Tuesday, 23 August 2011


As someone who blogged anonymously so that I could work to expose dirty secrets of certain individuals, only to then have one of those individuals, years later, engage in a campaign of threats of violence after finally putting two and two together, I have great sympathy with Paul Campos, outed author of the "Inside The Law School Scam".

By all accounts, US law schools essentially ask for hundreds of thousands of US dollars in fees without giving their graduates a fair shot at getting a job capable of supporting those fees after graduation. The result is many US law graduates saddled with debt they cannot repay. Whether this is a scam or not is up for debate, but it would appear that Campos's detractors are pulling no punches:

"ScamProf is the failed academic who has done almost no scholarly work in the last decade, teaches the same courses and seminars year in and year out, and spends his time trying to attract public attention, sometimes under his own name, this time anonymously. These are important facts about ScamProf, since he is indeed scamming his students and his state, and his initial posts were tantamount to a confession that he's not doing his job. His colleagues, in any case, now know who he is, and are quite understandably angry, since the reckless genearlizations [sic] are naturally read as commentary on them."

It is not hard to see some of the over-reaction coming from Campos's (overwhelmingly
law-school based) critics as being the result of guilty consciences. Campos seems much more popular amongst law students and practising lawyers. Here's a sample:

"Campos is a hero. If the ABA wasn’t so corrupt and would make common sense determinations like NOT accrediting new law schools, there would be no scam. Most law professors are out of touch and have never had any practical legal experience. The ABA is such a disgrace and is responsible for this debacle of the oversupply of lawyers."


"Over my 44 year career I have counseled many students . . . Until recently I was able to tell them that if they did well in law school they stood a reasonable chance of being able to accomplish their goals one way or another. But at least in this century, and for a bit of the last, I have been increasingly hard put to be enthusiastic about their admirable goals. In the last five years I have become downright pessimistic about them. I know many other lawyers, and a few law professors, who are similarly pessimistic."

Not having studied law in the US, I feel that except for the element of being outed, this isn't my argument. All I would say is that Campos would probably have been better off staying anonymous- half of the interest in his blogging was based on the feeling of getting the inside scoop - but now he is bound to be painted as unrepresentative. Moreover, because he outed himself rather than waiting to be outed, he is open to accusations of self-aggrandisement.

1 comment:

Rand(45) said...

If you want to get your money worth, go to a technical college and learn plumbing. Universities are not vocational schools. They didn't say you can make lots of money going to universities.