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Everything posted by Underpar

  1. The importance of the bar passage rate to law schools is captured in this morning's New York Law Journal. Those of you who think bar passage rate is not important should read the article and think again. Buffalo Law's passage rate dropped by 11 points. 25% of its first time test takers failed. These people will not only have to sit for the exam again, when the rate of passage is even lower, they will not be able to practice law for all intents and purposes for another year. Try telling the deans of New York's 15 or so law schools that bar passage is not an important part of what they are selling.
  2. All I can do is recommend that you watch the town hall meeting. Two things are obvious. Albany Law is way ahead of the issues facing law schools. it has a very solid plan for the future. It was UAlbany that approached Albany Law and not the other way around. UAlbany is not the only university seeking to affiliate with Albany Law. UAlbany makes the most sense from my point of view. Albany, New York is the seat of government and there is always going to be a good environment for a law school and my money, in more ways than one, is on Albany Law.
  3. What will happen in the next 5 to10 years is several of New York's law schools will close. That in turn will make the market better for theschoolsstill standing. I am completely confident that Albany Law will not only survive but thrive. The issue from my perspective is whether Albany Law will be "better" because of an affiliation with UAlbany or Colgate or even RPI.
  4. If you are really interested you can watch the town hall meeting by going to the Albany Law web site. It was not stated but I have heard from a reliable source Colgate has been involved in the discussions. In any case Albany Law School has a strategic plan to either affiliate or go it alone.
  5. A final comment off topic. I was at the UA/ Delaware football game on Saturday. I took 8 buddies. We did some tailgating and had a great time. None of them are UA graduates. They all love football and I'm sure will attend games in the future. There was comment on the absence of students. It has always been one of UA's problems. For some reason we attract students who don't care about sports.
  6. What I found interesting was that Dan Nolan was one of the programs moderators. He pretty much took the lead. He is a graduate of both schools. If he had an opinion he kept it hidden. However, he did use the word "affiliation" numerous times. The question will be how is the affiliation be defined. That seems to be vague at the moment. I suspect the leadership has a clear idea of what it is and they are not prepared to say anything until the alumni and Board of Directors are fully behind the move. AL's Board is scheduled to vote on something this month. One Board member who I know very well told me that there are some parts of the AL community who remain skeptical .i remain skeptical about funding.
  7. 96, you are again off base. We were obviously talking about Michigan State's law school, which is public. It used to be Detroit Law School. The University of Michigan is private. The Michigan State Law School is in serious trouble. If Albany Law was looking to partner with any local college for financial reasons it would be RPI. I know it's endowment is in the billions. I'm convinced some differant relationship between the schools will develope but what it will be is not certain. I Am fairly sure it will not be The University at Albany School of Law.
  8. Michigan's law school is in serious trouble. Public funds are tight and Michigan's political leaders are unmoved by the schools need for money. It was reported at tonight's meeting that UA needs several hundred million dollars to keep pace. The school has to raise tuition which is going to create an uproar. Is UA going to be able to convince the Governor and legislature to appropriate the funds? I doubt it. Why would Albany Law put itself at the mercy of state politics when it has a good plan to move into the future? My impression is that Albany Law's leaders are concerned about putting the schools future in the control of politicians. Living in Albany I share their concern.
  9. My financial situation has nothing to do with this. I'm in private practice. The way this thing is shaking out looks to me like UA wants/needs an association with Albany Law and not the other way around. I'm not opposed to an affiliation. In fact I'm in favor of one. But, I'm also in favor of an affiliation with The College of Nano Technology, RPI etc.
  10. What is in this for you 96? I have a lot at stake, including my degree and a lot of money I have given Albany Law and UAlbany.
  11. Were you at the program tonight? Albany Law does not need anyone. It is healthy and has a fabulous business plan. UAlbany lost Nano Tech for a reason. Alan Kalearious knew that operating under the UAlbany administration would kill his dreams.
  12. I've made a lot of money and had a very successful career. I'll bet my business acumen over yours 96. What is it you hope to gain by this, come clean? Is your name really "Dane96" or is that a moniker? I have serious doubts Albany Law will gain much of anything by merging with UAlbany.
  13. 96, what's in this for you? why are you so obsessed with this? I graduated from both schools, did you? If I had to pick which institution had the biggest influence on my life and career there is no question: it is Albany Law School. Why would I want to see the future of Albany Law depend on the politics in NYS? UAlbany approached Albany Law, so who needs who?
