So You’re Going to Go to Law School

Um, what the hell is wrong with you? You’re seriously going to go to law school? Seriously?! Even after reading this? Or this? What about this, or perhaps this? Jesus, you can’t be reasoned with. At the very least, consider the following:

1. You will pay an exorbitant amount of tuition.

Tuition has been rising by about 5%-10% per year for the last four years, and is up 71% from a decade ago. But this won’t deter you, because you’re an idiot, and you believe you’ll land one of those coveted BigLaw positions. Except for the simple fact that you won’t.

2. You will not get a job as a lawyer.

That’s right, genius–there are 45,000 graduates competing for 28,000 legal jobs. And you know what counts as a job? Doc review that pays $10 bucks an hour. Or better yet, a full-time associate position that pays less than minimum wage! Not to mention that schools count jobs at Starbucks in their employment statistics, and that this is the reason they’re being sued by former students.

3. If you do get a job as a lawyer, you will not be paid well.

Were you under the impression that lawyers made decent money? How is it possible that you even graduated? Oh, that’s right–you went to Cooley. Even if you do get a legal job, the salaries are shrinking; top salaries are down 10%, and fewer students are getting BigLaw positions–only 18% of graduates are employed by the largest firms. And they probably didn’t go to the shitty school that you’re about to attend. Best of all, your lousy salary will likely make it impossible for you to pay off your student loan debt, which now averages at about $91,000 dollars.

4. Your law school might not be accredited by the ABA.

So, after getting 500 emails a day from California Online School of Lawtalking and Legal Styling, you finally made the plunge. On the bright side, your tuition might be a little lower than Stanford’s (as if you were going to Stanford!). But on the less bright side (the shady side, if you will), your school is not accredited by the ABA, and so you can’t sit for the bar exams anywhere but California. And since California’s bar is notoriously difficult, you probably won’t pass it (because you went to a shitty online school), thus making it really hard to pay back the money you owe. Not that you would have gotten a job anyway.

DON’T GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!

Advertisements

Education News A-Go-Go!

Boy, I knew that subscription to the New York Times would pay off! Just today there were forty seven billion articles about education, ranging from disturbing to so nihilistically stupid that the abyss will, instead of looking into you, cover its eyes because it’s so embarrassed. First up:

Public Higher Education in California is Fucked:

Despite rising student attendance and years of budget attrition the university system will likely be forced to cut services even further if a proposed tax increase fails to gain approval. Even soaking out-of-state students with further tuition hikes and lowering academic standards (not enough TA’s to grad papers!) won’t solve the problems created by too many philosophy and women’s studies departments; according to John Coupal, the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Californians “had the luxury in prior years of heavily subsidizing colleges…but like anything in California, the delivery of higher education is not performance based. They’ve created new campuses and programs based on politics and not need.”

When will those damn women’s studies majors learn to stop reading Judith Butler and start creating tech ventures?!!

College Administrators Have Agreed to Stop Being so Goddamn Shady About Financial Aid:

Yes, it’s true–college and university presidents have agreed to meet at the White House to discuss reforms in the ways student loan information is parsed to students; now, students will be provided a “shopping sheet” that provides the necessary information to make an informed decision, rather than the usual documents which obfuscate and cause terrible debt. I know what you’re thinking: how is capitalism supposed to work if the consumer has access to accurate information? This is America, dammit! Go back to China with your “shopping sheets”! And while you’re there, make sure to hand out some applications to American universities (and loan paperwork).

Ignore Anyone Who Tells You that Rankings Don’t Matter:

If you attended the New York Times “College Life Fair” in Chicago, it’s possible that you received some idiotic advice about choosing a college based on rankings; if you did, I can say (with furious conviction) that the morons who told you to ignore rankings ought to be flogged:

The No. 1 rule in the college admissions process: “Ignore the rankings.” This is according to Dave Marcus, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right College — and Find Themselves.”

Jed Hoyer would likely agree. He began his professional life as an admissions officer at Wesleyan University. He said he decided to attend Wesleyan on instinct, and advises students to trust their gut. He said he tries to do the same in his current position: as the executive vice president and general manager of the Chicago Cubs.

