Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Low Expectations


  • Bar results are out, but don't seem to be on the bar site at this time.  Someone in the comments says the passage rate this time was only 51%.
  • UNLV Boyd School of Law professor Leslie Griffin is hospitalized after she was attacked in a park last week. We wish her a speedy recovery. [news3lv; KTNV; RJ]
  •  Elizabeth Brown is the new Supreme Court Clerk of Court. [RJ]
  • The State Senate approved the bill for a new stadium--now, it's on to the Assembly. [Las Vegas Sun]

57 comments:

  1. Come on...... How much traffic can the bar site actually get even on bar results day? 10K? It's not like they didn't know they might get increased traffic.

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  2. Replies
    1. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzzhs5upv1eyV2FyaF9CTFBUbmM/view

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  3. The State Bar said their site crashed. Highest dues in the country and they can't get it right. Every state including California posts results with no problem. That being said, the results were interesting. The pass rate was 50 something before for the July exam. Maybe 2014.

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    1. July 2014 was 57%. and that was a new low. before it used to be around 77% for July exams.

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    2. July, 2005 Was bout 53%, IIRC.

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  4. The interesting news is pass rates, but the good news for existing lawyers is the decreasing rate of new lawyers in Nevada. I did the counting so you don't have to. In '06 to '08, the July bar exam was producing 300 or more new Nevada lawyers. That dropped to the low 200s from '09 to '13, went under 200 in '14, and has now dropped to 150. Assuming the February exam doesn't alter these stats very much (I didn't look at those), we are now producing new Nevada lawyers at about half the rate we were 8 years ago.

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    1. The legal market is so saturated who would want to enter in the last 5 years? Crazy that anyone is filling law school seats.

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    2. This is the real story. The cost of law school compared to the job prospects in today's market make it very hard to justify. Unless you're getting substantial financial aid, parental contribution, or are attending a T14 school, law school just is not worth the cost.

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    3. There are still idiots-a-plenty who are dumb enough to borrow $200k+ and miss out on three prime working years in order to enter a profession where job numbers are plummeting. But who cares? That money will never be paid back anyway.

      The JD is the new MSW.

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    4. 9:24 has it right. Thank you.

      Don't forget that it is also three years of uniform and unrelenting left-wing indoctrination. You see, sexuality, for example, can be on a spectrum, but political beliefs cannot. Hard left or you are a hater, racist, patriarch, homophobe, etc. etc. etc. Such is the level of modern discourse.

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    5. @9:42, I see you took constitutional law at Boyd?

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  5. Law school applications are falling at a far faster rate than are law school admissions. That is a documented fact. Law schools are admitting progressively less-qualified students. Plummeting bar passages rates are just one symptom of this phenomenon. Until the US government abrogates its guaranty of student loan debt, this trend will continue.

    College and graduate school loans should be like any other underwritten debt, and bankruptable. Only when those things happen will tuition again become realistic. And only when those things happen will we again see college and graduate degrees actually mean something.

    Currently, there are far too many people hanging around colleges and graduate schools and calling themselves students who have no business being there. These people could be in the workforce and growing the economy. Colleges and graduate schools have largely become a place for unmotivated people to hang out and be unproductive while suckling on the federal government's teat.

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  6. I am genuinely impressed that a number of passersby came to the victim's aid. It reinforces my unshakable faith in humanity.

    With some luck, the perp will actually go to prison, but I am not betting on it since we are completely out of prison space.

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    1. I'm also impressed that they were able to "convince" the perp to stick around until cops arrived.

      How? With a stick? With a beat-down? With born-again talk of coming to Jesus?

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  7. The newer grads that are coming out keep getting dumber and dumber. Good for me.

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    1. That may be true, but it also appears that the cream of the crop from Boyd is getting better and better. I work at a large firm and we have the luxury of interviewing the top of the class from Boyd each year. This year's class was deeper and more polished than ever. In addition, Boyd is now placing some of its top students at places like O'Melveny and Latham & Watkins in L.A.

