Constitutional Daily

Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

Time, Place, and Manner

...Should have some links here or something.


Constitutional Daily

Poll: Which law school will be the first to close?

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Law schools are looking at an enrollment shortfall of up to 10,000 students this admissions cycle, and that shortfall is almost certainly going to fall disproportionately on a few particularly vulnerable schools. We want to know where you think the hammer will fall hardest, and who will be the first to close their doors. Here are the contestants, with their Employment Score, Under-Employment Score, unknown outcomes/non-responders, tuition rates, and whatever commentary we felt like:


Cooley: 29.9% ES | 21.7% U-ES | 26.5% Unk | $34,340

Cooley has a ton of students, so even with a huge drop it can still be a massive program. But, that size can also be a liability and cause budget shortfalls to pile up faster than at smaller programs.


Thomas Jefferson: 24.2% ES | 54.2% U-ES | 3.8% Unk | $41,000

What's there to say?


La Verne: 31.9% ES | 51.7% U-ES | 0% Unk | $39,900

La Verne's class size has already taken a huge it into the mid-double digits, putting them a year ahead in the collapse game.


Vermont: 48.3% ES | 29.3% U-ES | 3.4% Unk | $43,468

While Vermont is only slightly worse than the national average when it comes to employment stats (and only because the national average sucks), it makes our watch list because of their recent announcement to cut faculty and staff. This might be a preventative measure to head off a disaster, or it could be a sign that the end times are already upon them.


Whittier: 17.1% ES | 61.0% U-ES | 4.9% Unk | $39,140

Having the highest Under-employment Score automatically gets you a bid into the top 10.


Golden Gate: 18.8% ES | 56.5% U-ES | 2.1% Unk | $40,515

If Whittier is the Alabama of under-employment, Golden Gate is the UGA.


Western State: 26.7% ES | 38.9% U-ES | 4.4% Unk | $37,284

Not the worst of all schools, but Western State makes the list by having a name that sounds like they're hoping not to be found. Maybe they're trying to dodge bill collectors.


Florida A&M: 28.3% ES | 15.1% U-ES | 34.2% Unk | $32,069

We had Florida Coastal on the list for its 49.2% U-ES, but reconsidered when we saw A&M's dismal placement numbers and the huge unknown rate. If your students aren't talking to you, look out.


District of Columbia: 16.7% ES | 30.8% U-ES | 19.2% Unk | $9,480 (in state), $18,330 (out of state)

Even UDC's out of state tuition is cheap, but the school also has the distinction of the lowest Employment Score in the country.


American: 35.8% ES | 42.4% U-ES | 0.9% Unk | $45,096

The highest ranked school on our list (US News #49) also has the 30th lowest employment score nationally, the 14th highest under-employment score, and its high tuition combined with high cost of living makes it the 33rd most expensive. Combine that with the number of other good schools that compete with it in the DC market, and American defines "trap school."

Anatomy of a Law School Collapse

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What if you made a law school and no one showed up?

That may well be the reality facing Vermont Law School this Fall. While many schools are facing a shortfall of applicants, Vermont has been forced to take the unique step of downsizing its staff. [vnews, sorry about the paywall] The school gave buyouts to ten of its staff, and laid off another two. Not a particularly large ax to fall on the administrative heads, but the school has announced that professors will be next. Professors would get to keep their titles, but would effectively become adjuncts. We don't know how much they currently make at Vermont, or what the pay would be for the new part-time professors, but odds are they'd see their salaries drop from around $100,000 to $30-40,000, and that's if they're able to get a 2/2 workload. Professors with just one class per semester could be looking at half that, and say goodbye to health insurance, summer research stipends, and paid research assistants.

So just what happened?

The lack of a legal industry in Vermont is what happened.

Vermont Law School is the only school to send 5% or more of its class to the state, yet last year only 16.7% of Vermont grads found work within Vermont. With only 48.3% of the class finding long term, full time jobs requiring bar passage, and 29.3% ending up unemployed or under-employed, few students are willing to shell out the $43,500 a year it costs to attend Vermont.

Last year, Vermont awarded 175 JDs, and enrolled 154. That's a pretty significant drop, considering that Vermont is not a school that draws a large number of transfers. 1Ls made up only 27.2% of the class. And as the mathletes know, when a school is expanding, 1Ls make up more than 33% of the class, and when it's contracting they make up less. 27.2% is considerably less.

