TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Two Very Different Perspectives On Western Michigan-Cooley Law School

Thomas Cooley Logo (2014)David Frakt (Former Dean Candidate, Florida Coastal), Disgraceful Developments at Cooley Law School:

The ABA Standard 509 reports came out a few weeks ago, and there are many alarming statistics in them, but none quite so disturbing as the admissions information from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  The class that Cooley admitted in 2015 is statistically the worst entering class of law students in the history of American legal education at an ABA-Accredited law school, and that is saying something. ...

In 2015, Cooley abandoned all pretense of maintaining sound admission policies, significantly lowering its LSAT and GPA standards across the board, as can be seen by comparing their 2014 and 2014 matriculating student credentials.

GPA/LSAT       75th                 50th                  25th          # of Students
2014                3.28/149         2.90/145         2.53/141         445     
2015                3.19/147         2.85/141         2.51/138         448

Once again in 2015, Cooley was faced with a choice – shrink the entering class, or lower standards, or some combination of the two.  After four years of shrinking its class,  Cooley abandoned that approach and simply lowered its already rock-bottom standards. 

The credentials of the part-time entering class, which makes up 90% of admitted students were even more appalling:

2014                3.27/148         2.89/144         2.52/140         407
2015                3.19/146         2.84/141         2.50/137         407

In percentile terms, this means that Cooley matriculated over 100 part-time students with LSATs of 137 or below, comprising the bottom 8% of LSAT-takers.  While there may be very rare exceptions, there is simply no evidence to support a belief that a student with a 137 or lower LSAT and mediocre or worse college grades has a reasonable prospect of becoming a lawyer.  The average MBE score for a student with a 137 LSAT is approximately 128.  The average state bar exam cut score, including in Michigan (where most Cooley graduates take the bar) is 135.  

The bottom line is that Cooley has once again regained its rightful place as the law school of last resort, surpassing even the InfiLaw schools in the race to the bottom.  In fact, Cooley is perilously close to having an open admissions policy.  In 2015, Cooley admitted 88% of applicants, up from 85% in 2014.

Lansing State Journal, Local Attorney Went From the Rodeo to the Courtroom:

The East Lansing attorney was told early on in life that he wouldn't amount to much. From his rough upbringing in New York, to the rodeo arena, to the courtroom, he set out to prove everyone wrong. ...

He withstood 65 shoulder dislocations in his 12-year career ... He knew it was time for a change when he struggled to hold his youngest son. Hilyard hung up his spurs in 2005. ...

Hilyard had always been a fan of TV court shows. “Matlock,” starring Andy Griffith, was his favorite. He wanted to bring the same bravado to the courtroom.

But, in what would become a recurring theme for Hilyard, life got in the way: His father suffered a heart attack the week before he took the Law School Admission Test. He scored a 134. "It pretty much means I got my name right, I think," Hilyard said.

He took another shot at the LSAT, scoring slightly higher. Still, his stack of law school rejection letters grew. Working as a paralegal, Hilyard complained to his wife, Brandy, that he was being paid a pittance for his work. So she gave him a choice: Get into law school or choose a new career.

His application to Cooley Law School, in his mind, was a Hail Mary attempt. He was accepted on April 19, 2010. “I broke down in tears, big, tough bullrider. I let out this scream. It just completely overtook me,” Hilyard said. ...

Hilyard graduated from Cooley with honors in September of 2013. In his valedictory speech at Cooley, Hilyard likened his fortunes to those of Charlie Bucket in the film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory." He broke out in song: “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket."

“I’ve got a golden ticket. I’ve got a golden chance to make my way,” he sang to his fellow graduates. “And with this golden ticket, it’s a golden day.”

(Click on YouTube button on bottom right to view video directly on YouTube to avoid interruption caused by blog's refresh rate.)

Today, Hilyard is an attorney for the Gallagher Law Firm, spending much of his time representing indigent criminal defendants assigned to him by Ingham County Circuit Court. He saw sees the work as a way to help those with few alternatives.

Above the Law, Can Going To A Crappy Law School Really Change Your Life… For The Better?