  14. UAlbany approached Albany Law. Albany Law has just unveiled a new strategic plan that includes alliances with UAlbany, RPI, Siena, St. Rose. What was previously unknown was that Albany Law has been approached by another university.
  15. I was there. A lot of good questions. The major concerns seemed to be control and funding. Legitimate concern about having to rely on UAlbany and NYS for funding.
  16. As the saying goes, I have no dog in this fight. I graduated some time ago from both institutions. What I am hearing is that the law school knew what was facing its grads and instead of making sure applicants knew that the job market was not promising it inflated its figures on post graduate employment. It placed the well being of its leadership, professors and staff ahead of its applicants. That is bound to cause bitterness. It is not asinine. Why would recent grads want to compete with grads who have little or no debt? It's called self interest. The statement I keep hearing is that if New York needs another public law school, and that is a doubtful proposition, then let it be in Binghamton where the Governor originally proposed it. Does New York really need another public law school?
  17. No, it was misleading its graduates by making them believe there were good jobs waiting for them.
  18. In advance of tonight's meeting at Albany Law I have been in touch with a number of recent Albany Law graduates. They are almost unanimously opposed to any merger. They will not accept the fact they they are stuck with $55,000+ annual tuition payments and students just a few years younger will get $15,000 tuition.
  19. It is being discussed. It's not clear what an affiliation is.
  20. i have it on very reliable authority that the affiliation/merger with Albany Law School is being well received by Albany Law alums and the faculty.
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  22. Come on guys. We just played, arguably, the best FCS team in the nation. It is going to take Coach Gatuso several years together that level. I am impressed how far he has gotten already.
  23. If you don't learn how to think like a lawyer you will never have much merit as a lawyer. Law school is an intensive 3 year program training a person to think like a lawyer. I have no real comment on the LSAT exam except you need to do well to get into law school. When you are selling a product its not bad if you can say that 93% of your graduates pass the bar exam on their first try. What does it say if only 65% of your graduates pass the bar on their first try? It says, not a good law school and not very bright students. You cannot practice law without passing the bar exam.
  24. I graduated from Albany Law in 1979. There were only a few pure academics on the faculty. The great late David Siegel was an academic and a fabulous lawyer. But, the faculty was mainly composed of great practicing attorneys. Too much of the current faculty are academics who have never really practiced law. My main concern with a possible merger is that the law school will be pushed further into the publish or perish mode. I want Albany Law graduates to be known as really smart people who can tackle the tough legal problems people and organizations are faced with. I would be fine with a total merger if the main objective was to produce great lawyers. I would be more than disappointed if the goal was to produce lawyers who didn't have a clue as to how to advise someone faced with an important legal challenge.
  25. I'm not disparaging UAlbany at all. I am a proud graduate. I think a merger between the two schools could be great for both. My concern is with Albany Law, from which I am also a proud graduate. Not too many years ago Albany Law was considered the hidden jewel of New York State's law schools. For almost 20 years Albany Law lead every school in bar passage rate. 93% of my classmates passed the bar exam on our first try. The school was lead by people who had a close personal attachment. The professors were fabulous. They did not teach law, they guided students through an incredibly difficult but rewarding process of learning how to read, think, write and speak like lawyers. We learned very quickly, in fact on the first day of classes, to never expect a professor to answer a question about a legal issue. If you did ask a question you could expect to be asked to stand before all of your classmates and grilled, sometimes for 15 or 20 minutes. The reason for this was simple and powerful. We were being trained to think and speak for ourselves and to not rely on anyone else to answer the legal question you had. We were being trained in the art of identifying the correct issues and to reason towards the best answer. We were being trained to take a position and defend it with proper analysis. We were being trained to stand on our own feet. The law school has lost its way. It is more important for a professor to publish material than to guide her students through the three year process of reshaping their brains. Students can now get 3 credit hours for taking a survey course on Chinese Law which will be of absolutely no value and will not advance the process of training students to think like lawyers. There is no comparison between a great law school education and an undergraduate education at UAlbany or any other undergraduate school. My heartfelt concern is that if Albany Law does not get back on track it will slip further and further away from the formula which once made it so successful. The school needs to be lead by real accomplished lawyers who have a strong emotional connection to it.
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