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    2. "deeper and more polished" sounds like a great porn title.

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    3. What does deeper mean? Deeper as in multidimensional personalities and backgrounds? Deeper as in more than one smart kid in the class?

      Polished is good.

      Porn associations is always good. It took 50 shades of grey for me to finally realize what women really want. Trump has known all along.

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    4. Many of the district court judges won't even interview Boyd law grads anymore. Lot of them got burned by terrible hires.

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    5. the 2011-2016 boyd crew suck. that is old hat on this thread.

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  8. The top 10% of just about any school are good talent. The bottom 30% or so of any school is basically untrainable, whether due to work ethic or limits on innate ability (doesn't matter). I only hire top 10%, so school doesn't matter. If you have no class rank, I won't even read the rest of the application because it's missing essential information about your potential. Some top schools apparently think they're doing their students favors by not publishing class rank, but they're not.

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  9. 11:09 here. I should ad that a low class rank does not guarantee poor performance in the real world, but it is a good indicator. Unless you have the resources to hire 10 people for a year or two and then make offers to 1 or 2 people after assessing performance (and nobody has those kinds of resources), you have to play the odds.

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  10. Rank has nothing to do with IQ. Buy a clue.

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  11. Types like 11:09 make me laugh. There is, no question, some overlap in law school performance and success as a lawyer, that overlap is often overstated. Think of all the important lawyering skills that aren't really taught in law school: public speaking/argument, marketing, business management, how to really negotiate, interpersonal skills, speaking other languages, etc. I suppose if you're hiring an associate who is only a grinder and you only intend to keep for a couple of years, sticking to the top 10% makes sense, other than that it's pretty irrelevant.

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    1. In a word, you are wrong. It is like the morons who deny the absolute scientifically validated concept of intelligence. 11:09 is absolutely correct. Yes, there are some solid Westlaw reps floating at the bottom of the pool, and each of these under 30%'ers would make standard issue DA's, AG's and CCSD attorneys. 11:09 isn't concerned with them. 11:09 is looking for talented attorneys.

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    2. I love it when someone opens with "In a word" and then requires three words to state their view. I guess "In three words" just doesn't have the same ring to it . . . .

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    3. An A student in law school= Law Professor
      A B student in law school= Judge
      A C student in law school= millionaire

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    4. I was an A student in law school and I agree with this statement.

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    5. I was a B student in law school and I agree with this statement.

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    6. I was a C student in law school and I work at Subway.

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  12. I have a divorce client who is an attorney here in town and has his own practice. Obviously I am going to need to hire an expert to value the law firm. Does anyone have any suggestions/referrals for a business valuation expert (specifically, law firm valuation)?

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    1. Duh! The Eglet Firm! The most valuable firm in Nevada!
      Actually, this is a great question for the administrators of this blog.
      What firm is the most valuable?
      Your welcome in advance for the blog question!

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    2. For general business evaluations we usually use Anthem Forensics or Jeff Nash. Unfortunately, I can't tell you if anybody in town has experience specific to evaluating a law firm.

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    3. I do not know anything about family law. Why does the ex get a piece of the business? Is the ex an attorney? If not, how can ex get anything?

      Now, tapping the income stream (LOVE that phrase) would make sense, but a valuation has nothing to do with it. Ex gets a couple years of free money and then has to make a living or go back out and find another host to suck dry.

      Divorce: the screwin' you get for the screwin' you got.

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    4. How dare you represent my wife.

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    5. The ex doesn't get a piece of the business, she gets money or other assets equal to 50% of the business value; paid up-front or over time. e.g. Husband gets to keep the law firm worth $1M but has to give up $500k in other assets to pay for it. Having said that - a valuation for a closely held service-based family owned business will have a deeeeep discount for lack of marketability if the ex-wife isn't an attorney and can't take half the clients with her.

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    6. Eddie, I want half!