This advice is patently absurd; and moreover, anyone who went to a highly ranked school like Wesleyan (as well as an elite prep school) and is now singing the praises of “ignoring the rankings” is attempting to screw you. Rankings matter; do you honestly believe that your Pine Manor B.A. is going to get you in the door over a Harvard grad? What’s that? You’ve never heard of Pine Manor? Neither has anyone else. So go to the ranked school, fuckwit.

Also, if you had to attend a college fair to learn that you should have good grades to go to a good college, and that your personal essay should be free of typos, then you are a complete dipshit who should not be attending college anyway.

Much Like the Real “Boston Legal,” This Boston Legal is not Funny

Everyone knows the legal market sucks. Students pony up $150K with no guarantee–wait, fuck guarantee, prospect–that they’ll ever be able to pay it back, the ABA continues to accredit the educational equivalents of aborted fetuses, and even the lucky douchebags that get into HYS (that’s Harvard-Yale-Stanford, the perennial top 3 in the rankings) have difficulties landing those plum jobs that grant some measure of financial freedom.

Yet before now the market was more like a speedy subway frottage and less like an outright teabagging. Alas, some balls are coming your way:

The BBJ received an emailed tip this week from someone who says they’re an employed, Boston College Law School (BC Law) graduate. The tipster sent screen grabs of a job listing on BC Law’s career site. The post advertises a full-time associate position at a small Boston law firm, Gilbert & O’Bryan LLP, paying just $10,000 per year. (That’s $10K, it’s not a typo.)

Larry O’Bryan, one of the firm’s partners, said he’s received about 32 applications for the $10K per year job, since posting it one week ago. He said that while the pay is low, the lawyer who is eventually hired will gain valuable experience.

That’s right, a full-time associate’s position will yield you a whopping $10K per year. But cheer up! They offer a “clothing allowance,” which probably means that they’ll buy you some ties at Target (Penney’s if you were cum laude!). Also experience, which in this context constitutes the experience of a demoralization so great that your soul will literally fall dead from your ass while you’re arguing a third-rate tort claim before a judge who just wants to get back to his ham and mayonnaise dinner.

The tipster, a recent grad of BC Law employed outside the Massachusetts legal market, calculated the hourly rate at $4.81, which is well below the minimum wage in Massachusetts. As he also pointed out, the janitors that work at BC Law will make much more than this, and it’s pretty likely BC Law didn’t make them fork over a couple hundred grand for their training in toilet-scrubbing and floor-mopping.

To anyone reading this and still considering law school, I have these words of advice: you’re a dumbass, and will never practice the kind of law that will remunerate you for your investment. Because you’re a dumbass.

So You’re Going to Go to a For-Profit College

Well, right off the bat I should let you know that you’re a fucking idiot, and that because you’re a fucking idiot, you’re unlikely to understand the gist of what’s to follow. Therefore, I suggest that you find someone who did not waste their time, energy, and money on a degree from a for-profit college or university to explain this to you. You might try looking at places where people are employed. You know, a “job,” that thing you don’t have because you went to ITT. I’m just kidding, no one has a job! But there’s probably a smart homeless guy in the library where you’re reading this; maybe he’ll help you out. Just let him finish wanking to vintage copies of National Geographic first.

1. It’s unlikely that you’ll graduate.

Yes, the degree in “Information Systems and Cybersecurity” that you covet so much will probably never be conferred, though you will be forced to repay the $150,000 it cost to find out you couldn’t even make your way through a lackluster for-profit curriculum. What little information exists on graduation rates points to the likelihood that you’re on the hook for a ton of cash, and you possess nothing but non-transferable credits.

2. Even if you manage to graduate, you’ll never earn enough to repay your loans.

Hooray, you finished! Your diploma says B.B.A. and now you’re ready to tackle the job market in Milwaukee. But wait, you’re going to love this–even if you manage to find a job, it’s unlikely you’ll earn enough to pay back the monstrous amount you borrowed to finance your degree. Meanwhile, the guys who went to UW Milwaukee (and paid about $30K less than you) are going on their fifth weekend trip to Chicago this year! With Russian strippers! Too bad you had to take that second job; Bob from sales said Svetlana really liked you!