Looking back 3 years ago, Vermont awarded 173 JDs and took in 190 new 1Ls. The new 1L class was 35.3% of the school. That's what a growth year looks like.

But the problems for Vermont extend beyond just a decrease in new students. Vermont is also taking in less money per student. Yes, like every law school, Vermont has hiked its tuition, going from $38,800 to $43,500 over the last 3 years, but unlike many other schools, this hike in tuition has been more than offset by a significant increase in scholarships.

Here are the scholarship stats from 3 years ago:

Students receiving any award: 62.9%

Awards of less than half tuition: 58.4%

Awards of half to full tuition: 4.0%

Full tuition: 0.5%

Median award amount: $7,0000

And here's the numbers for last year:

Students receiving any award: 66.6%

Awards of less than half tuition: 42.0%

Awards of half to full tuition: 21.3%

Full tuition: 3.3%

Median award amount: $15,675

Those full tuition awards are like losing another 2.8% of your revenues, and the increase in half-to-full awards are like losing another 10% (somewhat offset by fewer less-than-half awards). So rather than dropping from 190 new 1Ls to 154, it's more like a drop from 190 to 130. And Vermont requires only a 2.5 GPA to maintain scholarships; we don't know what their curve is, but we're guessing they don't have a particularly high scholarship attrition rate. To make up for that shortfall in tuition, Vermont would have to sack about 10-15 professors, roughly 15-20% of its full time faculty.

In its statement announcing the staff cuts, Vermont stated it was expecting between 150 and 170 new 1Ls to start this Fall, a prediction that tells us two things. First, the large range means they really have no idea what the numbers will be and are fully at the whim of the applicant market, and second, that given the unprecedented low applications we're seeing this year, even the low projection of 150 is optimistic.

While this looks a lot like what the reform crowd wants, smaller class sizes, reduced (average) tuition, and adjunct faculty taking on more of the workload, the problem for Vermont is that they're not likely to make their reforms fast or big enough. It will try to minimize the harm to its professors, laying off as few as highly optimistic projections will allow, which will ultimately dig the school into a deeper hole rather than creating a new, stable law school model.

And Vermont faces one more tiny problem as it switches some of its full-time faculty to part-time positions. They keep their titles, but if they take any other jobs they become "additional teaching resources" under ABA Standard 402 for purposes of calculating the school's faculty:student ratio, and those additional resources can only make up 20% of your faculty. Given that Vermont already has, as most schools do, a large number of adjuncts, as well as deans and librarians with teaching duties, Vermont might be facing some serious problems on the accreditation end.

Why are we still at this law school?

Hope you are well.

How many people missed work to see the inauguration?

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This picture has been making the rounds on Facebook this morning, with over 100,000 people already having shared it. And boy, is it ignorant.


It's not ignorant because it's saying that only people without jobs voted for Obama. And it's not ignorant because of any implied racism. And it's not ignorant for lack of knowledge about Washington, DC being one of the strongest employment markets right now.

It's ignorant because the inauguration was held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. People didn't miss work because they don't have jobs. They didn't miss work because they had the day off for a national fucking holiday, you ignorant piece of shit.

100,000 people have liked this on Facebook.

And only 14 of them weren't dicking around on the clock.

Canadian Law Deans Declare God is Dead

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A battle is brewing Canada as Trinity Western University seeks approval to open a law school. [Vancouver Sun] The Counsel of Canucki Law Deans is opposing the measure on the grounds that Trinity Western would ban gay relationships. Bill Flanagan, President of the Counsel said about TWU:

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is unlawful in Canada and fundamentally at odds with the core values of all Canadian law schools.

What he failed to mention is that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is entirely legal in Canada due to an exemption under the British Columbia Human Rights Code for religious organizations. The legal technicalities aside, there's the bigger issue of "core values," and Canada is a nation that prides itself on being very tolerant of minorities. Unfortunately, we never get to see the arguments play out step-by-step, because this is what it would look like:

TWU Law believes that God Allfreakingmighty has declared homosexual relationships an abomination.

Flanagan thinks discriminating against gays is wrong.

TWU Law believes that God, Creator of Heaven and Earth totes wants us to discriminate against gays.

Flanagan thinks modern liberal sensibilities should trump TWU Law's religious convictions.

