Law School Even More of a Ripoff Than Previously ThoughtS

Law school is a huge ripoff—a catch-all haven for slackers and the existentially aimless, where you'll go into a huge amount of debt in order to surround yourself with beer pong-players and cute little dogs, and emerge unemployable, with nothing to do with your worthless new skills except sue to try to get your law school tuition back. Now, we can add to that list: they'll bait-and-switch your ass out of scholarship money, on purpose!

Allow us to bring to your attention yesterday's fine David Segal piece, in which he points out the grifter-like financial aid policies of America's law schools. It's very simple, actually: they give lots of merit scholarships, dependent on keeping a certain grade point average; then, they herd first-year students into classes that grade on a strict curve, making it a mathematical certainty that a portion of them will lose their scholarships. It's like buying unwitting students (which help the law school achieve a higher U.S. News ranking) at a steep discount! So while scholarship recipients all think they'll be able to keep that 3.0, the school knows for a fact that many of them won't. But by the time the students lose the scholarship, they'll already have invested a year in law school; the chances are very good they'll decide to go into debt to pay to finish.

"I had a friend once who told me that hunting is a sport," said one Golden Gate merit grant winner who anticipated coming up shy of a 3.0 average. "I said, ‘Hunting is not a sport.' He said: ‘Sure it's a sport. It's just that the animals don't know they're in a game.' That's what it feels like to be a law student these days. You have no idea you're in a game."

Okay, well, fair warning, potential law students: you are the hunted. Don't go to law school, duh.

[NYT. Photo: Yovany Alas/ Flickr]