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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, October 30, 2009

STI Vicit STX!

Pay up Casimir!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 7:39 PM. |

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Can't Say that I'm Shedding Any Tears

Read all about it here. (h/t Am. Papist)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 7:40 PM. |

Unconfirmed: AMSL flunks the bar exam in Michigan

If anyone wants a graphic depicting this information, I'll work on it after I see an official report, however, several places on the blawgs, such as this MSU fan site, are reporting that the Michigan Board of Bar Examiners has released pre-appeal bar exam pass rates by school.

According to those various posts, which seems to agree, the numbers are thus:

FIRST-TIME Bar Exam Takers Breakdown (Statewide: 88%)

Michigan State University: 95%
Cooley: 85%
U of D Mercy: 85%
U of M: 92%
Wayne: 89%
Toledo: 89%
Out of State Law Schools: 84%
Ave Maria: 74%

ALL Exam Takers Breakdown (Statewide: 83%)

Michigan State University: 91%
Cooley: 75%
U of D Mercy: 83%
U of M: 92%
Wayne: 84%
Toledo: 89%
Out of State Law Schools: 80%
Ave Maria: 73%

Thanks. The graph will look a lot like the admission statisitcs, except the precipitous fall from top to bottom will be steeper. Rock Bottom.

Any of you blathering sycophants want to criticize me, then here's what to say in the comments: "FUMARE is just reporting bad news about the Ave Maria School of Law and we should be assisting these students in their time of need instead of pounding on them." or here's another one, "these results are for Michigan, but the school is in Florida now."

Good thing they have Princeton Review's highest rated faculty. At least, that's what these bar takers thought. They do say that the gap between a 130 LSAT and a literate person is enough to cause the LSAT taker to have awe in the verbal superiority of the regular person. Perhaps that's why such high ratings.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 7:35 PM. |

NY Archbishop Dolan Speaks Out

The new New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan appears to be no shrinking violet. After standing by Bishop Tobin's critique of U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Archbishop Dolan published a blog post critical of anti-catholicism in the media. Archbishop Dolan singles out recent egregious examples in the New York Times (which had a truly despicable editorial on Sunday). The post was intended to be an op-ed piece for the New York Times, but the Times declined to publish it. Heartening to see our bishops speaking out!

Fumed by Thales at 1:42 PM. |

Read this BEFORE you get married

This article appeared in the weekly parish bulletin column of St. Lambert's Church in Skokie, IL. The author is "The Rev. Know It All" the resident apologetics personality of the pastor Fr. Richard Simon.

Here it is in its entirity:



Dear Rev. Know it all,

I visited your church once and am thinking about having my wedding there. How long is your main aisle?

Mary O’burne

Dear Mary,

I am often asked that question, and never quite understand it. Are brides curious about the length of the aisle because they think a longer aisle may give them a few more minutes to back out of the whole thing? Or, as I suspect, does a long aisle
prolong the glorious promenade of which a young girl dreams as she thumbs through bridal magazine as she contemplates her special day, when all eyes focus on her as she approaches her enchanted prince and all the world thinks she’s gorgeous and
knows that she has bagged her man just as surely as a Wisconsin bricklayer bags a deer and ties it onto the roof of his pick up truck? I have certainly seen a few grooms who look like a frightened deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck.
Why is it that weddings cause people to spend so much time, energy and money? And more money.

The average American wedding costs almost $29,000, according to “The Wedding Report”, a market research publication. $29,000!” Oh, by the by, the usual donation to the church is about $200.00. That $200 goes to the church, not to the priest. The usual gift to the priest is a hearty handclasp. The usual cost of the photographer is
$2,000.00. All this tells me that the photographs are one hundred times more important than the grace of the sacrament, in most peoples’ estimation. The usual fee for the DJ is $1,500.00. I am consoled by this. It means that painful,occasionally obscene music loud enough to cause brain damage is only 75 times more important than the grace of the sacrament.

You must be thinking why is this guy so down on weddings? I am down on some weddings because I am very “up” on the sacrament of matrimony and really in favor of marriage. That’s why the modern method of marrying and the wedding industry
make me crazy. They militate against marriage.