Either God does promote (or even command) discrimination against those who engage in homosexual acts, or he does not. (And the latter can be because God thinks gays are a-okay, or because he's fake and doesn't exist at all.) If God is real and did declare homosexuality an abomination, it makes absolutely no sense to say that TWU Law can't follow the commands of their very real final arbiter of good and evil. The only way we can tell TWU Law that their intolerance isn't okay is by asserting that there is no God damning homosexuals to an eternal firey pit.

Thus, there's this secret logical move that Flanagan, and much of the rest of western civilization is engaging in, and it's to quietly declare Christianity (or this particular form of it) invalid. The progressive side doesn't want to own up to it though, because it makes them look super intolerant to be declaring that some religious beliefs are off limits. And the conservative Christian side doesn't want to push the point either, because it'll force huge swaths of otherwise apathetic people in the middle into admitting that these beliefs really are quite ridiculous and not worth preserving, even in the name of religious liberty.

If you think God hates fags, you should be out warning fags that God hates them. If you think we should stop people from holding up signs that say "God hates fags," it's because you don't believe that it's true, and no one else should get to believe it.


Meanwhile in California, Stanford Law is opening up a religious liberty clinic.

Steve Diamond just outright lies about SCU's historical employment rate claims

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This post has been updated. See the end for more ground breaking idiocy by Stephen F. Diamond.

We promise we're going to find something to write about other than Santa Clara law prof Steve Diamond just making shit up.

...And that'll happen just as soon as Steve stops making shit up.

In the newest post on his blag, he complains about Brian Tamanaha's statement at the Cato Institute that as the market was falling apart law schools were reporting employment rates of 90%+.

In fact, however, when I went back and looked, as one example, at what my own law school disclosed as employment statistics in 2008 and 2009 I was unable to find the 90% statement.

Our first thought was "To the Wayback Machine!" but Steve-o beat us to it:

Here is what SCU posted in the Fall of 2008 about employment. If one compares it with what we now post, in response to the new ABA guidelines, it seems to me there is not a dramatic difference. The much vaunted “bi-modal” distribution is clearly visible as is the fact that only about half the class reported salaries (form which any rational individual could conclude that that only half had employment at that point). The alleged “90%” statement is nowhere to be found, although someone better at using the Wayback machine may be able to do a more thorough search and find it. If they do, please let me know.

Those readers with more calendar savvy will note that Steve links to a July 2010 capture, and July 2010 didn't occur in the Fall of 2008. The data are however for the class of 2008, data which was collected in February 2009. The dates aside, let's see if we can find the 90% employment statement:

Total Private Sector: 83%

Total Public Sector: 16%

Hm... Where is that 90%+ figure hiding...

Wait! I think we've got it! The total employment rate for the class would be those employed in the private sector plus those employed in the public sector, and 83% + 16% = 99%

Get out your calculators and double check that.

Santa Clara also reported a 98% rate for its 2007 grads.


This post was picked up by Inside the Law School Scam and Lawyers, Guns and Money (Campos writes for both), and in response to that, Stephen has written another defense of SCU's numbers:

The fact is that SCU, perhaps as did many schools, made a reasonable effort to determine who is employed upon graduation and where. Not every student replies but of course 100% of the students who do report back, sure enough, adds up to 100% of the students who report back. And that’s why the school created a chart that has a column labeled “% of reported.”  The actual number who report back is on the same page and includes a heading that says “44% reported” and, two clicks away, is the number of actual students in the new entering class (233 day, 77 evening/part-time).

Of course 100% of the students who do report back adds up to 100% of those who report back. But the chart isn't of students who report back. It's of students who reported being employed. And yeah, 100% of students who reported being employed will add up to 100% students who reported being employed, but no where on the chart does it indicate that it's only outcomes for students with jobs. It's labeled "Statistics for Graduating Class of 2008," which plainly implies the entire class, or at least all those who responded. Except that it's not everyone who responded. 4.0% of students who responded said they were unemployed, and another 1.5% went on to pursue another degree.

Nowhere does SCU disclose these numbers, and nothing on the page indicates that the chart is just a cherry picked subset of the whole class. Depending on how you interpret it, the chart either purports to be for the entire class, or is intentionally ambiguous with the intent of giving the impression that the data represent the entire class.