3. You’re supporting organizations that rip off veterans.

That’s right, your unfinished degree in “Video Game Design” says that you hate the troops. And do you know what people do to guys who hate the troops? That shit ain’t pretty. For-profit colleges have recently come under scrutiny for abusing the benefits that veterans earn for their service. Private services called “lead generators” flood veterans with calls and collect information which they then sell to for-profit colleges. Then, the for-profit colleges entice the veterans with a flashy sales pitch and reap the reward of a fat, government-funded payday. I hope you feel good about yourself, asshole.

4. You’re ruining education in America.

As if your casual disregard for the welfare of veterans wasn’t enough, your blindly stupid channeling of federal dollars into organizations that give little to nothing back to the American public is ruining education for the rest of us. Why? Because while community colleges (and their portable credits) are cutting services and raising tuition, these bloated diploma-mills are siphoning off the sweet loan milk from the government’s bloated teat.

5. In addition to ruining education in America, you’re adding evidence to the argument that every consumer in this country is a hapless turd, unable to find useful information or conduct reasoned analysis.

You see, if you were able to conduct research, you would have realized that you probably live in a state, and the state where you live probably has a university system, and that university system confers degrees in every area that a for-profit college does, and does so at a FUCKING FRACTION OF THE PRICE YOU GODDAMNED WITLESS PIECE OF GARBAGE. Let’s go back to the Milwaukee example. It took me roughly 5 minutes to find out that if you attend one of the ITTs in Milwaukee and earn a B.B.A. it will cost you over $30K more than if you attended the University of Milwaukee. And do you know what? If you actually manage to finish, the person hiring you will probably be an alum of UW Milwaukee! And they’ll think to themselves “what the fuck is wrong with this asshole? How could I possibly trust someone so fucking stupid with any aspect of my business” And they’ll be dead fucking right.

Not Surprisingly, Textbook Publishers Don’t Want You to Have Free Textbooks

Sadly, it looks like the days of free textbooks might be over. In a move that shocks no one, at least two publishing giants are suing the small start-up Boundless Learning over the alleged “theft” of content. According to the suit, Boundless Learning “generates these ‘replacement textbooks’ by hiring individuals to copy and paraphrase from Plaintiffs’ textbooks.”

The suit also departs from the characteristic bland language of most lawsuits in a number of places — stating at points that “Defendant teaches only the age-old business model of theft” and that “Boundless gets an ‘F’ in originality.”

Well, if anyone is qualified to comment on theft as a business model, it’s the textbook publishing industry. Naturally, the CEO of Boundless Learning disagrees with the publishing giants:

The content comes from openly licensed educational content, created and posted online by faculty members over the past two decades, and curated by Boundless Learning’s domain experts, he said. Offerings so far are in biology, economics and psychology.

The publishers also contend that Boundless Learning’s products have “a corrosive effect on learning.” Personally, I believe that the runaway inflation of textbook prices is slightly more deleterious to education than what amounts to a more accurately sourced version of Wikipedia, but hey, what the fuck would I know? I couldn’t afford to buy textbooks when I was in school, so I didn’t learn shit.

So You’re Thinking About Going to College

Have you not been paying attention to the economy? Even people that go to good schools aren’t getting jobs–what the hell makes you think you’re so special? Oh, that’s right–you’re a millenial. Therefore everyone’s been telling you what a special snowflake you are for your entire life. Well then, I guess congratulations are in order. Congratulations for not paying attention to the world around you, and congratulations for deciding to take a tentative step toward doing something one day. That’s the kind of shit people praise you for, right?

In any case, you’ll need a handy checklist of things to think about in between status updates on Facebook or tweets about how you hate when Wikipedia doesn’t have an article that you need for a paper. So pay attention, snowflake!

