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Lawyer Glut
The Shady Dealings of For-Profit Law Schools

We generally advise students considering any law school to think twice, but if the law school you’re considering is for-profit, you should stay away altogether. The Atlantic profiles for-profit law schools, especially those owned by InfiLaw System, a corporate entity that controls for-profit outposts throughout the country. Though a mix of deception and predatory behavior, those who run the company have done very well for themselves. Their students, not so much. 90 percent of graduates leave with high-interest debt, and the median amount is about $204,000. More: 

According to mandatory reports that the schools filed with the ABA, of those 1,191 InfiLaw graduates, 270—nearly one-quarter—were unemployed in February of this year, nine months after graduation. And even this figure is, as a practical matter, an understatement: approximately one in eight of their putatively employed graduates were in temporary jobs created by the schools and usually funded by tuition from current students. InfiLaw is not alone in this practice: many law schools design the brief tenure of such “jobs” to coincide precisely with the ABA’s nine-month employment-status reporting deadline. In essence, the schools are requiring current students to fund temporary jobs for new graduates in order to produce deceptive employment rates that will entice potential future students to enroll. (InfiLaw argues that these jobs have “proven to be an effective springboard for unemployed graduates to gain experience and secure long-term employment.”)

Read the whole thing for a grim look at very ugly sub-sector of American legal education. However, the fundamental problem of debt-ridden students without jobs plagues non-profit law schools as well. InfiLaw should be condemned, but we should not forget that many students who have gone to more “respectable” law schools wind up just as badly off as some of InfiLaw’s victims.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    We never should have allowed any federally-sponsored student loans to go to any for-profit institutions at all.

  • rheddles

    We should not have any federally-sponsored loans to minors.

    • Thirdsyphon

      Especially not for something like law school. Congress should eliminate both the Federal guarantees on these loans and the prohibition against discharging them in bankruptcy, and let the market make up its own mind about which applicants it makes sense to lend money to, and at what rates of interest. That reform alone would put an end to these abuses overnight.

      • rheddles

        And tether tuition.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Such a reform would simply put an end to the loans in any meaningful sense. After all, who in their right mind would loan $50,000 to an 18 year-old to take courses in Grievance Studies at Whatsamatta U?

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