California Civil Code Section 1572 provides:

Actual fraud, within the meaning of this Chapter, consists in any of the following acts, committed by a party to the contract, or with his connivance, with intent to deceive another party thereto, or to induce him to enter into the contract:

1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true;

2. The positive assertion, in a manner not warranted by the information of the person making it, of that which is not true, though he believes it to be true;

3. The suppression of that which is true, by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;

4. A promise made without any intention of performing it; or,

5. Any other act fitted to deceive.

Looks like Steve Diamond might not be the biggest fraud at 500 El Camino Real.

Finger poised to tip the first law school domino

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Back in mid-December, Law School Transparency wrote an article asserting that the financial structure of law schools was unsustainable and that if it continued on its present course we would begin to see the collapse of schools that rely heavily on tuition for funding and produce meager employment outcomes. Here's an excerpt from the article's introduction:

The personal disasters faced by recent graduates may be precursors to an industry-wide institutional disaster for legal education, as law schools struggle with their own economic challenges. Law schools have high fixed costs brought about by school-on-school competition, unchecked federal loan money, a widely exploited information asymmetry about graduate employment outcomes, and a lack of fiscal discipline masked by assertions of innovation. Tuition continues to rise at alarming rates, while both the number of legal jobs available and the salaries for those jobs decline. Skepticism about the value of a J.D. has also never been higher; law schools have already begun to see a drop in applications and enrollment.

If these trends do not reverse course, droves of students will continue to graduate with unsustainable student loan debt that greatly reduces their ability to fulfill traditional, important roles in American society. Programs unable to fall back on large endowments, fundraising, non-traditional sources of revenue, and other budgetary maneuvering may face a very rapid collapse. The exact point at which the law school crisis turns into a disaster for legal education is debatable, but the importance of preparation for it is not.

In response to this piece, UNC professor Bernie Burk posted on Faculty Lounge, saying that LST had "jumped the rails" for being too dramatic and crisis-mongering:

Don’t let your urge to be the center of attention distract from the ideas and their merits. To those of you who pointed out that this was a vice of my original post (most of you in the most understated and appropriate way): you were right, and thank you. This vice appears in “Disaster Planning” in the overused and overwrought rhetoric of crisis that pervades a certain class of commentary about the current state of the legal academy and the legal profession. LST’s title tells us its paper is all about “Disaster Planning” to address the “Crisis in Legal Education.” And indeed the word “disaster” appears three times in the first paragraph of the Abstract alone, with two “cris[e]s” thrown in for good measure. By the third page, “the law school disaster” has been erected as the foil against which the paper’s recommendations are defined.

So what is “the law school disaster” according to LST? I scoured over forty pages without finding an answer. While “Disaster Planning” trots out various inventories of misfortune, it fundamentally fails to identify the “disaster” it’s “planning” for, leaving us facing down that “disaster” armed only with the queasy uncertainty that we won’t know when we’re ready for it, how effectively we weathered it, or when it might be over.

LST doesn't go into too much detail about what exactly the disaster is, because plenty of other people have covered it, but it's not too hard to figure out. There's the personal disaster facing grads, and the looming institutional disaster that will follow when applications plummet and law schools are unable to generate sufficient revenues. And as DJM wrote on Inside the Law School Scam this week, law school applications are at an all time low.

Based on current application rates, it appears that only about 53,000 students will apply to law schools for Fall 2013. And despite some schools having very lax acceptance policies, not everyone will get in. Paul Campos spoke at the Cato Institute yesterday about this, and it's like there will be an overall acceptance rate of somewhere around 85% (down from roughly 50% a decade ago). That gives schools about 45,000 admitted students. Of that, schools historically have had a yield rate of about 85% (some people who get in decide not to go). That brings the number of enrolling 1Ls down to just over 38,000.

Here's the kicker: Law schools have been accepting 1Ls in excess of 50,000, and it's just through attrition that the number of grads gets down to 45,000. So that 38,000 number represents a shortfall of about 20-25%.

That's bad. It gets worse.

Law schools are not just going to see fewer total students, but competition for them will be fierce, and scholarship offers will be given out like candy. We can except that the students who choose not to go anywhere will disproportionately be the ones who would have had to pay full freight. (The most obvious reason not to go is you applied to schools that you'd only attend on scholarship and did not get one.) Schools will be looking at not just fewer students, but a lower average tuition revenue per student.

