Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Trump University, Law Schools, and Law Professors: Snark in the Water

I was going to write a really snarky blog about how much law school recruiting looks like it was designed by Donald Trump. I am not going to do that. After all, he lured people into paying. Law schools, nowadays, pay people to come. Sure, they pay them on the bases of GPA and LSAT scores and not whether they actually need the money to go to law school.  This often means the rich get richer but like all liberals this is OK as long as liberal law profs and administrators benefit. The reason for paying students is that it means the ranking goes up, whether or not the quality of the instruction does, and that means being able to use the money to attract even more possibly well-to-do high scorers the next year. But what's wrong with that? If you think about it, it's the way liberals roll -- high ideals until, oops, that is not working for moi.

I noticed that the web page for my own school it says "reknowed faculty" as do the pages for other schools. Renowed seems to have become the go-to word that everyone knows means "nothing special going on here." I knew what that meant but I still looked it up: "famous, celebrated, famed, eminent, preeminent great, etc. " Really? REALLY? I think this is just puffing. Only about 4 law professors in the world are famous and they are not necessary famous for the right things. But, it's OK, while not true it does not rise to Trumpian levels.

How about employment data. You announce that 90% of your students get jobs but not that you hire a couple dozen and when the rating agencies refused to count them as employed you dropped them. This is very clearly Trumpian. It's a version of cooking the books. Actually maybe Trump did not cook the books and so this is more Trumpian than the Donald himself.

Many schools have an extended list of courses offered. Do you think they are all offered? Of course not. - Trump. In fact, the entering student may or may get to order what was on the menu. But unlike a restaurant, once you are in, it is hard  get out.

Hiring the best faculty. Pleeeze. Hiring is highly dependent on who you know, who you are partnered up with, who the school does not want to offend, and who will spout laudatory things about a candidate because the spouter's school itself wants its grads to get teaching jobs. And tenure? This is a sliding scale. Make nice and you are in. Write enough and you are in. These are perfect substitutes for each other.

Sales tactics. You would have to ask others about that but we know the Personal touch is important to law schools and to Trump.

See not snarky at all. I am just  wondering how much separates law schools from Trump University.

 Now the question is how do the activities of law professors in their self promotional efforts match up with those of Trump University.  That will come later but watch out: Snark in the water!!! Why don't we start with writing that purports to be scholarship. machine graded exams, teaching 4 credit courses in two days, writing about the same topic over and over. Later on this, I need a beach trip.



Anonymous said...

Very enjoyable post.

Cato Renasci said...

As a former law review editor, academic and practicing lawyer for decades, I think the analogy is a stretch too far. Trump's harm has been on a far, far lesser scale than the law schools of this country, of whom all but a couple of dozen are a waste of one's time and money.