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/01/two-very-different-perspectives-on-western-michigan-thomas-cooley-law-school.html

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Comments

The ABA employment report for Cooley would indicate that most are not as lucky as Mr. Hilyard. 871 graduates, of whom 273 were unemployed 10 months after graduation versus 261 who had found full-time, long-term, license-required work. That's a 31% unemployment rate. Which is nearly as high as their abysmal 39% Michigan bar exam pass rate last summer. And with respect, we don't know anything about Mr. Hilyard's debt-to-income ratio, so it is a bit premature to call this an unqualified success. I mean, there was a law firm in Boston a few years ago offering $10,000/year for a new full-time associate, citing the professional exemption to the Minimum Wage Act as justification for the salary.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 27, 2016 10:25:54 AM

So Cooley's valedictorian - the most promising lawyer in the class - is surviving by taking court appointments of indigent criminal defendants at a 6 attorney firm? That's an indictment of Cooley, not a compliment.

Posted by: Lonnie | Jan 27, 2016 11:10:59 AM

I've got a golden ticket from an unranked engineering school to build a sky scraper and your new car and its safety systems. I've got a golden ticket from a an unranked school. pharmacy school to fill your prescription..... Maybe there is a place for Cooley and Marshall, but not hundreds of them.....

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Jan 27, 2016 12:53:25 PM

Lonnie,

I don't like Cooley or TJLS or the 100 others who cheapen my law degree. But I disagree with you. I know guys from U o C, Michigan, Kent, Loyola and yes, Harvard who take appointed work. It's not the greatest pay, but it does allow one to have the autonomy of solo, self-employed practice and we are home by 4:30 and my Saturdays and Sundays are free. Plus, I get every court holiday off, including Casimir Pulaski day. It is interesting work, am in court, and have interesting stories. It is a hoot actually.

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Jan 27, 2016 2:26:10 PM

"I know I ripped off my impoverished family to secretly buy cigarettes, but even I would never sink so low as to take tuition dollars from people who can't even get into the 140s on the LSATs."
Sincerely,
Grandpa Joe

Posted by: Cent Rieker | Jan 27, 2016 6:51:42 PM

I despise the elitist comments knocking people that want to make a better life for themselves through an education. So, one view is that Cooley's open door policy is a bad thing (to whom? The elitist schools that can't secure their students jobs or those students that can't stand the competition of the market?) versus the other view that the opportunity presented itself to an individual and made the best of their situation (despite another's opinion on what is success). Who is right and who is wrong does not matter at all - news flash, Cooley has been and will be the scape goat of the legal industry any time things are tough. Let's blame the school that excepts the students that are "unlikely" lawyers by the standardize testing methods?!

What these articles fail to include is:
(1) the diversity rate at Cooley is far greater than any other school - far greater.
(2) since when did the education industry turn into a protective parent preventing individuals from pursuing their dreams despite the risks? - that isn't a rhetorical question, the time is when the market collapsed for all attorneys and top-tier Newsweek endorsing schools suffered. Most students are old enough to make the calculated risk. By definition risk means some will fail and some will succeed.
(3). Standardized testing historically keeps out minorities and the most diverse individuals of society - it is an awful gauge to judge people's success and potential
(4) how has the pedigree of a school helped the legal industry? It hasn't, it has created a class system of this guy is better than this guy because the letters on his resume. It excludes the diverse and the most driven - yes, it certainly has and promoted unfair hiring practices. How many legacies go to top schools? Was their dad or mom was a top lawyer helping them secure employment?

In sum, look at the individual and their qualities, not what school they went to (why does the legal industry demote itself to a horrible argument such as this?) - some of these commenters are scum. The same scum that discriminate and exclude and prevent the economy from expanding because they like the way things run because it benefits them and only them. Cooley is not doing anything wrong but giving people opportunity to educate themselves and nullifying the restrictions of standardized test taking.

What's the alternative close down the school?!? - only let Harvard and Michigan grads practice law?! That's right because the law was only meant to be interpreted by an elite few...oh whoops, we live in a democracy where everyone should be equal but lawyers don't want to play by those standards and create a tier system.

Posted by: Free Practice | Jan 28, 2016 10:11:20 AM

I practice in a jurisdiction that embraces diversity and it is a positive. Lawyers and Judges of all stripes and backgrounds appear in court. None, I repeat, none went to a correspondence like diploma mill law school. All attended ranked schools that were selective. It is degrading and offensive to their hard work to say that "discrete and insular minorities" need a SPECIAL SCHOOL with open enrollment and low standards for them to be an attorney of judge.