Schools that don't have large endowments or alumni annual funds will likely collapse. The rapid collapse of several law schools will gain a great deal of media attention which will further cause prospective students to (rightly) question the value of a law degree, and thus cause future applications to fall even further, and more students will refuse to attend law school without substantial scholarships. The collapse will move up the line and cause more schools to close.

The end point will, hopefully, be a new marketplace with many fewer schools, fewer grads, and lower prices, but the interim will be a period of upheaval for a number of schools, their faculty, and their students. That's the disaster, Professor Burk.

What do you think about law sch---ah, screw it, what do you know?

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Yesterday JD Journal reported some results from the annual Law School Survey of Student Engagement with a headline proclaiming, “Law School Students Increase Legal Skills with Professor Interactions.” The survey talked to over 25,000 law students at 81 schools and was based on students’ perceptions of their own gains. The surveyors determined that students who interacted more often with classmates and faculty members at their law schools improved their critical and analytical thinking, writing and research skills, and ethical development.

We suggest an alternative interpretation.

Having students self-assess positive, school-related qualities, while in school, and then using those assessments as the foundation for a purportedly objective conclusion is a risky move. While people are often their own harshest critics, how many current law students are going to say that their law school experience, allegedly supposed to prepare them for a legal career, decreased their legal skills?

There’s also no mention of how this improvement was measured (except by the student’s own opinion). We’re not entirely confident that law school grades are an appropriate measure of legal skill, but at least that measure is semi-quantifiable.

The surveyors concluded that “extra involvement” led to higher grades, but study group participation did not. “Extra involvement” was said to include joining student organizations, study groups and social events. So does that mean going to law prom + joining the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund = getting higher grades? Probably not, but you might think so based on the way the results were written. On the other hand, being a serious dedicated student likely leads to both higher grades and greater student organization participation. And nevermind that several organizations have high (or decent) grades as a prerequisite.

The biggest issue with the study is that it pretends the answers to the following two questions have any meaning at all: asking students to rate their law school as excellent, good, fair or poor; and asking if they would go to the same school again if they could start over.

The question "how satisfied are you with your law school/would you go here again?" is much different than "how satisfied are you with your decision to go to law school/would you do it again?"

It’s the cliché “If I could turn back time” question, and almost universally people say no. (We say almost because we know if Cher could, she would take back those words that hurt you, and you'd stay). We become married to the events that have happened in our lives and the experiences we believe shaped the development of who we are.

Hindsight can be 20/20, but it can also be rose-tinted. We’ve all worn the How I Met Your Mother Graduation Goggles at some point. We over-value our actual experiences and relationships compared to our imagination’s alternatives. The fact that people would go to their law school again doesn't mean that law school was good; it just means that they did in fact go to their law school.

The survey results don’t actually tell us anything. It’s another “law school isn’t so bad” puff piece. The lack of acknowledgement by the survey that a self-reported skill increase with no measureable quantifiers isn’t a reliable measure of causation suggests a lack of logical reasoning and incomprehension of causation even first semester 1Ls should see. Maybe the survey has some utility after all- interpreting its data is probably a more reliable test of skill improvement than any measures it used.

Steve Diamond Can Get You a Job at Wachtell and a SCOTUS Clerkship

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We'd like to leave Steve Diamond alone, but he just won't keep his freaking mouth shut. Last night he Tweeted this:

Why am I not surprised that #CatoInstitute is sponsoring the law school is a "scam" crowd tomorrow?

Let's gloss over the fact that he doesn't understand the difference between an "at" sign and a hashtag. We'll also not dwell on the fact that the event is discussing Brian Tamanaha's Failing Law Schools, and that Tamanaha isn't part of the law school scam crowd, and in fact predates the crowd. Yes, he's a critic and he and the scam crowd do agree on many points, but they're hardly the same camp.

We're actually not going to focus on the Tweet at all, it's just our reason for using another post to draw attention to his idiocy. Instead we're going to look at a prior statement he made which was examined yesterday on the Lawyers, Guns, and Money Blog:

In any case, that kind of disappointment has been part of the law school process for many decades. It has nothing to do with the 100 year storm that has left us with the overhang in the market today as it has in every other job market. It turns out, John, that for everyone just living in the United States for the last four years was a “horrible decision.”

