Ep. 160: For-Profit Law Schools with Dr. Riaz Tejani

In this episode, the guys get real about for-profit law schools. How do they operate? Why have there been class action law suits brought against them? Why have some lost their accreditation? And most importantly, what does it mean for students who are considering a for-profit institution, or who are currently enrolled in one of these schools? To help with the discussion, the guys are joined by Dr. Riaz Tejani, author of Law Mart: Justice, Access, and For-Profit Law Schools.

Before diving into the discussion on for-profit schools, the guys talk family matters. Ben’s dad—formerly of arctic-test-center fame— is out in Virginia helping Ben with some house repairs. Nathan’s mom and niece are headed to LA, and Nathan tries to cajole Ben into getting his dad out to do some upkeep on Nathan’s apartment. We also get some updates on Thinking LSAT Live: Chicago and the guys talk about what it’s like being on the development side of the LSAT Demon. After talking to Dr. Tejani, the guys answer some listener mail. You’ll hear some test-day proctor nightmares; you’ll learn which law school has a complete collection of SCOTUS bobble heads; you’ll hear the guys rip up a GPA addendum; and the show will wrap up with a question about fee waivers. BOOM. Action-packed. Let’s get in there.

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13:57 – Meet Dr. Riaz Tejani. He has a PhD in social anthropology from Princeton, a JD from USC, and he’s the author of Law Mart: Justice, Access, and For-Profit Law Schools. The guys have a sweeping conversation with Dr. Tejani about the practices of for-profit law schools and how they can result in devastating outcomes for students. Get a look behind the curtain at the now-defunct Charlotte School of Law and learn why the school lost its accreditation and how it affected its starry-eyed future lawyers.

38:30 – Email 1—Delicious crinkly bags of salty potato chips getting chomped and smacked and sprayed every which way. Guys and gals nervously giggling and whispering loudly to one another. The whiz-bang ding-a-ling of cell phone alerts every few moments. Is it the awkward early moments of a high school party? No. No it’s not. It’s the proctor nightmare that anon lived through when taking the September LSAT. The way anon describes her test, it was a veritable circus up in there…and not in a good way. She was horribly distracted by the noisy obnoxious proctor, and so were her peers. Anon wrote a letter to LSAC to complain, and guess what dear listeners. They shot back a wonderfully lawyerly form email because, like, this happens all the time. The guys read LSAC’s response aloud and share plenty of guffaws over the content. However, anon WILL get to take another test for free if she chooses, or she can cancel her score scot-free. If she does decide to keep her score, LSAC will even write a doctor’s-note-style letter included with her score that lets admissions staffers know about the testing conditions on the day of the test. Although the way the form letter is written, we don’t know that a letter from LSAC will be too helpful.

56:44 – Email 2—Graham, Andy, and Pete write in with a very serious, very important, and very pressing email from the Antonin Scalia Law School. In a desperate attempt to come off as the cool kid, ASLS sends a rather braggy email disclosing that they have a complete collection of SCOTUS bobble heads. Ummm…what? Sometimes these things make the guys laugh until they cry. Nathan and Ben read through the email and try to find a decent selling point for the school amidst all the BS.  

1:09:06 – Email 3—Kate asks the guys to read and provide feedback for her GPA addendum. The addendum is pretty clean! The guys make some recommendations and give Kate’s addendum their highest compliment: not terrible. Nice work, Kate! The pro tips are to provide as much raw fact in your statement as possible, and to not fall into the trap of using adverbs to get your point across.

1:14:53 – Email 4—Darius has been getting a bunch of fee-waiver emails in his inbox. Some are even unsolicited! He’s also been a bit bummed because he asked a few of the top schools whether a fee waiver was possible, but he was denied. Darius wants to know if a fee waiver is some indication of your chances of gaining admission to that particular school. Like is Stanford not giving him a fee waiver because they just don’t do that sort of thing? Or is it because they don’t really think he’s a good candidate? Similarly, if he receives a fee-waiver offer out of the blue, does that mean the school in question thinks he’s a shoo-in? Ben and Nathan discuss.

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