Friday, April 23, 2010

QA with Esq. Never

Let's go into the weekend with the QA I promised you a while ago. These questions appear in no particular order. I've tried to limit my answers to keep this post to a reasonable length.

How old are you, E.N.?

I am in my late 20's.

What led you start this website?

I sort of touched on this in my first post, but I had some thoughts I wanted to share both about law school and trying to find a non-legal job. I initially thought the main point of the blog would be to chronicle my quest for a job, but given that a lot of my time was spent sending resumes off into oblivion, I focused a bit more on other subject matter. As I became more frustrated with how useless my degree truly appeared to be and learned that many, many other people were in the same or a worse boat, the blog took on more of a "scam busting" flavor.

How did those job fairs work out?

I actually only went to one of the three for which I signed up. I ditched the first two because the paltry number of companies present didn't seem to make it worth the trip. The one I did attend was actually quite good. I plan to blog about it in the future. I did get a few leads, but so far, nothing has worked out. It did help that this particular fair was aimed at a specific industry.

Why won't you reveal where you went to law school? What are you afraid of?

My job search is difficult enough without possibly exposing myself and having an angry law school, alumni, etc. doing everything they can to further frustrate it.

That said, even if I wasn't concerned about my anonymity, I'm not sure I'd really like to get into a fight with my particular school. I've said before that I don't think it's as sleazy as say Seton Hall or NYLS. It is, of course, overpriced and generally a useless institution, but it isn't the worst of the worst.

This really isn't about Esq. Never vs. Law School X. It's about an entire industry that engages in deceptive marketing, exploits the cheap credit that flows from the student lending system, and doesn't really care that its "customers" end up indebted and unemployable.

Why are comments now censored (they used to display immediately)?

At one point I didn't monitor comments. I wanted to allow everyone to voice their opinions even if was the typical "You're a whiner" and "You should have done more research" canards.

Sadly, one person wanted to post identifying information about me and ruined it for everyone. That said, I do not censor comments. They are only on a delay. I recognize this may discourage discussion, but for the time being, it is necessary.

Aside from attempts to "expose" me, I have rejected comments that are entirely off topic, spam, or duplicate posts. If you search through my comments, you will find critical remarks about my opinions and even a decent amount of name calling aimed towards me.

Why are you so hesitant to weigh in on politics?

Personally, I see it as irrelevant. Most people who go to law school have developed some sort of political viewpoint, and by siding with or against certain politicians, I believe I would unnecessarily anger other people who do not agree with me.

I do not see the problems with higher education (and law school specifically) as part of a systemic problem with America. I see it as a bad "product" that deserves to be criticized. Just like there are websites dedicated to exposing "get rich quick" schemes and other ripoffs, I believe this blog serves the same function for the law school industry.

The recession aside, I think life would have been just fine for me had I not made such a bad decision in attending law school. I believe the problems with law school can be solved through realistic changes to how legal education is provided that do not require ushering in the workers' revolution.

That said, I do think there are governmental issues that relate to the problems with law school. Chiefly, I believe the culprit is the limitless supply of student loans. To remedy the situation, I advocate two policy positions. One "left-winged": Allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy; one "right-winged": End the federal student loan program at least for graduate, professional schools.

These measure would cause the COA to plummet, force many TTT's out of market, and probably require the restructuring of the entire legal education system around a more practical model. The only expensive, theoretical institutions that would survive would be the ones that could truly guarantee jobs to their graduates that would allow them to service their debts.

What will happen to Esq. Never when you get a job?

Good question. For the time being, that isn't much of a concern.

Feel free to continue e-mailing me questions, and I will continue this series when I get enough to warrant an additional post.


  1. Q. What is your claim to fame?

    "The Law School Carol Series!"

  2. I'm sorry your readers are such dicks. My readers are great. I hardly ever get nasty comments. Lucky me.

  3. It actually isn't that problematic, but every once in a while, some LS apologists pops up with a vitriolic (and usually vacuous) remark.

    It tends to be more pronounced when I pick on a particular school. (I wonder why...)

  4. Esq. Never, allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy is not the answer. Allowing student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy will encourage law schools to increase tuition at an even faster pace, because students will be even more willing to take on exorbitant amounts of debt to attend TTT law schools.

    Whenever the Federal government subsidizes something, the costs go up. Look no further than health care and mortgages. Student loans are no different. The only solution is to stop the Federal government from interfering in education.

  5. I agree that the fed student loan program is the bulk of the problem. I should have said that I believe PRIVATE loans should be allowed to be discharged in bankruptcy. If there are no federal loans (at least for law school) and it become risky to lend private funds to students to go to TTT law schools, I think it's fair to conclude that it'll be the end of the TTT law school and probably force massive reform in how legal education is provided.

  6. The apologists come out in droves when we attack particular toilets of law. I also notice that I get much more traffic from the cities of the schools I highlight on my blog. I also understand that law professors and administrators have TONS of free time on their hands - working 6 hours a weeks affords one much leisure time. They (or their TTT students) have an incentive to attack the messenger.

    I recently had one cockroach who kept attacking me for pointing out that Thomas M. Cooley Law School is a pathetic piece of filth on my blog. I mean, who doesn't know that basic fact?

  7. Hey Esq. Never, Anonymous here. I agree with your point about private loans being allowed to be discharged in bankruptcy -- only as long as the Federal government does not guarantee against the default of these private loans. For more on the effect of government on student loans, check out the following video.

  8. Good stuff, EN. And you have good ideas as to how to address the issue.

    Personally, I believe the evidence shows that government has screwed up the education system and it has aided the banks and the schools in making the screw-ups even worse.

    I am not for bailouts, but would I support a "bail out" of discharging ALL student loan debt over bailing out Wall Street? Damn right I would! Not only would that would cost taxpayers less; it would be more beneficial to our economy.

  9. Esq. Never is a Loyola alum, Doh!

  10. The idea that people will recklessly run up student debt if they can write it off in bankruptcy is a canard that has been disproven by our own experience. Back in ye olden days, when college loan debt was allowed to be discharged in bankruptcy, the number of people who did so was extremely low, fewer than ten percent of borrowers. Of course this was when we had low unemployment, and the average state school tuition could be paid by working a then-minimum wage job. Those parameters have changed vastly...on the other hand, the fact that loans are wholly non-dischargeable and guaranteed, also means that the schools can feel free to run the tuition sky-high, after all, they never have to worry about it being repaid. Nor do the lenders.

  11. I love to see a brother site. Thank you for what you do and please keep doing it. If you keep one kid out of law school you have done a very noble thing.

  12. I think all graduate education is a scam at this point. It's illegal to discriminate now directly so the new tool is debt. Nowhere is it worse than in the legal world though.

  13. You should create a page on Facebook. I too, along with all of my law school friends feel the same way. This degree is worthless and they still manage to collect dues from us every year for bar associations, client protection fund, icle. Where is the lawyer protection fund to protect us from this money driven deceptive profession?

  14. Student Debtors Unite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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