Here is the heart of my complaint. IT IS STUPID TO SPEND MORE TIME AND MONEY
PREPARING FOR THE WEDDING THAN YOU DO PREPARING FOR THE MARRIAGE!!! I have known people who are still paying the credit card bills generated by the wedding years after the marriage is over.

The Modern Method of Marriage, a Reprise. The following is taken from my own experiences and things people have told me (outside of confession, you’ll be glad to know.) Here goes.

A young man and a young woman meet and have a few dates. They go for a weekend at a bed and breakfast where they bed one another, and then have breakfast. If he isn’t too much of a jerk and she isn’t too picky, they are then an item. She goes to the doctor gets a prescription and goes on to a more permanent form of birth control. At some time during this stage, the uncomfortable meeting with the parents happens. Everyone is polite and “supportive.” Secretly the father of the young woman who knows exactly what’s going on, contemplates buying a gun and the mother of theyoung man begins gossiping with whomever will listen about how her little boy could do better.
After a while, if things hold up, they begin to have the conversation about taking their relationship to the “next level” by which they mean shacking up,
as we used to call it. Now, I think it’s called moving in together.

Mom and Dad buy housewarming gifts in an attempt to, once again, be supportive. They don’t want their little dears to hate them and besides, it’s what everyone is doing these days, so it can’t be wrong. They have vague thoughts about getting married at that point and mom explains to grandma and to friends at church that they are
just doing it to save money for the wedding. At this stage an engagement ring may appear. At some point, when they think about getting the house and the kids, because that’s what you do, they decide to have the wedding. They rent the hall and then go see the priest. He tells them there are four other weddings that day and they
respond, “but we’ve rented the hall already.”

Someone suggests a garden wedding if the church is occupied. The priest says we can’t do garden weddings. (More on this later.) The young couple begins to complain about how narrow minded the Church is with all these rules and regulations. They eventually pick a date. Then the bottom drops out.

It seems the groom is not Catholic. He was baptized in the First Reformed Church of the Druids, though he never practiced. This means there must be a dispensation for the marriage,another irritating Catholic invention, and the wedding date cannot be confirmed until the dispensation is received. The bride goes back to her doctor, this time for a prescription for valium. Her mother joins her on this visit. Finally the
dispensation is granted, The groom’s druid will do one of the readings at the wedding, the loans are taken out, the banns are published. Then there is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The best man comes to the rehearsal drunk out of his mind, the groom only slightly tipsy. The bride is furious at everyone for some reason known to her alone. Probably because the groom is far more interested in drinking and watching the football game on hishand held computer thing than he is in gazing lovingly into her eyes in anticipation of the great day. In fact they haven’t been, well... friendly in weeks. It is, after all, football season.

The special day comes, the best man is still drunk, the groom is hung over, no one knew about that interesting tattoo that the maid of honor had way low on her back, now revealed by the plunging back of her dress that is held up only by wishful thinking. Grandma, upon reading the logo of the maid of honor’s tattoo, has fainted.

Somewhere in all this the vows are exchanged, and quite a few of the wedding party receive their first Holy Communion that day, however one of the ushers
puts the host in his suit pocket not having a clue what it is. (This actually has happened to me twice.) The pictures have been taken. The noise level in the church reaches that of an English soccer match after the riot has broken out. The children are jumping off the altar and the priest is scowling at everyone. Now on to the pictures in the forest preserve, a “must” at every wedding. There the wedding party is attacked by mosquitoes, one of the children falls into the lagoon and the bride is having a hard time smiling for the photos. The best man passes out. On to the reception.

The bride loses it because the shade of fuchsia in the floral center pieces clashes with the shade of fuchsia in the wedding party’s outfit. The groom adjourns to the bar where the game is on the television. The wedding dinner is served as music is played at a mind numbing volume. Grandma is better now. She has turned off her hearing aid. The priest is seated with the pious relatives in plaid suit coats and leaves shortly after the grace before meals. The best man makes the toast which drones on about how he loves the groom and one begins to wonder. The college roommate/maid of honor does the same for the bride, going on for fifteen minutes about how she knew the bride would find eternal marital bliss the moment she met her in the third grade and they have been like sisters ever since.