But this is really not the point I was (trying) to discuss. I have only maintained that a student accepted at BOTH schools [Santa Clara and Stanford] would most likely have very similar opportunities once they graduated. I feel reasonably confident, in other words, that Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati would be interested in that student, assuming they performed well, whether they took me for securities regulation or Joe Grundfest. But whether that student should go to SCU or Stanford or another school is an entirely different question depending on values, career goals, and other factors. For example, I readily admit, if you play golf, I would recommend going to Stanford.

First let's recognize that students accepted to both Stanford and SCU may be an empty set. Stanfords 25th percentile LSAT and GPA were 167 and 3.72. Santa Clara's 75th percentile were 162 and 3.48. Not even close. Those 5 little LSAT points represent the difference between the 95th percentile and the 86th percentile. Anyone who can get into Stanford can also get a generous scholarship offer from another California school which is much better than Santa Clara, such as Berkeley, USC, UCLA, or UC-Davis, or a number of out of state schools which still have good California placement, such as Arizona and Notre Dame (seriously, Notre Dame puts more kids in California jobs than in the Alabama end zone).

But really the crux of Diamond's argument is that career prospects mostly come down to the student, and not the school. Let's be clear though what Diamond didn't argue. He didn't argue that the quality of education is the same. That's a legit argument though. Justice Scalia readily admitted that the top schools weren't necessarily full of great teachers, but that he recruits from them because "you can't turn a silk purse into a sow's ear." Silk purse in - silk purse out, shouldn't matter where you go.

Except of course that employers use schools as a filtering mechanism. They don't want to see your LSAT and undergrad GPA on your resume. Instead they want to see your law school, and based on that they'll make assumptions about whether you're more silk purse or sow's ear. Diamond could argue that they ought not to make such assumptions, but he doesn't. He claims that they in fact do not make those assumptions. And of course he's wrong. Law firms have a ton of applicants to sort through, and this necessitates using some quick and dirty filters, such as law school prestige.


The most disturbing part about this is that Steve Diamond is "reasonably confident" in his students having the same opportunities as Stanford grads. What is this confidence based on? It's certainly not based on fact. Yet, we see this confidence all over the professoriate. It seems to be that professors and deans and other law school apologists just imagine the best possible world for their students, and then assume this world must exist. There's no attempt to ground the fantasy in fact. If things can be good they are good, end of inquiry.

We can look at the facts though. The fact that over the last 3 years Santa Clara sent an average of just 0.6% to federal clerkships. Stanford sends more than 23% of its class to federal clerkships every year. From 2000 to 2010 Stanford sent 32 grads into Supreme Court clerkships. Santa Clara sent zero. But that could just be due to different students going to different schools. We don't know. So what can we look at to gain a greater degree of certainty about the differences in opportunities? How about the firms that attend OCI at Santa Clara.

None of the Vault 5 firms recruited at Santa Clara last year, and a search of their sites showed only one (2003) grad among their ranks. Only 32 of the Vault 100 participated in SCU's 2011 OCI, and of those 32, some will be recruiting for satellite offices that pay substantially less than the major markets, and others will walk away without giving any offers.

So, we've got a theory that seems wrong on its face, and all the evidence points to it being wrong ...yet Steve Diamond is "reasonably confident" in it. How much do you really want to trust things that he says in class? If you're at SCU, don't sign up for his classes. If you're already in one, drop it and sign up for something else. Someone so confident in his own bullshit is not fit to be training the next generation of lawyers. We wonder if tenure comes with a "bat shit crazy" clause.

See our prior coverage of Steve Diamond:

Santa Clara Prof Just Making Up Tuition Facts

Santa Clara Prof Steve Diamond Approaches Escape Velocity

WE WERE WRONG ABOUT PROFESSOR DIAMOND AND WE APOLOGIZE [Spoiler: We weren't really wrong, and we didn't really apologize.]

What could law schools have done in 2006?

Law prof released back into the wild

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Deans often defend the high salaries of their professors by claiming that they're required in order to entice brilliant scholars away from Big Law (as if someone who wants to be an academic would really be keen on the Big Law environment). The response from the reform crowd is largely that once away from Big Law, profs can't get back in the game. Maybe professors in certain specialty areas could, or ones with big names who are hired more for the prestige they bring than their actual skill, but rank and file profs teaching fox hunting cases and dormant commerce clause wouldn't find a junior partnership position in a Vault 50 firm.

