way to lower costs?  It's easy enough to get a loan, can't pay it back, no big deal because the supplier already been paid.  Either you or the public at large picks up the bill.  This same dynamic occurs in food, medical care, ...  When you remove the market from the equation you get higher prices and lower quality.

Here is Peter Schiff on this issue:

John Stossel also talks some about the issue in public grade schools in Stupid in America:

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Sorry, duplicate post -  Duplicate removal would be a nice new feature. :-)

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Subprime JD
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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Rhare: once again gov intervention distorts markets. Time and time again the unintended consequences wreak havoc across the country.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Rhare,

     That John Stossel report is some scary SH*T. The movie "Idiocracy" is a peek at the future.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

I have worked in my State's prison system for the last 18 years.  When I started right out of trade school our local newspaper was running full page adds basically begging people to take the job. Most of the people I work with came from the trades like myself or had a high school education.  It was about as blue collar as you could get.  About 6 years ago we noticed that most of the new Officers coming in had Associates degrees at a minimum, about 3 years ago many new officers began telling us that they had Bachelors, MBA's or had come from the corporate world.  Many of these new officers voiced that after four years or more of higher education they were simply unable to find a job in their field or that the pay and benefits for working in a prison were far better than what they were finding in the private sector.  In addition many are still paying student loans for degrees that the Department does not recognize for promotion.  There are some disgruntled people, I can just see it in their face "I owe all this money, did all that work, dedicated so much time to come work in a prison and now I have to go back to school to promote?!"  

bearmarkettrader, I will usually go out of my way to read your posts.  I like the way you handle yourself.   Much respect for creating your blog, networking with those of like mind and attempting to warn others before they potentially learn the hard way.  

Peak oil is peak food and peak population.  The above is anecdotal evidence of "societal decompexification"  Jim Rogers words: "Become a farmer if you want to survive the upcoming collapse"  continue to resonate with me.

  

Nacci.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

I agree with you, bearmarketrader.



If 45,000 graduate law school every year, and this goes on for 30 years (let's assume all lawyers graduate at 25 and practice for 35 years until retiring at 60), then we can assume to have 1,575,000 lawyers.



But with technology and automation (Nolo Press on-line for DIYers, and legal template software for lawyers to churn out documents)...



With outsourcing (Indian lawyers paid $1,000 per month to do contract and document review)...



With a shrinking economy causing shrinking demand (layoffs, fewer hires, fewer partner track hires)...



With ease of student loans and new institutions granting degrees leading to a supply glut (45,000 newly minted lawyers every year plus laid-off lawyers, all seeking employment)...



With burdensome student loans ($200,000 or more after 4 to 5 years of undergraduate and 3 years of law school)



...And only the most successful lawyers bothering to fill out salary surveys (universities don't dare look at actual income tax returns)....



Well, it's almost like every other field out there.



Poet

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. In the legal blogosphere we scambloggers are seen as heroes. And despite the fact that im absolutely miserable because I cant get any work in my field, I find solace in blogging against the law school scam.

I will add this. The fact that the MBA, JD and many other degrees have become so devalued says alot about the country's economic state. When the only the best students from the best schools are finding good jobs, that is a huuugee sign that there is something wrong.  The crisis with the diploma mills existed before the crash of 08, its just that the crash EXACERBATED the problem. Were I to have known that the gov and universities were employing "fuzzy" numbers with regards to employment data, I would have never attended a lower ranked school.

As a matter of fact, tomorrow I will be posting CM's presentation of "fuzzy numbers". Im sure this concept will resonate very deeply with the other dissaffected grads as many of them were lured into taking on huge amounts of debt based on the fuzzy future earnings potential. What a great way to get them tuned in to the 3 E's.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence
Poet wrote:

I agree with you, bearmarketrader.

...And only the most successful lawyers bothering to fill out salary surveys (universities don't dare look at actual income tax returns)....

Poet

 

If you are not a working lawyer, i wouldn't be surprised if they throw out your survey.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Fear not .

While I agree with the basic argument here that taking out gobs of debt for questionable degrees is not the wisest move....

Considering the near certain debasement of the dollar to come (and at least for some of you, the discounted interest rate you got on a govt-backed student loan - or even if you borrowed at a market rate), if you pay as little as possible on your loan and defer as much as possible, your debt will not be the burden in the future that it seems to be right now. 