Then at some point, there is a video presentation of embarrassing photos not unlike the ones that are now shown at wakes. The bar opens up again.The music reaches levels that cause blood to drip from some peoples’ nose and ears. The joyous event ends with the bride and groom being the last to leave the hall. They are slow to go up to the room they have rented in the hotel because nothing new or beautiful awaits them there. The groom promptly falls asleep, being heavily sedated already, and, as he snores away, with his shoes still on, our blushing bride, having shed her dress of virginal white, thinks back on this day, her special day, the most important day in her life, the day she has dreamt of since she was a little girl.

They will stay an extra day at the hotel, but cannot afford the time or money to go on a honeymoon because on Monday they will both be back at work in order to pay off the colossal bill that their special day has incurred. For some reason, the bride is depressed. Perhaps she is realizing that the high point of her life is now past and the rest of it will be spent with the lump that is now snoring beside her with whom she has never really had a serious conversation, except about the proper shade of fuchsia for the floral centerpieces. So it is that we celebrate the marriage of Christ and His Church in these enlightened and tolerant times.

Remember, none of these things happened at your wedding, thank God and don’t think from reading this that I am down on marriage or even weddings. I love a wedding celebration when there is something to celebrate. Also, it is never too late to begin again by taking Christ and His gospel seriously.



The Rev, Know it all

P.S. Garden weddings. They look good in all the bridal magazines but they are just opportunities to feed biting insects and suffer from sunburn. It is however amusing to watch the bridesmaids sinking in the mud as they try, after a few margaritas to maneuver the newly laid sod in spiked heals. The bride is generally exhausted from not having slept for three weeks as she worries about the weather reports which are promising a 50 percent chance of typhoons and earthquakes that day. And destination weddings. Don’t get me started on Destination Weddings! You want to be married with just your closest friends on a beach in Maui. That means that Grandma can’t go because she hasn’t flown since the Hindenburg Disaster, and is thinking of cutting you out of the will, and all the friends and relatives who aren’t with you on the beach in Maui realize they aren’t very close to you after all. And I haven’t a clue how long the aisle is here at St. Dymphna’s.

Fumed by Columcille at 9:22 AM. |

Please Join the Movement to REFORM the Alinskyite Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Reform CCHD

Fumed by Columcille at 1:03 AM. |

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bishop Tobin Speaks Against Kennedy

Bishop Tobin of Providence, RI does a great job denouncing U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy and his slams on the Catholic Church. Good to see a bishop standing up on these important issues.
Congressman Patrick Kennedy's statement about the Catholic Church's position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts. But the Congressman is correct in stating that "he can't understand." He got that part right.

As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years. But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals.

Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island. I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state.

Fumed by Thales at 10:23 AM. |

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vatican To Establish Plan To Welcome Anglicans

Incredible news from the Vatican: an Apostolic Constitution will soon be issued setting out a structure by which disillusioned members of the Anglican church can join Rome. See Damian Thopmson for the news and American Papist for the round-up of links.

From the Joint Statement of the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury:
Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

Fumed by Thales at 1:29 PM. |

Monday, October 19, 2009

Keep your Eyes on the Ball: Ave Maria Law's Rank Number Through the Years

Click the picture for the full size. It's difficult to see what's happening among all the distractions Monaghan and O'Beirne and others have thrown up over the years, but a careful person can see what was really happening to Ave Maria School of Law through the announcement to move and the move itself. I see it as three eras: "The 160-160 Years," the "5 down, 1 to go" years, and the "No LSAT Left Behind" years.

N.B.: Bowie Kuhn's name is misspelled in the picture as also the years along the bottom are off by one year later. If I didn't keep those typos, the Kool Aid clan might nt have anything to criticize me for, so I left them there such that they'd have something to bring to the table besides the kool aid.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 9:29 AM. |

Sunday, October 18, 2009

ACLU Victorious in Ave Maria Town

See the info here. (h/t Nigel.)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 9:25 PM. |

Friday, October 16, 2009

NY Times Article on Priest Scandal

There is an ugly article in the New York Times about another priest scandal: a priest who carried on a long-time relationship with a woman and fathered a child who is now dying from cancer. The priest's behavior is obviously very disappointing. Sometimes I don't understand why the Church doesn't take immediate, public, and open action when it learns of a priest's misbehavior. Wouldn't that show that the Church is serious about its teachings and that it doesn't tolerate scandalous behavior?

