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How they rob you- False Hope of a Fresh Start
I spent much of 2011 and 2012 attending Barry University School of Law. Obviously, I dropped out, but not before the school refused to process my withdrawal papers for about 6 weeks while they pressured me to stay in their Law Program despite the mathematical impossibility of attaining a cumulative GPA high enough to stay for my 2L year. My 100% disabled status, certified by Uncle Sam, was aggressively ignored and sometimes mocked by the clueless staff.
None of the meetings and endless phone calls offered me anything but 3 options, repeatedly and always dressed up as shiny, wonderful ideas. This in spite if their knowing it was absolutely impossible to attain a passing GPA even if I scored 5 A’s out of 5 classes.
My Options? 1- stay and inevitably fail out as a full time student 2- stay and fail out as a part time student 3- drop out now and remit $25,000 of US Government loan money to them as a fine. The fact no one could overcome the laws of Math was conveniently forgotten. When i pointed this out they just tried to dress it up and beguile me.
They did not care that I had moved 1,000 miles from home on the promises that they made me. They threatened me with arrest and Federal Prosecution over and over as they harangued me to hand over every penny of the student loan check I had picked up when the new semester started. They lied and told me I would be committing a crime if I just sent a check back to Uncle Sam and cut them out of the loop.
Anatomy of a Sham
Barry School of Law is an eyesore of a campus that lacks basic amenities (ex- Air Conditioning in central Florida in mid August.) Conveniently located in a terrible part of town, you can have the pleasure, as I did, of seeing a homeless man shaving and washing up, bare chested, in the library bathroom.
This lack of amenities resulted in many classes ending early when the professor just couldn’t take it. Keep this in mind- you will have a third rate faculty member who would never be hired anywhere else cutting class short, depriving you of their (limited) insights and simply increasing your already unbelievable homework load.
Not all of Mac’s and Apple products are compatible with their state of the 20th Century Wi-Fi. If you are eager enough to buy a brand new Mac for your studies be prepared for no Wi-Fi and having the IT people blame you, you and only you for not ‘buying a conservative computer with a conventional operating system.” No shit, the most highly regarded and best computers have no place on their campus? Yup, it’s a 1200 dollar door jam and you will be kicked out of class if you can’t keep that wifi signal up, which is mind numbingly impossible as Barry likely still uses DOS to program things. I really expected to see IT using paper punch cards that were used in pre 1980 computers.
Their buildings, constructed with convict labor, would be condemned at any school including a New York City Elementary School. Filthy, unkempt, dangerous and filled with Faculty Spies (Beware the Library Staff!). The newer buildings they advertised as being ready for fall 2011 were still not usable in February. This resulted in most classes being taught in metal prefab containers welded together to form a big, stuffy iron sweat boxes. Try to explain this problem to the faculty , like when I visited the Dean’s office and requested that they turn on the Air Conditioning, many times and you will get a well crafted cult leader-like
response-It was all in my head. 103 degrees outside and 100+ computers in a tiny classroom make for an unbelievably impossible learning environment. As I struggled to not pass out I started to realize Barry School of Law does business in the shadiest way possible and that they had sold me false hope.
I blame myself for believing them, but I blame them for perpetuating the sham that bought me there. Couple this with academic advice that was directly and unethically contrary to my best interests and I can honestly say “Fool me twice, shame on you.” Thankfully, I am a 40 yr old man returning to school and have been around the block enough to NOT be separated from my money with their insanely optimistic Cult Pep Talks (read- endless meetings with dishonest “salesman’ Deans like Barry Admin Cylon Dean Amy Lefkowitz).
If you go to Barry School of Law I have one very very serious piece of advice- master the MP3 maker on your cell phone. This is the ONLY reason I escaped with my portion of the loan money and actually got them to return the money they had already gotten. They basically tried to tell me they were entitled to ALL $14, 000 they were in possession of. Some really swift thinking and luck reversed that, but not before they made an extortionist of me. The look on the many faces of Dean Leticia Diaz, who acts like anything but the face of Catholicism in education, was like a jolly executioner offering you what amounts to blindfold and a cigarette, is cosmetically enhanced and unbecoming a humble servant of God, but PERFECT for a greedy lawyer.