But instead of theorycrafting, what if someone actually conducted an experiment? Release a law professor back into the wild, and see what happens.

Such an experiment was conducted. We have the video:

What if we put all the crazy in the same camp?

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Afraid Obama is going to take your AR15? Better move to The Citadel.

No, not the military college, but the right wing extremist compound in Idaho. Technically, it's just an idea so far, but as far as ideas go it's pretty stupid. It's planned to be a 1000 acre fortress city, housing 3500-7000 families, with another 1000-2000 acres of farmland outside the curtain walls. Here's the artist concept:

Yo dawg, I heard you liked gated communities...


The best part of The Citadel is that living there requires signing the Patriot Agreement. There's a bit of liberty talk in the preamble, but pretty quickly the agreement jumps into what the Citadel is really all about, guns:

Two: Every able-bodied Patriot aged 13 and older governed by this Agreement shall annually demonstrate proficiency with the rifle of his/her choice by hitting a man-sized steel target at 100 yards with open sights at the Citadel range. Each Resident shall have 10 shots and must hit the target at least 7 times.

Three: Every able-bodied Patriot aged 13 and older governed by this Agreement shall annually demonstrate proficiency with a handgun of choice by hitting a man-sized steel target at 25 yards with open sights at the Citadel range. Each Resident shall have 10 shots and must hit the target at least 7 times.

Four: Every able-bodied Patriot of age within the Citadel will maintain one AR15 variant in 5.56mm NATO, at least 5 magazines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. The responsibility for maintaining functional arms and ammunition levels for every member of the household shall fall to the head of household. Every able-bodied Patriot will be responsible for maintaining a Tactical Go Bag or Muster Kit to satisfy the Minuteman concept. Details TBD and posted elsewhere.

These people are nuts. And not just normal "Obama's gonna take yer guns" nuts, but self-contradictory gun nuts. The requirement that you maintain a basic level of proficiency isn't that far out there. Many countries have mandatory military service for the purpose of creating a larger force that can be drawn from in times of war. Basically, everyone has to be part of the national guard here. What's ridiculous is the third requirement, that everyone be required to own an AR15. You have to both be a marksman, and be armed with a weapon designed for a mode of combat known as "spray and pray." That's like requiring everyone be able to cook and have proficiency in nutrition science, and also keep a stockpile of government cheese.

And then there's this bit of crazy nonsense:

Eight: All Patriots, who are of age and are not legally restricted from bearing firearms, shall agree to remain armed with a loaded sidearm whenever visiting the Citadel Town Center. Firearm shall be on-the-person and under the control of the Resident, not merely stored in a vehicle.

Yeah, that sounds like a place we'd want to hang out. Everyone is required to bring a gun with them. And since it's the big park in the middle of the community, it's probably the location where things like barbecues and wedding receptions and other celebrations will take place. And those events involve a lot of drinking. So no saying "I'm gonna drink tonight, and it's probably a good idea that I leave my gun at home." No siree! Gotta make all your bad decisions while armed.

While the requirements to own and be proficient with a weapon might mesh with the Citadel's general purpose, the requirement to carry a gun in the central park is just bizarre. Oh, and by the way, here is their general purpose, or specifically, the threat they want to prepare against:

The Citadel is primarily designed to defend against a grid-down, economic collapse scenario. When most people ask this question they are thinking in terms of defending against violent action but there are other aspects to defending ourselves. Self-sufficiency in terms of food, water and energy are also a form of defense against a collapse scenario, so these are a major part of our plan.

All sorts of rules about keeping armed, and there's another rule about being proficient in field medicine and basic survivalism, but if you really want to prepare against an economic collapse, you only need a small force of sharpshooters to defend against roving bands of thieves. What's more important to the long term survival of the community is renewable healthy foods. Citadel families are required to keep a year's worth of food stuffs, but it's all going to be canned, processed crap. Their farmland will likely be used for corn and potatoes, creating a diet of largely grains and starch. Odds are the society would collapse from a health epidemic long before the American economy and society collapsed.

We don't mean to discourage the Citadel or paranoid, heavily armed, poorly educated people who want to join the community. By all means, please do. Please, move to a secluded spot in Idaho behind high walls and towers where we can keep ourselves safe from you.

Page 10 of 136

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