1. Upsell your personal statement.

Yes, it’s possible someone might read this essay (if you beat the cut scores; otherwise, don’t bother), so you’ve got to do everything you can to improve your chances for admission. Luckily, that’s easy to do on a personal statement. Mix and match any of the following for a can’t lose admissions essay:

  • “My love of musical theater and Prada handbags has made life in Midland, Texas, very difficult.”
  • “Working in my parents’ restaurant between violin, piano, and ballet lessons was difficult to fit in, but I know it made me a stronger person.”
  • “And that’s why I’ll never forget the promise I made on my best friend’s deathbed; and one day I will hold that “Go Bulldogs” sign at the Harvard-Yale game in remembrance of her.”
  • “It was funny, really: who would have thought that a kid from Canton would create the year’s most popular smartphone app?”

2. Think about the costs.

Quite frankly, if you have to do this, you should not be attending college.

3. Have a school counselor help you begin your research.

What are you, an old? Use the fucking Internet!

4. Take your exams.

Test-taking is obviously the most important aspect of the college admissions process. Luckily, you’re part of Generation Special Snowflake, and so all you know how to do is take standardized exams; this will give you a leg-up in the race to the Ivy League. If you cannot afford to hire a test-prep coach, you should not be attending college. Because let’s face it, if you can’t spend a couple sawbucks on an SAT tutor than how will you afford black market Adderall during finals week? Back to cosmetology school, chump!

5. Visit a campus and see what it’s like to be an annoying undergraduate.

Determining where you’d like to spend four years is no easy task, especially on the basis of a weekend visit. And if that weekend visit included a party, that task becomes all the more difficult, because let’s face it, who would turn down the University of Bierundboobsen? Nevertheless, strive to make your choice as objective as possible; you don’t want to end up going to some second-rate state school just because you got laid at a tailgate party (go Warhawks!).

If Timmy Kills 9 Hookers and Billy Kills 6 Hookers, How Many More Hookers Must They Kill to Reach 20?

Yes, the answer is five; put your hand down, no one likes a know-it-all. If, however, you’re more concerned with the nature of the problem than with its answer, you’ll sympathize with these parents immediately:

Some DC parents are shocked over math problems that were sent home with third graders at the Trinidad Center City Public Charter School.

One says the “bloodthirsty aliens then sucked the blood of 828 teachers and left them for dead.”

Another follows a SWAT team member who “killed 163 terrorists, 296 murderers and 206 arsonists. How many criminals did he kill on an average day?”

You can read all of the problems here. I assure you that they are hilarious.

The problems come from a website for home-schoolers; they were categorized under “third-grade multiplication.”

Reportedly, the teacher was forced to use the website, or else she and three other teachers would be subjected to (x)ravenous wolves; she also noted that in order to have two ravenous wolves per teacher as the principal required, (x) must equal 8 wolves.

Yes, But Can a Robot Tell a Hobo to Stop Looking at Porn?

Soon, a master’s in library science will join the ever-growing ranks of useless degrees; relax, philosophy, you’re still number one. At San Francisco State, the stacks will be largely off-limits, and a library-robot will retrieve your requests for you:

The books on display will be high-demand volumes, recently published titles and those recommended by various departments. The rest will remain in five storage units rising three stories high. Books are retrieved by a robotic arm activated by an electronic prompt. Retrieval time is supposed to be 5 to 10 minutes.

Apparently the new library arrangement emphasizes the sociability of the library; because if there’s one thing a scholar goes to the library for it’s some social time with friends and an overheard conversation about how Becky needs to stop shaving her pubes in the shower.

Not surprisingly, some stodgy bastards aren’t completely excited about a robot fetching Aquinas’ commentaries on Aristotle. Peter Orner, a creative writing professor, dislikes the modifications: “There’s a trend now where books are being stored in big vats and they aren’t available for us to touch and see,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be a writer if, when I was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I didn’t wander the open stacks,” he said. “I would argue strongly that the Internet is not a substitute for a college library.”

I agree with Orner; the writing process is greatly enhanced by browsing the stacks for inspiration. There’s nothing like seeing the connections between the works on various authors, or realizing that you’re holding the key 20th century interpretation of Hegel’s influence on Marxist dialectical materialism.

