Scummy for-profit universities are by now a notorious national scandal; Paul Campos reminds us that that you can get the same thing in a law school:
[S]chools accredited by the American Bar Association admit large numbers of severely underqualified students; these students in turn take out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans annually, much of which they will never be able to repay. Eventually, federal taxpayers will be stuck with the tab, even as the schools themselves continue to reap enormous profits.
It’s the very same scheme as the college scheme we’ve followed on this blog for years.
Campos features an amazing story that could have come out of North Korea (or, even worse, Chicago State University). The worse a university (the worse a country), the more repressive it is, particularly about threats to its propaganda machine. A candidate for dean at arguably America’s worst law school (one of the for-profits) not long ago tried to give a truth-telling presentation to its faculty. As the candidate spoke about the school’s astonishingly, cynically, low admissions standards, the school’s president stood up and told him to stop immediately, to leave the room, and if he didn’t leave, the president would call security.
The life of mind’s a beautiful thing, ain’t it? America can be proud of its ABA approved law schools and their commitment to the robust exchange of ideas…
I mean, to be sure, if fellow travelers, fair weather friends, and enemies of the state happen to appear among us, it is not only our right but our duty to rise up as one and eliminate them from our midst…
Low-ranking not for profit law schools, Campos points out, are pretty much just as brazen in their sordid profit-taking.
A glance at New England Law’s tax forms suggests who may have benefited most from this trajectory: John F. O’Brien, the school’s dean for the past 26 years, whom the school paid more than $873,000 in its 2012 fiscal year, the most recent yet disclosed. This is among the largest salaries of any law-school dean in the country. (By comparison, the dean at the University of Michigan Law School, a perennial top-10 institution, was reported to make less than half as much, $420,000, in 2013.)… Richard A. Matasar, a former dean of New York Law School, was, until his resignation in 2011, quoted regularly in the national press about the need to reform the structure of legal education, even as he collected more than half a million dollars a year from a school with employment statistics nearly as poor as those of [for-profit law schools].