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Jan 28, 2016 12:11:58 PM

To Free Practice -

I am a black, licensed and practicing tax attorney. I reject your narrative. Don't you dare try to turn this discourse into a justification for Cooley's and others' self-serving predatory practices on my people in the name of "diversity."

We minorities underperform on standardized tests. This is fact. But i want something more for my children than a handout that accepts underperformance and adjusts expectations accordingly.

I want to understand WHY we underperform, and attack those reasons head on, so that we can compete.

Does your analysis extend to medical school, accounting, civil engineering, too? Shall we, in the name of opportunity, forgo bare minimum entrance barriers in those professions as well?

Cooley's admissions practices have crossed the line from "providing opportunity" to predatory, in the same way high interest pay day loans are (which coincidentally are disproportionately peddled in minority communities).

Cooley knows that the people it is admitting stand exceedingly little chance of ever graduating, passing the bar, and obtaining gainful remunerative employment as an attorney. Indeed, it exercised restraint in admissions just a few years ago for this very reason!

That is not opportunity, that is predatory. Cooley has become the pay day loan, predatory home loan dealer of legal education. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 28, 2016 1:02:23 PM

@ Free Practice:

Cooley Published Cost of Attendance
2015 - 2016 Academic Year
Tuition & Fees: $47,890

Anti-elitism would work if folks were trying to shut down CUNY Law. No one is.

Dunning–Kruger effect: a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their own ability accurately.

Posted by: terry malloy | Jan 28, 2016 2:31:10 PM


To anon: I absolutely reject your naive and sad conclusion. You turned a positive - the fact that Cooley accepts a greater diversity amount than elite schools into a negative. You read the news and believe you know all and probably have never met someone that went to Cooley or know the services they provide to their students to succeed. I know several Cooley grads and attorneys, some partners, at regional firms that would run loops around you. All good folk that put in their time, outwork their competitors and practice law with the utmost professionalism. Oh, a Cooely grad that has a job, is successful, and a license?! How could it be? Quickly defame them and put them in a corner because of the name of their alma mater. How can you not see that logic as defamatory and discriminatory. You automatically assume that because a school nullifies standardized test taking and accepts those that traditional schools would not accept that they are predators preying on the weak and innocent and you need to protect them?

Top-notch logic you display...I loved your protect the kids bit there that always grabs on the heart strings and hasn't been used before. How can't the analysis extend to medical schools and other professional schools - who wants a monopoly on education and knowledge? I guess you want one - keep it only to the top traditional schools you say because if they don't accept you - give up on your dream and find a new position in society that accepts you. Your conclusion is that even a graduate of Cooley that passes the bar should be shunned and branded? How about that individual, paid their tuition, worked hard and passed the minimum entrance barriers - what about those individuals that do make it? Shun them and damn them is your position because they wanted an education. Your mind is already made up - no sense in discussing with you. Go perpetuate a position that has been holding back minorities, those that struggle with standardized tests and the diverse for decades.

To Cap: same goes for you - both you and anon's arguments derive from the same ignorance - Shun them and damn them is your position because they wanted an education and got their education from a school you don't like? Oh, it waters down your value to have someone else in the profession you don't like from a school YOU think is predatory without learning anything about the actual individuals that make it or the school itself or professors. But, you only see the bad stats - so if 31% is the unemployment rate as cited above what about the other 69% that do have jobs and are able to pay their bills. So for ever 1 failure there are 2 successes...odds are in Cooley's favor. Does continuing to demote them and marginalize them help their situation? No, it doesn't - you would prefer to exterminate any grad from a school you believe is not elite enough. Your jurisdiction sounds like a Utopia! Where is it? You should be the gatekeeper of your jurisdiction - only let your kind of folk in, right?

Hey Terry, weren't folks trying to shut down Toro or NYLS or Marshall or the other low performing schools the same years as trying to shut down Cooley? Are you trying to diagnosis Cooley grads and attorneys as mentally ill - are you a psychologist? - that's really sad that you want to use that type of argument and shame the mentally ill. Read chapter 3 of Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath. You position is quickly refuted by that harsh and cruel argument.

All of this harshness proves the point that you all are unprofessional and unable to accept an individual without judging their background or where they come from. Truly sad that you have licenses to practice law - a field that should value all and promote equality without using scape goats for your own lack of success.