I also have one question. The article says: "A landmark study in 1990 by the scholar A. W. Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine, found that 20 percent of Catholic priests were involved in continuing sexual relationships with women, and an additional 8 percent to 10 percent had occasional heterosexual relationships." 20% in continuing sexual relationships, plus another 10% in occasional sexual relationships? Doesn't this sound a little exaggerated? Does anyone have a sense as to whether this study is accurate or whether there is a better estimate?

Fumed by Thales at 10:28 PM. |

160-160 FAIL, 13th Percentile WIN!

click for full size image of Milhizer, Dobranski, Florida, Ave Maria School of Law, the wetlands, and the short bus making it's way on "on of the finest academic records anywhere!"

Oh yeah, the press release after 5 p.m. Friday is here:

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 9:04 PM. |

Thursday, October 15, 2009

200 1Ls. really? AMSoL is now a diploma mill?

Robert Falls neighbor's blog, Ave Herald is publishing a quote of Milhizer today. "There are more than 200 new students at the school and the class also has its highest percentage of women to date, the dean said."

200 1Ls? any ground reports? Ave Maria School of Law is now a diploma mill?

It's also interesting that neither the Dean or the Director of External affairs are substantiating those claims of "substantial" improvements in LSAT metrics with real numbers. If it was so great, they'd publish the numbers, right?

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 10:57 PM. |

Dobranski Promised: Compete with the top 20 Law Schools in the Country

"We promised students a first-rate legal education, and we've kept that promise," says Bernard Dobranski, dean and president of Ave Maria. "We want to compete with the top 20 law schools in the country." Miller, John J. Hail Mary Passes, National Review Online, Dec. 2, 2003

(click for full size)

Dean Dobranski explained in Schaefer, Naomi, CAMPUS CRUSADE. American Enterprise; Jul/Aug2001, Vol. 12 Issue 5, p32 et seq.
Dobranski credits part of Ave Maria's success to the generosity of Monaghan and other donors, which enables the school both to be more selective and to provide large scholarships to those students who are admitted. "Most other new law schools start out at the bottom. They desperately need students because that's how you pay the bills, but schools that take anyone get a reputation for mediocrity that never goes away."
School Press Release dated November 4, 2002 (AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW
“In the history of new law schools since World War II, I don’t know of any new school ever starting out with the quality of students that we have,” said Bernard Dobranski, Founding Dean and President of Ave Maria School of Law.

Faculty at the school, which opened in August 2000, initially hoped for a student body with a median LSAT score in the top 40 percent. From the beginning, however, the school has attracted students with a median score in the top 20 percent, a major accomplishment for a new law school.
And again in September 2005, school Press Release about 5th anniversary celebration
"When we opened five years ago, we had one goal in mind — to provide a high quality legal education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition," said Dobranski. "During the last five years, our faculty and staff have devoted themselves to that goal, and this August their efforts were rewarded when the American Bar Association granted Ave Maria School of Law full accreditation. Everyone at Ave Maria School of Law contributed to that success, and I could not be more proud."

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 8:40 PM. |

P. Reginaldus

After a long sickness, Fr. Reggie Foster looks much better and hopes to return to Rome. Check out this video letter, delivered 1 October 2009, to all of his students and fans:

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 12:19 PM. |

Capt. Lou Albano, requiescat in pace.

A private wake will be held at Balsamo-Cordovano Funeral Home in Carmel, N.Y., from 2p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, according to a release from wrestlersrescue.org. A funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel.

More Details here.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 11:43 AM. |

1000 More words on How Moneyman's Desire for Tuition Revenue Ruined AMSOL

Ave Maria School of Law's composition of each class by LSAT tier. Classes were approaching half tier LSATs before Monaghan announced the move, but the class enrollment dropped the bottom out, and eventually the money wasn't even enough to entice Tier I scores.