An avaricious and dedicated liar, Dean Leticia Diaz is not as good at pouring honey in your ears as she thinks. As I sat in our 7th and final meeting I broke all 3 subpar, unemployable outside Academia, Attorneys over my knee like so many dry twigs. All the while the Big Bad Dumb Triumvirate of Greed that is their staff of Deans was cajoling me into drinking their poison Kool-Aid and asking me “Don’t you WANT to be an Attorney? Why would you pass up this chance to be like us?” Well, aside from my personal aversion to larceny and the fact they deny you basic civil rights by hiding being their Catholic “Private School” Status, there’s the fact I decided being a lawyer wasn’t for me at all. They told me this attack of common sense was just nerves and I was really lucky they had lowered their academic bar to let me in.
‘Dean Leticia’ is so accomplished a liar I actually second guessed myself, for like 10 seconds. The Dean has a grudge against reality. Is she pathological or just evil? Decide for yourself but my opinion is -BOTH!
Trampling your Civil Rights- Check Your Citizenship at the Door
Sure, they fly the American Flag over their scandalously filthy campus (there are NO dorms), but don’t make the mistake of thinking your Civil Rights don’t end at the Campus Driveway when you pull in every morning to begin a search for a spot in their laughably small paved lot, or risk getting stuck in the sugar sand field that serves as their “auxiliary” lot.
I am 100% disabled . All this was revealed by
the documents and medical forms I filled out after I was accepted. The barriers to my having the same access as an able bodied person were easily removable, but no one would act. The Americans with Disabilities Act may as well not exist on their campus. Good luck finding this detail in their literature.
How the Game is Played
You will be invited to attend Barry; the 3rd most poorly regarded Law School in America (Tier 4!) if you have a pulse. This will seem like a great chance to undo your mistakes or a great way to ride out the recession and come out with a new career. I sure thought so.
What did I do wrong? Not a whole lot. I was kind of desperate and needed a game change. I knew the school was a joke (but not that it was in fact malignant) but I figured if I passed the Bar Exam I would have as good a chance at a gainful career as any other lawyer. THIS IS NOT TRUE! The dumbest guy in the Florida A&M program will be hired before you, even if you are top 10% of your Barry Graduating class.
In the world of Law only the top students from well regarded schools are assured to prosper. Anyone else is in for a lifelong upstream swim. Maybe this is for you, but it’s a student loan payment that exceeds $1,000 per month. So after taxes your first thousand dollars every month goes to pay down your (enormous) debt. Remember- all of this hinges on you actually graduating.
Some of this sounds reasonable, and your thinking- maybe this McTeag guy is just a disaffected malcontent. If you are currently holding a Barry Acceptance letter in your hands you are definitely going to make a go of it anyway, and I wish you luck, but be VERY wary.
How do they hoodwink you? Well, like every good cult Barry School of Law knows how to stroke you and will probably convince you to ignore stuff like the rules of addition and subtraction. They will do their best to convince you they are the only ones who will tell you the truth. They will try to sell you the idea that you are going to a school whose prestige is only going to increase. That is a bald faced lie.
How worthless is Barry’s reputation?
Here’s an excerpt from a recent scathing Wall Street Journal article that exposes how Barry blatantly lied to the tune of almost 300% about the student debt load they will dump on you! The Wall Street Journal writer bashes Barry for their lies and misleading statements regarding what your student debt will be.
Even worse, if they are not lying they are completely incompetent as they admit in their excuse that they completely misinterpreted the information requests and then sent out erroneous and unsurprisingly self serving answers to the ABA and other media outlets. This is their reputation we are talking about and look what poor stewards they are to it! Your future job rides on this and they are disgracing themselves in the biggest media outlets in America! These lies apparently even extend to lying to US News & World Report about their student debt level! Lying to you is almost boring to these practiced sociopaths.