Posted by: Free Practice | Jan 28, 2016 4:06:40 PM

Straw men and ad hominem attacks. The fact is that high and middle ranked law schools trip over themselves to admit and give scholarships to qualified minority candidates.

Cooley is exploiting the bottom of the applicant pool, those students who are extremely unlikely to graduate, pass the bar, and have careers as attorneys. These people happen to be disproportionately minorities, so Cooley cynically claims they do so in the name of diversity.

Only 30% of the Cooley class of 2014 found full time, long term jobs as lawyers. A shocking 34% were completely unemployed 10 months after graduation. These numbers don't include the 15-20% of each entering class that Cooley fails out after taking one or two years' tuition from them.

Taxpayers should not be subsidizing tuition to a school that ruins the lives of 2/3+ of its attendees with six figures of non-dischargeable student loans that they have no hope of ever paying back.

Posted by: Lonnie | Jan 28, 2016 10:16:09 PM

Published Cost of Attendance
2015 - 2016 Academic Year
NYLS
$49,240
TORO
$45,950
John Marshall
$45,780
CUNY (in-state)
$14,663

Notice anything different there?

I'm not shaming the mentally ill. cognitive errors are not mental illnesses, they are realities of a imperfectly evolved primate brain.

The extent to which cooley grads believe that their skills are commensurate with harvard grads is largely due to cognitive errors like the D-K effect.

If Cooley opened a NBA training camp for 50K/year for three years and filled it with 5'4" players, it would be a scam. The difference between that scam and the one they're pulling now is that you get to make all these woo woo racism/elitism arguments.

Posted by: terry malloy | Jan 29, 2016 6:12:30 AM

The term "qualified"is what is at issue. Who gets to determine that? the status quo - they sure have been doing a great job implementing diversity and allowing opportunity beyond those that are their friends and close contacts. Taking the years between 2011 to 2014 as your evidence for a bad school negates to factor the macroeconomics of the legal market at the time - news flash, everyone had a tough year and there were many layoffs across the board. The bar has responded with the over saturation of the market by changing and increasing the difficulty of the bar exam. All schools have seen immediate drops in there passage rates.

Straw men and ad hominem attacks? Each argument is refuting the complaining individuals arguments. I am saying the vitriol hate of another student or attorney because they attend a school you don't like is a problem - those are ad hominem attacks, so thanks for pointing that Captain and Anon and Terry are using those tactics to prove their points. Anon and Terry, I never brought race into the mix - but your short sightedness believes race is the only type of diversity? Terry especially, with his psychological diagnosis - now trying to cover that he isn't trying to shame the mentally ill. Hey, Terry Google list of NBA players 5ft - oh my, there are actually players that are that tall in the NBA now and have been in the past. Great analogy - really, phenomenal.

You still are failing to realize that some are successful and do live a life that they sought out through their education at Cooley. Again, by demoting and defaming an individual because of the school they went to is a sad premise to judge someone and only displays a lack of professionalism and openness. If someone wants an education, thankfully this is America and we have that ability and most important we accept the risk without playing protective parent in every scenario.

Besides this comment board only proves the point of this article's title...

Posted by: Free Practice | Jan 29, 2016 7:14:42 AM

Only 23 players in NBA history have been at a listed height of 5 feet, 9 inches or shorter.

Only 1* player shorter than 5'4", which was my measure.

wiki - List of shortest players in National Basketball Association history

Anything else you'd like to add, Free?

wait. . . so you don't include racial diversity within your concept of 'diversity'. . what do you mean?

Posted by: terry malloy | Jan 29, 2016 9:22:56 AM

"The term "qualified" is what is at issue."

Let's see: a 39% bar passage rate in Michigan last summer is a pretty explicit indicator of how qualified they are to practice law. And a higher unemployment rate than real legal work employment rate the free market telling us what they think of qualified Cooley grads. And mind you, those are the grads from back when Cooley was still holding the line with a 144-145 median LSAT. They went down to a median 141 LSAT this past fall.

Oh, and that 31% unemployment rate that you try to spin as not being that bad? It is almost three times the unemployment rate of high school DROPOUTS. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/by-the-numbers-dropping-out-of-high-school/. So for the low cost of six figures in nondischargeable debt, you can become vastly more likely to be unemployed than if you dropped out of the 11th grade. Spin that one for us.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 29, 2016 9:24:38 AM

I like that I got you all fired up. I loved anon's "don't you dare." Well, I dared. Dared to take an opposite opinion of what is the status quo and am seeing how folks respond.