You know the drill. Click the image for full size glory.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 12:20 AM. |

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Robert Falls Needs Ave Maria Law Coffee to Wake Up

The News-Press has an interesting article about a new coffee shop that appears to have opened at a location next to the Vineyards campus in Naples, Florida, which is where Ave Maria School of Law is currently located. Now we've all been told by such trustworthy fellows as Tom Monaghan and Bernard Dobranski that Ave Maria School of Law is entirely-independent-and-separate-and-in-no-way-affiliated-and-only-the-name-is-similar from Ave Maria University. But it looks like the News Press has not gotten the memo.
C-Grape opens at Ave Maria University's law school in Naples

Coffee is king at the college campus C-Grape Cafe. It's the drink of choice at the cafe location that opened the first week of September on the Ave Maria University campus on Vanderbilt Beach Road near Interstate 75 in Naples.
Does the News-Press think that C-Grape is being populated by college kids? Robert Falls, it's time to get back to work!

The News-Press article then goes on to say that Catholics think that alcohol is evil..... or something.....
To fall in line with the traditional Catholic mission of the university, the campus cafe will not serve alcohol.
HT: commenter "swamp"

Fumed by Thales at 12:21 PM. |

You Had Me at "I am Having a Sixth Child. . . "

Would someone please give Rachel Campos-Duffy a television program opposite Rachel Maddow.

I would pay to see Rachel Campos-Duffy do the news and without missing a beat, pick up her baby and start nursing in the middle of a broadcast.

This is EXACTLY the good dose America needs too inoculate against the adolescent sarcasm of Maddow's lesbian world view.

Fumed by Columcille at 12:40 AM. |

Monday, October 12, 2009

If I had a big cash settlement . . .

Ave Maria School of Law project revealed a couple of things:

1) There is a market for legal training rooted in the Natural Law and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition - We were growing from strength to strength and were set to debut as a top rated law school with lots of federal clerkships and accolades for excellence.

2) The form such an institution takes and its developmental strategy is equally, if not more, important than the educational service it seeks to deliver. A chain breaks at its weakest link, Monaghan was that weakness and so too was the supine BoG and dean who permitted him to destroy AMSOL. To this was added a recruitment/growth strategy which undermined the ethos of the school and the quality of the student body.

If you look at the biographies of entrepreneurs, the common trait before becoming a great success is having failed at starting a business somewhere along the line.

Could we see the failure of AMSOL (and I think death within 7 years, perhaps 5), as an opportunity to do it again, but better?

If you had a big cash settlement, would you make a go at starting a new law school?

If so, how would you design it?

A fair criticism of AMSOL was that it tried to be a traditional style law school (albeit Catholic) when many law schools were (and are) looking to innovative changes in their programs to be more responsive to the needs of the profession and students.

Some of the problems of a traditional style legal education are:

1) The high debt to income ratios out of law school.
2) Traditional programs teach students how to read and discuss cases and do legal writing, but leave students clueless on how to practice law in a practical sense. (Illinois now requires 20 CLE's for all new lawyers on the basics of law practice)
3) Traditional programs don't focus at all on the soft human skills of lawyering: communication skills, emotional intelligence, collaborative work, networking, etc.
4) The profession is in crisis, there are more suicides and depression within the legal profession than any other.

What if a new Catholic Law School sought to be Catholic and innovative and created a model that addressed these problems in the profession? What would it look like?

Fumed by Columcille at 1:46 PM. |

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2000 more words on the Ave Maria School of Law Development

The development and history of Ave Maria School of Law, AMSOL. Mean LSATs obtained by averaging the 75th percentile and the 25th percentile number. Class arithmetic mean may be different.

Click either picture to see the full size version.

The law school seems to have three distinct periods of three years each. Before Monaghan, After Monaghan, and Pre-move.

There may be other historical events that others would want included on this chart, but feel free to mention those in the comments. What's important here is to see that ramping up class enrollment was only the first drop in quality.