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence
grl wrote:

Considering the near certain debasement of the dollar to come (and at least for some of you, the discounted interest rate you got on a govt-backed student loan - or even if you borrowed at a market rate), if you pay as little as possible on your loan and defer as much as possible, your debt will not be the burden in the future that it seems to be right now. 

Unless wages stagnate or actually decrease while inflation or debasement takes hold, leaving even less income available for paying down the debt.  Such stagflation has happened before, and the way things are trending I think it is one of the more likely scenarios.  Or if we do see very high inflation in both goods and wages, we might see the government may decide to change the rules on us and adjust some or all existing loans to some new variable interest rate designed to keep up with inflation.  Regarding the majority of our 'leadership', if it's a choice between keeping the status quo and big banks going or throwing some percentage of their constituents under the bus, then I think said constituents will have a date with a bus tire. 

That being said, I have a sizeable chunk of student loan debt at a very low interest rate that I'm making the normal payments on.  If we are unfortunate enough to see high inflation or currency debasement I'm hoping there will at least be a positive side and that my student loan debt burden will decrease as you say.... but I'm not counting on it.  I've busted butt to get enough savings to pay it off in full if necessary, and I'll do that at the first sign that I lose some or all my income or if a change in the rules is coming down the pipe. 

- Nick

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Re: Perth, Australia

Just read your blog post about Perth.

I agree. You got connections and family out there. It's a different country. Just make sure to SAVE the money you make after paying off your debt. Don't blow this great opportunity to really make an impact on your finances and your collective family future. I would LOVE such opportunities.

Poet

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

Apologies for formatting - on an iPhone. The root of all of this is the disconnect between education and PURPOSE. Individual purpose is everything but is virtually ignored by institutionalized education from K-12 and beyond. Bear, did anyone ever sit you down and help you arrive at YOUR purpose in life. I guarantee it is not "to become a lawyer" although it may well relate to law, policy, injustice, governing, etc.. I run a private K-8 school. Our graduates know all the math they need to know to be successful in all but very technical/scientific disciplines. They can read ANYTHING. They can communicate well in writing and when speaking. They know HOW to learn ANYTHING. Education beyond this without a purpose to guide them is a waste of time and money. Everyone does NOT need to know quadratic equations, Boyle's law, Joyce and the Napoleonic Wars. Where is the attention to cultivating purpose and, as docmims noted, to understanding the job market? Go to college to figure out what you want to do, to become "more educated", to learn how to "think" and "reason"? What BS. "Critical thinking" is a crock exploited by Ph.Ds in Ph.Ding to indulge their penchant for rumination. Get out into the world and learn to LOOK, and to SEE what you are looking at and you'll be shocked to find how rational you become. If you don't know your purpose, get a job and you'll soon find it. Then find out what you need to know and go where you need to go to learn it. If you can't afford to go there, that's a barrier you'll have to overcome. There will be many more.

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Re: Anti law school blogs growing in number and influence

A disproportionate share of officeholders in the two nonjudicial branches of government -- legislative and executive -- are lawyers. This creates a certain inherent conflict of interest. Complex laws and regulations are drafted which provide employment for attorneys and other professionals. Many functions of U.S. life require legal involvement that would not be necessary in other countries. As a result, something like a quarter of the planet's lawyers live in the U.S. This is probably a larger contingent than is economically efficient.

It's rather strange that lawyers haven't used their guild power to restrict entry into the field. The output of law school graduates -- many from state schools -- has steadily risen, with no thought being given to how many are actually required.

An example of this heedless 'more is better' thinking came from our lawyer-president just a couple of weeks ago. He asserted that America needs to increase college graduation rates, in order to raise its global ranking. Where is the evidence for this statement? In fact, the U.S. has a notably poor vocational education system, which probably would offer a better return on investment. It's a form of elitist narcissism for graduates of top-tier universities to feel that everyone wants to, and should, resemble them.

Although there IS a cyclical aspect to bearmarkettrader's dilemma, a debt-financed postgraduate education should be labeled for what it is -- a speculation. Debt is certain; employment prospects are a crap shoot. Today's higher educational system is deeply, unhealthily entwined with government, which subsidizes it. As in the fields of housing and health care, subsidized debt financing has inflated the educational cost structure to uncompetitive levels.

Dr. Gary North often writes about getting a college education for free online, or at nominal cost. He says that probably a third of the bricks-and-mortar educational infrastructure will disappear in the next couple of decades. I hope he's right. 'Competition is the best revenge.'

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