Charlotte-an School of Law, Part Deux: Electric Boogaloo

Welp, not too long ago I posted about Charlotte School of Law and how they were getting placed on super-secret double probation.

To recap, the school was placed on probation for failing to accept students likely to pass the bar and failing to graduate students that were actually passing the bar.  I also pointed out the absurd amount of debt students were incurring to go to this school, most of which was non-dischargable student loans that would haunt them for the rest of their lives whether they ever practiced law or not.

I may have implied this was the death knell for the for-profit law school that didn’t vet students and fed into the heyday, Wild West marketing of law schools and law degrees as something anyone could do.  I touched on the fact that the school offered no real employment prospects.

Well, today the Department of Education announced that Charlotte School of Law students will no longer be eligible to receive federal student aid as of December 31, 2016.  Goodbye, Charlotte, it was a hell of a ride.

Let’s face the facts, while the article states it is unclear how many of the school’s 700 students receive federal aid, the safe answer is “Fucking all of them.”  Anyone who isn’t receiving federal aid to attend a for-profit, $60,000 per year, Toilet Tier law school is using their wealth the wrong way.  The immediate impact will be the students still there will either a) drop out; b) try to transfer; or c) take out substantial private loans which lack all of the benefits of federal loans to cover the cost of attendance.  In any case, Charlotte School of Law has, in the grand tradition of legal practitioners everywhere, screwed its clients.

There is a question as to whether or not this will be part of a larger trend.  If the ABA and the Department of Education are working together to hold law schools accountable for their matriculation and graduation practices, we may start to see the field of law schools shrink to only those that can justify their existence, the pool of lawyers shrink accordingly, and a loosening of the death grip a glut of new lawyers has placed on the field of legal hiring.

Or we’ll see hard-headed students who are unable to read the writing on the wall sticking themselves in a mountain of debt with no hope of ever joining the esteemed rank of assholes like me that are members of the Bar.

I’m interested to see how this plays out.

-BB

Stop Oversharing: Clients Aren’t Your Bros

Alright, so let’s face the hard truth that in an over-saturated legal market there are plenty of lawyers out there who are willing to take on any case.  Let’s go even further and say that there are lawyers out there who are breaking the cardinal rules set at our monthly ritualistic sacrifice of an alleged tortfeasor (afterwards we have cocktails and network) by charging well under the basement-fees for our regions.  Let’s  just accept, in general, that to some extent a lawyer who has succeeded in getting a client on the hook by getting them in the door still needs to reel that client in and get them to sign the engagement letter.

Have you bought a car recently?  I sold those suckers for a bit, so I know a little bit about how it works.  When you bought the car did you notice the salesman had a picture of a kid on his desk?  Not necessarily his kid, but a kid, and you sure as hell assumed it was his kid, right?  How about the Bible sitting on the corner of the desk?  Everytime you had a story or comment about something that happened to you or a concern, the salesman had a story related to it about how he knows exactly what you mean because he’d been through the same thing, or knew someone who had.  You know that shit was all meant to make you feel close to him so he could stick your ass in the seat of a new-to-you, perfectly-functional-except-for-the-A/C 1997 Toyota Camry with low, low mileage of only 165,000 miles (they just don’t make engines that last that long anymore, I tell you what).  It’s a scheme, a way to ingratiate yourself to the buyer to make them feel a bond with you.

Lawyers are guilty of the same thing.

Continue reading “Stop Oversharing: Clients Aren’t Your Bros”

Friday Music: Sailing Towards the Holidays

I may have a post on some other stuff later today to make up for missing out on Tuesday due to illness.  However, today’s Friday Music isn’t law related.  Instead, it’s a shout-out and well-wishes to all of my old crew and deck dogs who are spending the Holidays out on the water.

God rest you fellas, and fair winds back home.

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? When to Bug Out From Your Firm.

Yesterday Keith R. Lee of Associate’s Mind made a good blog post about how to leave your law firm.  I have to say, reading it put me in the mind that my current plan of hiring a marching band and skywriter to announce my exit, if it ever comes, was likely not Kosher.  My other option, as suggested by a member of the super-secret lawyer’s chat room Keith runs, was to pull an Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption and have a partner discover my absence only when they notice the bankers boxes piled against the outside wall are moving slightly in the breeze.  The partner could slowly have realization dawn on his face as he opened box after box, finding them devoid of files, and then, as he moved the last one, discovering the small hole in the wall, just big enough for an associate in a suit to squeeze out of and into freedom.

On an unrelated note, a guy I once worked with in another job who was a little off had a dog that chewed a hole entirely through the wall of his house.  We used to joke about how bad the house must be if the dog was that anxious to get out.

Anyhow, that’s unrelated but a decent segue into my topic for today.

Continue reading “Should I Stay or Should I Go? When to Bug Out From Your Firm.”

Advertising Errors: Update Your Ads

So I was sick yesterday.  Sick as in woke up and went to the bathroom to immediately throw up.  Sick as in a fountain of various unseemly bodily fluids erupting from both ends of my body.  Sick as in hunched over a garbage can hacking up bile and praying that sweet death would come and take me.  Keep that in mind as you read today’s post, because it may be a little disjointed.

But I was in the office, because that’s the life I chose.  Also, because one of my clients that I’ve been hounding for payment was coming in to meet with me, and I wanted to make sure I was there to collect the check.  The check that was discounted, because they raised the fact that an old version of the firm website advertised “free consultations.”  Trust me, it took some fighting with the higher-ups to get the invoice discounted.

“Everyone advertises those,” the higher-ups said, “but nobody takes them too seriously.”

“Well,” I responded, “Everyone may be violating an ethical rule, and it just isn’t worth an hour of the bill.”

Continue reading “Advertising Errors: Update Your Ads”