NOTICE that in the first 6 years, the 25% of the lowest end of the class was spread across three tiers. In the last three years, the bottom 25% of the AMSL classes is guaranteed to be 4th tier, and from the dregs of the fourth tier to boot.

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 3:12 PM. |

Saturday, October 10, 2009

AMSOL in 1000 words

Here's a nifty little graphic of Ave Maria School of Law through the years.

(click it to see full size)

Fumed by Casimir Pulaski at 12:51 PM. |

Friday, October 09, 2009

AveWatch: Rice, Gordon Comment on AMSL Lawsuit

AveWatch has the exclusive reactions from Charles Rice, Deborah Gordon, and 2 Ave Maria professors on the Ave Maria School of Law lawsuit. Fascinating.

In particular, I liked this comment from Gordon, the counsel for plaintiffs, which raises a point I did not realize as to why the settlement was a greater victory than a jury verdict at trial:
In addition, this was a complete and total victory. Our team could think of nothing our clients could get at trial they did not obtain with this settlement. Yes, a trial would have been extremely revealing and would shed more public light on the claims. But our clients could not have had tenure restored, and their names and records cleared with a trial – we had no way of obtaining injunctive relief. So, the settlement provided the opportunity to correct an injustice by reversing all of the laughable and illegal wrongs that were done, in addition to the monetary relief. It was very important to us to have the AMSL Board set the record straight. I felt the evidence in this case was overwhelming and would not have hesitated to go to trial if I thought the result would have been better.

Fumed by Thales at 11:29 AM. |

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Call: the Mayor of Chicago NOW!

Calls have been flooding into Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's office
urging him to veto the Bubble Zone ordinance passed yesterday, but
we've got to keep the pressure on.

Several people e-mailed me last night to say they couldn't get
through on the Mayor's line. It turns out they shut down the
automated system overnight, but it's back on now.

You need to call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time in order to
register your vote. Here are the instructions again:

1. CALL the mayor's office at 312-744-3300.
2. PRESS 1 to connect to the Bubble Zone poll.
3. Then PRESS 2 to vote NO on the Bubble Zone.

Even if you don't live in Chicago or even if you already voted, you
can still call to voice your opposition to this pernicious ordinance.

This is our last chance to stop the Bubble Zone without the burden
and expense of a court battle. If Mayor Daley doesn't veto it,
sidewalk counselors in Chicago will be stripped of their First
Amendment rights to reach out to abortion-bound women.

And then Planned Parenthood will move to muzzle pro-lifers with
similar Bubble Zones in one city or town after another.

So let's pull together to stop the Chicago Bubble Zone!

Yours for Life,

-- Eric Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League

Fumed by Columcille at 2:16 PM. |

Alumni Board Email: 2009 US News Rankings

From: Wagner, David
Sent: Thu 10/8/2009 9:47 AM
To: All Alumni
Subject: Letter from the Alumni Board

Dear fellow graduates of Ave Maria School of Law:

As you may recall, for the last two previous years at this time the Ave Maria Alumni Association Board of Directors sent correspondence to you regarding the law school's 2007 and 2008 rankings in the U.S. News & World Report.

The U.S. News rankings, which place the schools in one of four tiers, are based on a weighted average of a number of scores including (a) "reputation" scores by law school deans and faculty, lawyers, and judges, (b) median GPAs and LSAT scores, (c) acceptance rates, (d) employment and bar passage rates, (e) student/faculty ratios, and (f) per-student expenditures. Those surveyed for peer assessment were asked to rate programs on a scale from (1) to (5). Here are the 2009 rankings.