Per the Wall Street Journal-
‘In one case, Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Fla., reported to the magazine and the ABA an average debt load of around $41,190 for the class of 2011. U.S. News & World Report added Barry to their 2011 top ten list of law schools whose graduates have the least debt.
After an inquiry from Law Blog, Barry said the actual average debt figure for 2011 graduates was $137,680 — reflecting total debt accumulated over three years, rather than in the final year of law school.
In one case, Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Fla., reported to the magazine (US News & World Report) and the ABA an average debt load of around $41,190 for the class of 2011. U.S. News & World Report added Barry to their 2011 top ten list of law schools whose graduates have the least debt.
After an inquiry from Law Blog, Barry said the actual average debt figure for 2011 graduates was $137,680 — reflecting total debt accumulated over three years, rather than in the final year of law school.
Amy M. Lefkowitz, associate dean for student affairs at Barry Law School, said the error was unintentional. Ms. Lefkowitz said that the school alerted the ABA to the error, but that it hadn’t contacted U.S. News to request a correction.”
–The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2012
The article goes on to quote Dean Amy Lefkowitz doing what she does best, lying while feigning incompetence. The author gives her explanation little merit- “Amy M. Lefkowitz, associate dean for student affairs at Barry Law School, said the error was unintentional. Ms. Lefkowitz said that the school alerted the ABA to the error, but that it hadn’t contacted U.S. News to request a correction.” Thats right, they excuse their lying by citing incompetence. You can judge for yourself.
So think about it, it’s not just me complaining they are shifty, it’s no less prestigious a news outlet than the Wall Street Journal! I am in distinguished company when I call Barry shady business people. If you don’t trust me you can surely trust The Journal.
The school provides NO INFORMATION ON GRADUATE JOB PLACEMENT OR AVERAGE STARTING SALARY, but ask anyone who attended in the first 10 years of Barry/ Dwayne O Andreas School of Law’s existence. Despite paying full price and surviving the 3 years of Hell that is any law school no one from Barry School of Law’s first 10 graduating classes were allowed to sit for the Bar exam. This is because the school lied to them, assuring people this would not be the case. The fact is they were well aware that Certification from the American Bar Association took a lot longer than they were willing to let their students know.
There are only 2 explanations for this- That the people running the school are completely incompetent overly optimistic dreamers; OR a bunch of liars as thick as thieves separating fools from their money. Well they certainly ARE liars but I’m no fool, at least not past 25,000 wasted dollars of foolishness.
Connecting the Dots-
Anyone can get a loan, not everyone can be an attorney. Barry School of Law only cares about the first part. Only one third of all Barry Grads are EMPLOYED 9 months after graduation! Good luck paying off close to 200k in loans working NOWHERE! Business Insider shows Barry to have the third lowest employment rate for it’s grads.
A mere 39%, far less than half of recent Barry Grads were even in a job requiring a JD. This is almost as disturbing as the overall unemployment for Barry Grads is (at least) a WHOPPING 32.06%. So over one in four Barry Grads end up loaded down in debt and not working in the legal field. As many are completely unemployed. That’s where the school reputation gets you! (Business Insider, October 2012)
Let me connect the dots- You are looking to go to a school where, if you’re lucky, you will graduate about $200,000 in debt to Uncle Sam. You can NOT go Bankrupt on these loans; they will follow you for life. The diploma you will receive will be more or less a bad joke, especially in Orlando where the entire legal community snickers rightly at the mention of the Sham Law School on Colonial Drive.
The Law School in Orlando is an afterthought and just to make money. Barry University’s main campus is hours and hours away in (also very dangerous) Miami Shores. Barry School of Law farms out all its administration of any consequence (like addressing Civil Rights issues or medical problems) to its Miami area Campus. This includes text messages sent by the School. I received at least 5 texts during my 9 months as a student warning me of threats like a gunman on Campus. Happily, this only applied to Miami Shores. This will not be the first thing to occur to you though, because crime in the area of Barry School of Law is rampant and violent.