Plus, the lesser browsed stacks make perfect places to fart.

And Now for Some Completely Unsurprising News from Utah

Utah’s House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would severely limit the scope of sex education in schools. Apparently, the bill allows schools to skip sex education entirely; however, if the school chooses to offer the course, it must be designed in consultation with parents, and not discuss contraception.

Curious democrats inquired about the content of an abstinence-only sex ed course, and Bill Wright (R), penned a curriculum on the spot:

“…the course could include lessons on friendship, dating and love…a lesson on the consequences of sex outside of marriage and a lesson on how to teach people to say no to sex.”

“Why don’t we just be honest with our children and tell them right up front that sex outside of marriage is devastating?” Wright said.

Pressed further, Wright offered the following list of devastating occurrences brought on by people having sex outside of marriage. It’s not an exhaustive list, either; that dude rambled on for hours. According to Representative Wright, the following events should be blamed on people having sex outside of marriage:

  • The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
  • The cover-up of the Roswell spacecraft landing
  • The assassination of JFK
  • Your mom’s souffle failures
  • Fraggle Rock
  • The publication of White Ninja, by Eric von Lustbader
  • The Yankees losing to the Red Sox
  • The slow decline of polar bear populations
  • Global warming
  • People wearing socks with sandals
  • Flared jeans
  • Cat memes

As you can see, Utah is clearly doing us all a favor.

Finally, Universities Will Stop Discriminating Against White People

Yes, the long years of discrimination against white people in higher education may be coming to an end as the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear an affirmative action case. The case could have far-reaching implications for the future of education:

Both supporters and opponents of affirmative action said they saw the announcement — and the change in the court’s makeup since 2003 — as a signal that the court’s five more conservative members might be prepared to do away with racial preferences in higher education.

The consequences of such a decision would be striking. It would, all sides agree, reduce the number of African-American and Latino students at nearly every selective college and graduate school, with more Asian-American and white students gaining entrance instead.

At last, white people and Asians will be allowed into college. Believe me, if you’ve ever walked around the campus of a certain unnamed elite university in Boston (well, not in Boston, but nearby–no, not Tufts) then you know how difficult it is to spot white people or Asians. Diversity shall return at last!

This case originated in Texas (the cradle of American civilization), where a disappointed white girl couldn’t get into UT. Apparently, Texas reserves spaces for the top 10% of the high school graduating classes at their public universities; it’s a race-neutral policy that theoretically has the effect of providing diversity because Texas communities are relatively homogenous. Alas, poor Muffy–excuse me, Abigail (so much better!)–Fisher did not make the cut. And so she went into the general population, where apparently her white heritage did not give her the advantage that she thought she deserved:

Ms. Fisher’s argument is that Texas cannot have it both ways. Having implemented a race-neutral program to increase minority admissions, she says, Texas may not supplement it with a race-conscious one. Texas officials said the additional effort was needed to make sure that individual classrooms contained a “critical mass” of minority students.

I would argue that Ms. Fisher is confused (which is not surprising, since she was not in the top 10% of her class) as to the nature of the policies; because one has the concomitant benefit of racial diversity does not in fact make it a policy of affirmative action.

Not surprisingly, conservatives are happy to hear that decades of disenfranchisement and systemic social inequalities will possibly be eliminated from consideration in the admissions process:

“Any form of discrimination, whether it’s for or against, is wrong,” said Hans von Spakovsky, a legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who added that his daughter was applying to college. “The idea that she might be discriminated against and not be admitted because of her race is incredible to me.”

Yes, no doubt Hans von Spakovsky’s precious little snowflake was in immediate danger of losing her spot at an elite American university because of her race.

It’s unlikely that the Supreme Court will uphold the federal court’s decision, which means that affirmative action in college admissions is likely to be severely weakened, if not altogether eradicated.

I just hope that the decision comes in time to protect Hans von Spakovsky’s daughter. Poor girl–settling for a safety school like Brown or Cornell would be so hard on her!

Blog at WordPress.com.