But ultimately let's keep this on point.

So, if a Cooley grad passes the bar do you hold bias where they came from without getting to know the individual? Technically, the bar is the necessary test of what it takes (by our society's standards - don't fight that) to be a lawyer.

None of you are addressing the issue of: what if a Cooley student, graduates, passes the bar and gets a job...none of you want to accept that it happens and you are stereotyping a group, a large number of students, as all inept and unqualified because standardized testing precludes them and their schools using a different enrollment method.

69% of of the time, as a matter of the numbers being quoted here. Without Cooley, that 69% group of folks would be limited in their education/knowledge and opportunity. Sure, it is sad when students fail - but it happens in all schools. Stop trying to demote an educational institution without learning about the individuals that make it up - get to know the people you defame and after that, if you did your due diligence and don't like them, so be it and maybe they don't like you.

There are many lawyers from many backgrounds and many schools all with hopes and dreams and families to provide for - I'm not in business of crushing a person's opportunity. People need to accept the world exists with risk. Some risks are greater than others but if you want it enough you accept the risk and push forward - the key is to take responsibility for the failure and the question is blame the student or the institution. If the student believes in their heart and mind they can succeed - then I am happy a Cooley exists - I am also happy community colleges exists for the same reason. Do I believe the cost of education should be lower? Offcourse! Personally I think education should be moving to an online forum to cut costs away from the brick and mortar antiquated past.

It's hard to get into a top school but virtually everyone walks away with a B or C average. What vigor it is to graduate from that type of diploma mill that predetermines lawyerly ability based on open book tests. Interesting factoid I learned from my Cooley friends, Cooley has closed book testing for all three years and elite schools allow open book testing for the majority of the tenure, so who is better? - I'm sure the argument will be in favor of the elite schools. Apparently, it is easy to get into Cooley, but hard to graduate. Who's philosophy is right or wrong, (again) does not matter so long as the education, opportunity and knowledge base is being expanded.

Good Terry, you did Google it! Excellent work. I'm proud of you. Now go read chapter three of David and Goliath.

In the NBA it doesn't matter where you come from as long as you have the skills to play...but, that is not like the legal industry where we judge one another on where they came from...even after proving the me cart skills in passing the bar. So being a lawyer is like playing in the NBA? How is it that simple? Who said I don't include race in the concept of diversify? - I was addressing your statement and anon's statement of focusing solely on race as the only type of diversity that you believe Cooley exploits. Broaden your concept of diversity - it's not just black vs white. I hope you keep your mentally ill shaming to a minimum in your response.

All of these statements just show that most of you maintain a bias (something you should have shed in law school) based on the letters on someone's resume without learning about the individual and their path in life. Answer that question - what if you meet someone that is a Cooley grad with a license and a job - do you still hold bias?

Posted by: Free Practice | Jan 29, 2016 11:47:25 AM

Free Practice,

I'm curious. What level of risk of an applicant's bar failure or not completing the course of study do you think would be too great for a school to be in compliance with ABA standard 501 if it were to admit the student?

Posted by: Former Editor | Jan 29, 2016 3:36:11 PM

Thats a great question - thanks for not taking things to a personal/bias/vitriol place and adding to the conversation. That's an issue the ABA needs to further flesh out - until then who are we to complain? I have a job, I'm sure most of the posters here do to (with the exception of the fellow that named himself unemployed northeastern) so it doesn't phase me what the happenings of law school are anymore - my only concern is the involvement of many diverse and unique individuals practicing law to aid the large and diverse population of the USA.

My opinion would be to provide a statistical threshold (within a certain range of the national averages - here are the national rates for bar passage http://www.ncbex.org/publications - interestingly enough in 2014 69% was the average bar passage rate) coupled with a subjective test to release the weight given to standardized testing... That's just my take.

I assume you are referring to 501(b) it has an AND so its a two prong analysis - the first prong "shall not admit an applicants who do not appear capable of completing its educational program" allows for a very broad interpretation and quite a bit a deference to the individual institution. So, as lawyers we all should know that would be a subjective test and unique to that institution.