That’s right, you may find the fact everyone who can carry a gun does and you’re surrounded by armed George Zimmerman’s in waiting reassuring, especially when you’re always getting “Gunman On Campus” texts, but violent crime in Orlando is out of control. Its America’s 2nd most violent city as of 2010, beating out Camden New Jersey and falling just short of the #1 most violent city, beautiful Flint, Michigan. Orlando also boasts America largest population of abandoned, homeless children. This will depress the shit out of you like nothing else, trust me.
What’s Best For You?
Only YOU know. All I can do is honestly warn you that if no one but Barry wants you it’s probably a doomed course of action. Sure, some ships will make it through a typhoon, even if only by sheer luck, but will you be on that ship? More important, will Barry still be an accredited Law School when you graduate? It’s an open question. The first 10 years of Graduates paid 100k – 200k to be $12 an hour paralegals OR go almost a half million in the hole and go through 3 years of law school again.
Look into your heart and ASK yourself- will I bet 20 years of making loan payments and over 200k in debt on a school that is doing what no other school would do- Accept you as a student?
Barry has extremely low admission standards. This works out great because the washout rate makes the school seem prestigious. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s likely you are being lied to when they exaggerate the success level of their marginally qualified students. If you are going to an early start program at Barry, which is packaged as anything BUT the $5,000 cash grab it is, your not lucky to get in, you are more likely being played. Only you know if you can “play the players” and survive 3 years of classes that prepare you only to pass the bar, not to be successful thereafter.
Barry School of Law is a leaky tub in uncharted waters. It could fold tomorrow. They were so desperate to steal my 14k in Government loan money it betrayed their situation- That Barry is 397 out of 400 rated, accredited law schools and its ability to stay open is in serious doubt. They could easily mismanage themselves into bankruptcy, or more likely, be sued successfully for violating peoples civil rights.
Your Diploma will not be worth the paper it’s printed on and your chances of being a lifelong wage slave in a non legal job are as good as 50-50
The Final Insult- You will have Just Hours to Decide your Fate-
Your grades will conveniently be quite late. In my case I had 24 hours to make a life changing decision involving 10′s of thousands of dollars. I was 2 weeks into second semester before all my grades were available. This is a brilliant ploy as desperate, uninformed people are especially vulnerable to suggestion and trust me, you will be heavily pressured to make your decision in a vacuum of facts. DON’T TRUST THESE PEOPLE WITH YOUR MONEY OR FUTURE!
Need More Proof? Here’s several other (very unfavorable) sets of views of Barry from “The Bitter Lawyers Kill List” and others. Barry is justifiably called out as a sham by all
And for Good measure- Heres several more Links to respected magazines and web sites SLAMMING Barry for it’s poor grad performance in the Job Market-
insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com has very complete stats showing that in the 17 months leading up to October 2012 only about one third of Barry Grads were admitted to the Florida bar! Only a half dozen students are practicing outside Florida, so it’s particularly damning.
All sources except Barry’s Official Web Page show a stunning lack of success for Barry Grads. You don’t have to take just MY word for it! Barry provides no information of their own to refute this.
STILL DEVELOPING -Barry Law Goons Launch Cowardly Proxy Attacks in Comments Section of this Post-! Hilarity Ensues!
Below in the comments there is a lively and lengthy exchange between myself and obvious proxies for the school with fake emails. I answer all the questions honestly. Its great because as a reader you can now see the proxy war, with Barry’s side presented by their employees and sycophants, all hidden behind fake emails with ludicrous phony email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org is my personal fave!) answered by me.
Its a spirited and continuing debate I invite all to join!
If you really want some answers you don’t have to take it from me. Try calling Barry yourself at (321) 206-5600, their main campus number as per their website.