-The 2009 peer assessment score remained at 1.3 of a possible 5.0. Last year, the score decreased from 1.4 to 1.3.
-The 2009 lawyer's/judge's assessment score decreased from 2.1 to 1.9 of a possible 5.0. Last year, the score remained at 2.1 from the score of two years ago.
-The 2009 25th percentile GPA decreased from 2.93 to 2.90. Last year, the percentile decreased from 3.02 to 2.93.
-The 2009 75th percentile GPA decreased from 3.47 to 3.46. Last year, the percentile decreased from 3.60 to 3.47.
-The 2009 25th percentile LSAT decreased from 147 to 146 of a possible 180. Last year, the percentile decreased from 150 to 147.
-The 2009 75th percentile LSAT decreased from 155 to 153 of a possible 180. Last year, the percentile decreased from 158 to 155.
-The 2009 acceptance rate increased (that is, worsened) from 51% to 58%. Last year, the acceptance rate decreased (that is, improved) from 52.8% to 51%.
-The 2009 student/faculty ratio increased (that is, worsened) from 15.7 to 16.9. Last year, the ratio decreased (that is, improved) from 16.1 to 15.7.
-The 2009 nine-month employment rate increased from 73.3% to 80.8%. Last year, the rate decreased from 89.9% to 73.3%.
-The 2009 bar passage rate in MI decreased from 96.3% to 75.0%. Last year, the rate improved from 89.3% to 96.3%.

We have also analyzed the law school's 2009 rankings in comparison to other third and fourth tier schools ranked in the U.S. News & World Report. (There are 40 third-tier law schools and 45 fourth-tier law schools.)

-The law school's peer assessment was worse than all third-tier schools and better than or the same (better/same) as 2 fourth-tier schools (or 5%).
-The law school's lawyers'/judge's assessment was better/same as 1 third-tier school (or 3%) and better/same as 12 fourth-tier schools (or 27%).
-The law school's 25th percentile GPA was better/same as 2 third-tier schools (or 5%) and better/same as 17 fourth-tier schools (or 39%).
-The law school's 75th percentile GPA was worse than all third-tier schools and better/same as 20 fourth-tier schools (or 45%).
-The law school's 25th percentile LSAT was worse than all third-tier schools and better/same as 5 fourth-tier schools (or 11%).
-The law school's 75th percentile LSAT was the same as 1 third-tier school (or 3%) and better/same as 17 fourth-tier schools (or 39%).
-The law school's acceptance rate was worse than all third-tier schools and better/same as 5 fourth-tier schools (or 11%).
-The law school's student/faculty ratio was better/same as 17 third-tier schools (or 44%) and better/same as 20 fourth-tier schools (or 45%).
-The law school's nine-month employment rate was worse than all third-tier schools and better/same as 6 fourth-tier schools (or 14%).

It should be noted that the reputation scores are heavily weighted at 40 percent of the total score. Additionally, a relatively small number of academics, lawyers and judges are asked to rate schools across the country about which they may have very little knowledge. Furthermore, an even smaller number respond to the survey (31% of judges and lawyers). The U.S. News report goes on to explain that "schools with excellent reputations within their communities, states, or regions may not be well known in other parts of the country. None of us has adequate knowledge about more than a tiny handful of law schools so as to permit us, with confidence, to compare them with each other." Therefore, it is good to continue our efforts to share the successes of the Law School and its students with the national legal community.

It should also be noted that his survey of the Law School was taken at a specific point when we were just beginning our relocation preparations, ABA acquiescence to the relocation had not yet been received, and there were questions about the continuation of our full accreditation. It is also worth observing that the Michigan bar passage rate from 2008, which will be reflected in next year's rankings, is significantly higher.

We hope that you find this report informative and welcome your feedback, questions, comments, and concerns about this letter and anything else related to the interests of our alma mater.


The Alumni Association Board of Directors

Fumed by Tommy More at 10:00 AM. |

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

ACTION: Call the Mayor of Chicago

Yesterday, Chicago stood on the world stage with the big "O" and lost big, today, at the opening of the fall secession at City Hall the city of Chicago passed a Bubble Ordinance at the behest of Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby.

The ordinance places a 50 foot bubble zone around the abortion mill and places an 8 foot no-approach zone around anyone going to or from the mill.

This will basically shut down the side walk counseling done by the Pro-Life Action League and other pro-life groups in Chicago.

The protests at the facility on LaSalle and Division St, is the real cause of this action. The group of young adults who work the facility on Saturday mornings has been extremely effective in counseling women to choose life.

As per usual, the abortionists have waged a public relations campaign with lies and accusations of intimidation and violence which are simply not true.

