Chapter 79 – Do we just have too many lawyers?

As I contemplate the rash of utterly stupid behavior on the part of arbitrator Crow and his band of conspirators, it has dawned on on more than one occasion that this is all a desperate attempt to keep lawyers busy and to target business as their pseudo employers. Corporate America is not a willing employer, but as a group we are targeted.

The sting if you will is about taking a lawsuit that should not survive long and allowing it to move slowly and unsuccessfully through the dismissal stage. Ulitmately the contingent liability section of the trial lawyers association only survives, if not thrives, requires a target at the end of the process that can be stripped of enough of its assets so that the lawyers along the way all get paid. It breaks down otherwise.

While a free market economy is efficient over time, it is a slow and painful process. And when a region of the country is grwong faster than the economy overall, lawyers can go hungry. This may also apply to arbitrators, who have to be paid as well.

And so I’ve concluded that the reason laawyers are more aggressive at targeting business and the courts are more supportive of lawyers raping those businesses is that there are just too many lawyers, making too little, but with infrastructure support for taking it from people they deem to have more.

A former friend and still lawyer in the not too distant past noted that the reason I am losing these slap dunk lawsuits is because I have more than many lawyers. Judges don’t like that. Lawyers don’t like that.

Half of our top 10 public companies are leaving the Portland area. Soon we will not have enough corn fields to feed the lawyers. And we know they dont prepare, till, plant and harvest the field. They only take what has already been harvested. Read on.

REPRINTED FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES.

WILMETTE, Ill. — Ten months after graduation, only 60 percent of the law school class of 2014 had found full-time long-term jobs that required them to pass the bar exam.

Even that improvement over the class of 2013 (a 57 percent employment rate) came with three asterisks: Last year, the American Bar Association changed the job-reporting rules to give law schools an extra month for the class of 2014 to find jobs; graduates employed in law-school-funded positions count in the employment rate; and the number of jobs that require bar passage fell from 2013 to 2014.

Amazingly (and perversely), law schools have been able to continue to raise tuition while producing nearly twice as many graduates as the job market has been able to absorb. How is this possible? Why hasn’t the market corrected itself? The answer is that, for a given school, the availability of federal loans for law students has no connection to their poor post-graduation employment outcomes.

Students now amass law school loans averaging $127,000 for private schools and $88,000 for public ones. Since 2006 alone, law student debt has surged at inflation-adjusted rates of 25 percent for private schools and 34 percent for public schools.

In May 2014, the A.B.A. created a task force to tackle this problem. According to its recent report, 25 percent of law schools obtain at least 88 percent of their total revenues from tuition. The average for all law schools is 69 percent. So law schools have a powerful incentive to maintain or increase enrollment, even if the employment outcomes are dismal for their graduates, especially at marginal schools.

The underlying difficulty is that once students pay their tuition bills, law schools have no responsibility for the debt their students have taken on. In other words, law schools whose graduates have the greatest difficulty finding jobs that require bar passage are operating without financial accountability and free of the constraints that characterize a functioning market. The current subsidy system is keeping some schools in business. But the long-term price for students and taxpayers is steep and increasing.

Paradoxically, the task force chairman was Dennis W. Archer, the former mayor of Detroit, who is also head of the national policy board of Infilaw, a private equity-owned consortium of three for-profit law schools — Arizona Summit, Charlotte and Florida Coastal. These schools are examples of the larger problem. Most Infilaw 2014 graduates didn’t find jobs that required their expensive degrees. Excluding positions funded by the law school, only 39.9 percent of Arizona Summit graduates found full-time jobs lasting at least a year and requiring bar passage. Florida Coastal’s rate was 34.5 percent. At Charlotte, it was 34.1 percent.

Yet as the demand for new lawyers continued to languish from 2011 to 2014, the size of Infilaw’s graduating classes almost doubled, to 1,223. These schools are also among the leaders in creating law student debt. Arizona Summit’s 2014 graduates had average law school debt of $187,792. At Florida Coastal, the average was $162,785. Charlotte’s average was $140,528.

The task force report said that some witnesses proposed “capping law student loans, requiring law schools to have ‘skin in the game’ by being responsible for loan repayment in certain situations, and even scrapping the current federal student loan program altogether.” It characterized proponents of such measures as hoping “that a kind of fiscal tough love will force schools to become more financially responsible and reduce cost.”

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