The second prong is where any institution finds itself conforming to the national standards. Hence, I would say an objective test. I would argue taking an institution's rates this past year would be an outlier as the bar just changed. I would argue you would have to dip below a certain threshold over several years with considerations of first time and second time testing factored in. I would also argue Cooley's 39% in MI passage rate this past year for its students still means more lawyers admitted to the bar from Cooley than all its competitors in the state of MI combined given its sheer size.


Standard 501. ADMISSIONS

(a) A law school shall maintain sound admission policies and practices, consistent with the objectives of its educational program and the resources available for implementing those objectives.

(b) A law school shall not admit applicants who do not appear capable of satisfactorily completing its educational program and being admitted to the bar.

Posted by: Free Practice | Jan 29, 2016 5:46:09 PM

Former Editor,

I answered your question what about my question posed regarding bias against an individual that went to Cooley, graduated and passed the bar?

Posted by: Free Practice | Jan 29, 2016 5:59:14 PM

Free Practice,

Fair is fair. I have no bias based on where an attorney went to law school, be it Cooley, Harvard, or anywhere else. I went to a sub-100 ranked law school myself and it would be pretty darn hypocritical to have that kind of branding bias. People pick their law schools for a large variety of reasons and ultimately the professionalism and quality of an attorney's work will tell me all I need to know about them. You are right that such bias does exist in the profession---I have experienced it myself---although I think you may be somewhat unfairly ascribing it to some of the other posters on this thread.

To that point, and your question about "who are we to complain," I do not think lack of bias against the grads of a particular law school should translate into a lack of concern about maintaining reasonable, fair, and unbiased standards at all the checkpoints for entry into the legal profession: law school admission, law school graduation, bar exam, and character & fitness examination. As members of an ethical profession, we have an obligation to police our own, including law schools and the ABA, to ensure that all parts of the profession are conducting themselves in a way that maintains the integrity of the profession as a whole. I firmly believe that we do not have the option of washing our hands of the problems of legal education once we have graduated and found a job, as you seem to suggest that we can.

When a school drops its entrance credentials to levels where there is legitimate concern about the capability of some portion of the entering class to practice law, that ought to be a red flag and cause for investigation by our professional regulatory mechanisms. When those mechanisms do nothing and do not adequately explain their lack of action, we have an obligation to scrutinize both the school and the regulators. This is true regardless of the school and its historical reputation. If it were my own alma mater, which is deserving of criticism of its own for some of its past admissions practices, I would feel exactly the same way.

Posted by: Former Editor | Jan 30, 2016 3:28:32 AM

Cooley defenders. If you can't say it within a few words, you lost the argument and your audience. You are hiding something with your "word dump."

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Jan 30, 2016 6:30:37 PM

Cap,

I guess the same goes for any legal opinion you read in law school beyond a page - excuse me Supreme Court, Captain can't read beyond a page he likes his opinions short and small like his tolerance of diversity and others beyond his kind.

Former Editor,

Excellent opinion. Very good points brought up that made me think about the responsibility an individual attorney has to the issue at hand.

Posted by: Free Practice | Feb 1, 2016 2:54:48 AM

Unemployed Northeastern, slight problem with your anecdote.

"I mean, there was a law firm in Boston a few years ago offering $10,000/year for a new full-time associate, citing the professional exemption to the Minimum Wage Act as justification for the salary."

This is incorrect. The Learned Professional Exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act still requires a weekly salary or fee of $455 or more.

A salary of $10,000 yearly would come out to a weekly salary or fee of $192.31, well below the salary/fee threshold for the exemption.

If that was the firm's honest basis, FLSA attorneys could have SWARMED that place with lawsuits.

Posted by: Former Wage and Hour Attorney | Feb 1, 2016 6:58:49 AM

@Former Wage,

Perhaps, but that is what they claimed anyhow. From "More Than 50 Would-Be Associates Have Now Applied for $10,000-a-Year Boston Law Firm Job," ABA Journal, 6-11-12, http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/more_tha_50_have_now_applied_for_10000-a-year_boston_law_firm_associate_job/

"The job is in compliance with wage and hour laws, [the partner] says, because there is a professional exception to the minimum wage requirement. Statutory benefits are provided and required deductions are made from the associate’s pay."

Mind you, this was a job posting on BC Law's website. That's the state of the market.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Feb 1, 2016 7:56:07 AM