John Lennon was right. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Not long after I ate a couple of yellow nectarines yesterday afternoon, I got a robocall. It was from the big box store where I’d purchased the fruit.
The automated voice told me to return the nectarines I’d just eaten. There was a voluntary recall over potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Regurgitation no longer an option, timing is everything. But what the . . . . ?
So knock on wood. And thankfully, no symptoms. Yet it’s come to this. Time to nix the nectarines and the burritos around here.
But forget the bad news for now. Let’s make happy talk instead. Out of New York City and London, I read about a new confidence builder. It’s the ‘shiney-hiney,’ also known as the “butt facial.” And according to the news report in The Week, it’s offered this summer by enterprising dermatologists in both cities.
The fanny facial is “a combination of exfoliating peels, lasers, and moisturizers to smooth the skin on the buttocks and minimize dark spots, zits, and cellulite.” One client quoted for the news story said, “before I tried the booty facial, I wasn’t as confident as I am now.”
So no kidding, a confidence builder! Could it be the next self-assurance tool before heading to court? Also see “A new take on glowing ‘cheeks’”
Unhappily, I don’t know of any dermatologists offering keister cleansing spa treatments in Arizona’s nether regions. Then again, except for those supposed confidence-building properties, around here all 4 cheeks get plenty pink without dermatological exfoliation thanks to Arizona’s hot and sweaty six-month summer.
Besides, who needs confidence building here? Not, for instance, ASU’s law school leadership. Why those folks are just dripping with confidence. Despite reports of “shrinking law schools facing financial devastation,” Monday’s Arizona Republic newspaper puff-pieced ‘happy news’ about the start of construction of ASU’s ballyhooed new $129 million downtown law school. The story read like an ASU press release.
Don’t blame the nectarines but after reading, I didn’t know whether to gag or spit. Despite continuing historic lows in the number of law school admissions test-takers – “a record low going back to June 2000″ as reported this week by The Law School Tuition Bubble, “it’s damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” While other law schools are “paring back,” ASU’s law school cognoscenti must be eating not reading their tea leaves. And the local paper appears to be riding shotgun in the same clown car with the law school’s dean. Good thing there’s plenty of room.
In a 2012 interview about the state of legal education, law school dean Doug Sylvester happy-talked, “I don’t think we’re in crisis.” So why not keep betting on the come? See “Law schools imperiled but insiders keep ignoring the changing tide.” Also see “Law school applications down 37 percent since 2010; first-year class could be smallest in 40 years.”
But it’s nice he’s putting the OPM — other people’s money — where his mouth is and blithely proceeding apace. Per the paper, “The law school’s dean, Douglas Sylvester, is so enthused, several times a day he pulls up a webcam on his computer that shows an aerial view of construction.”
Lawyer glut? Too much law school capacity? No worries. Sylvester thinks all that extra space at his expanded new digs — at least for now won’t mean adding more students onto a glutted legal marketplace. He’s keeping enrollments the same.
But it’ll be just dandy for adding two think-tanks; housing a law school sponsored law firm for otherwise out-of-work alumni; for offering more continuing legal education; and of course, for expanding “the degree referred to by critics as a “cash cow”, the LLM, the Master of Laws degree.
The LLM is the graduate degree popularly derided as “Lawyers Losing Money.” Writes Bryce Wilson Stucki at The American Prospect, “To critics, the degree is little more than a scam making extra cash from attorneys desperate to burnish their credentials in a brutal legal job market.” Also see “Inside the Law School Scam: LLM programs” and for a much more acerbic take, see “LLM Programs are “Popular” Due to Desperation Among Recent Unemployed J.D.s”
Of that Master of Laws Degree, George Leef at Forbes‘ Law Schools Peer Into The Abyss But The American Bar Association Blocks Serious Change,” also echoes the critics who think it’s the “Next scam: Law schools start “nonprofit” law firms that hire their own graduates, thus boosting their U.S. News rankings by ensuring their grads have jobs while letting their students get out from under debt in half the time. Plus, faculty can have high-paying side jobs managing things at the “nonprofit.””
So while another law school cuts faculty and staff jobs and halts first year classes to belatedly confront plunging law school enrollments, another expands and leverages its profit centers.
Growth for growth’s sake.
But then Maricopa County, Arizona has always been about happy talk about growth. So why not law school expansionism?
After all, this place helped put the bubble in real estate.