Please call the mayor of Chicago and register your displeasure with the bubble ordinance.

Call: 312-744-3300

Fumed by Columcille at 9:44 PM. |

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

qui autem negaverit me coram hominibus, negabitur coram Angelis Dei.

Notre Dame's Fr. Jenkins continues in the great tradition of heroic Catholic priest-university presidents who are more at home with those who advocate for the murder of the unborn, than those who advocate for their defense. (hat tip: The Catholic Caveman)

This guy is an absolute disgrace.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 11:31 PM. |

Monday, October 05, 2009

Facinating Analysis the Obama Brand . . . and the loss of its value

Iconography, or branding, in advertising, is a means of communicating subliminally impressions, feelings and positive values through the use of symbols and reinforcing associations with those symbols.

The above video is a remarkable analysis of the Obama branding and how the DMC is using this to re-brand the presidency of the United States of America. They are effectively using text book brand management techniques to permanently change our associations wth the office of the presidency.

The Obama campaign was so effective in doing this that they have forgotten the first rule of banding:

Be sure your product can deliver on the brand promise.

Can you imagine spending millions of dollars on building up positive associations with your brand that motivates tens of millions of people (maybe more) to believe in it and go out and buy it, and then they get home and the thing doesn't even work!?! Buyers remose sets in and the consumer has a new association with the brand that the brand gurus didn't intend. Very quickly the positive power of a brand can shift negative, especially when the brand can not deliver on its promises.

Obama's brand promises are "HOPE" and "CHANGE."

With the international olympic community voting "NOPE" in its estimation of the Obama product, it seems that the house of cards is falling. Here is SNL's take on the president. (Note how the actor doesn't do his usual excellent job of imitating Obama's speech style, but basically uses his own voice. Why? Perhaps to soften the attack somewhat. This is still their guy.)

With Obama's brand value in the crapper, it is a very dangerous time.

To re-valorize the brand, the president will need a national emergency to become the hero again, to show his quality. . . .


Fumed by Columcille at 11:14 AM. |

Friday, October 02, 2009

Like we weren't even there...

I attended the grand opening of Cooley Law School's Ann Arbor campus yesterday at the corner of Plymouth and Green. And while I am glad to see the facility getting use, there were tears in my eyes as I walked the halls and saw new names on the offices, the Cooley logo everywhere, etc. I had to stop from crossing myself reflexively as I walked past "the chapel" to the library.

Man, what would it be like to still have my alma mater thriving there? To have that rallying point for my class and all future classes? To be able to go back for a reunion and relive, however briefly, the good old days of law school? And more substantively, how great would it be to be able to nurture that relationship, to have my alma mater there to help further my career and in turn, be there for me to enthusiastically support it and give back as alumni are expected to do, which I would do gladly?

Some wounds do not heal.

Fumed by AMSOL Pioneer at 3:57 PM. |

"A Slap in the Face" " A Global Referendum on Obama's Presidency"

No other president has EVER traveled to stump for the Olympics. No other president has behaved like a ward runner for city machine boss on display for the whole world, while strutting like a World President/Global Community Organizer. What a poseur!

What a colossal political crap stepping.

Thank God the rest of the world recognizes that Obama becoming the first African-American President of the United States is a big yawn. Imagine if Chicago had won this. Think of what that would have meant symbolically as a ratification of the messianic maniac's Globalist pretensions?

The fact that Chicago was eliminated in the first round is glorious, but there is a dark cloud to this silver lining. The rest of the world knows America is in collapse.

Perhaps the savage teen violence this past week helped seal Chicago's fate. This after the largest roll out of hi-tech police state security cameras in the world on nearly every corner in Chicago. Studies reveal that they don't help prevent crime or help to solve crime.

Maybe Obama should come back to Chicago, strut in the streets of the urban chaos that he supposedly helped to "organize" and do something more than tear this country apart over religion, race, class, and morality.

Congratulations, Rio! You have done something that no one else could do . . . you showed the world what a complete jack of the ass our President really is.

Fumed by Columcille at 12:48 PM. |

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Fumed by Advocatus Militaris at 10:45 PM. |