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    ReplyDelete
  14. 11:28, I don't think it's seriously disputed that LSAT and law school performance, bar passage, etc. are correlated. If I am personally aware of some special skills you have (marketing or something), and I'm hiring for that purpose, I may not care about class rank so much. Fair enough. But if I'm hiring a GP attorney, it would be dumb of me to ignore the metric that indicates relative general intellectual ability against other lawyers as tested dozens of times over the course of three years. To say that rank has nothing to do with IQ is silly. Grab 10 random 170-LSAT scorers and pit them against 10 random 150-LSAT scorers in the same law school curriculum. Apart from maybe 1 or 2 outliers based on extreme differences in effort, does anyone really have the slightest doubt what the outcome would be? What if you had to bet your paycheck on the outcome? How would you bet? Well, that's what employers do. Being ranked near the bottom doesn't guarantee you will not succeed. But exceptions don't disprove the rule.

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    1. Depends on why you're hiring. I know plenty of super smart people who couldn't socialize their way out of a paper bag.

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    2. Right, because clients pay $500/hour for a skill that every bleached blonde and pool boy has. Got it. Moving along now.

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    3. @1:45, I don't think that is what was implied. Just that smarts need some kind of affability to generate business. People skills can't be minimized.

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  15. I was a B+ student in school. I was not ranked. My school had a B- curve. I always had a chip on my should because of the ranked kids who got better job offers and scholarship to boot. But ironically, now that we are a few years into practice, I make more than them. While they took that 100k salary position at some billable firm being a grinder for the partner, I first went to clerk for a judge and then jumped into private practice. My private practice pay was above average, but did have incentives. I ended up making $275k my first year in private practice, over triple my base salary. Funny thing is that those "smart students" with the high pay job now look at me with some envy. But in the end, I am just happy I have a job. It is not lost on me how bad it was to get a job not too long ago.

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    1. should = shoulder*

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    2. I know plenty of attorneys who make a great living despite lackluster credentials. Fact is that most clients have no idea how to shop for a lawyer. Some flash, some billboards, and couple of hostesses, and you are rocking.

      Imagine business is booming. You need someone to actually do the work. You are not some PI shyster running a mill. You need an actual, bona fide attorney. Would you hire top 10% or bottom 30%?

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    3. That really wouldn't apply in that scenario. I would hire based on experience, familiarity with issues, and reputation/word of mouth. If this is a brand new attorney, then I would look at what they did outside of school (extern/internship, etc) and even what classes they took. In the end, brand new attorneys will have to be molded in some form by the supervising attorney. If all that is still a wash, then i would look purely at writing samples and ability to do research and write on their own initiative.

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    4. Nice. You give hope to some of us average students.

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    5. This is why you go to the easiest accredited law school you can. I drank and humped my way through law school Animal House style and still ended up well within top 10%. If I had gone to a more competitive school, I would have had to buckle down. Screw that.

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    6. The old man went to Tulane as a second career at the age of 38. He knew he'd be competing against a bunch of bright kids, but who would be drinking and whoring their way through law school. He was 100% right. He graduated 7th in his class.

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    7. Grasshopper and ant fables.

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  16. Anyone have a take on law school reunions?

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    1. We had a ten year reunion, and everyone had a great time. Funny thing, though, at the closing dinner, the organizer said, "Want to do this again?" and everyone said, politely, "No, thanks, we're good." And we haven't, 30 plus years out.

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    2. http://bitterempire.com/avoid-the-agony-of-a-law-school-reunion/?utm_content=bufferad3f4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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    3. Our 5 year reunion (I think just a fancy dinner) was a few days after 9/11. It was cancelled, obviously.

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    4. I did go to the free cle that was offered at my 5 year reunion and skipped everything else (cost, needed to go home and get the kiddos to bed) but wasn't sure if the ten year was the thing to do as it approaches. I agree with the article that social media makes them moot in a way, just seems like a lot of trouble for the school to go to if they really aren't well attended.

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