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August 25, 2010
Fasting for Accurate Employment and Salary Data: Open Letter to Law School Deans and Directors on 20th Day of Hunger Strike
Dear Law School Deans and Directors:
My name is Ethan Haines. On August 5, I began a hunger strike in support of law school transparency and career counseling (career planning and training) reform. Ten of the nation’s top law schools were effectively put on notice of my hunger strike and provided with options for resolving the concerns contained therein. The complete list of selected schools is available on my blog (http://unemployedjd.com).
As of today, August 24, I have gone twenty days without food, and with a very limited intake of liquids, in support of positive change for legal education. To date, I have lost fifteen pounds. The purpose of my hunger strike is to bring positive change to legal education – not harm to myself. I sincerely believe that the individuals that I represent have valid concerns that can adequately be addressed by law school administrators to help prevent more J.D. statistics – law graduates who are unemployed/underemployed with large amounts of student debt.
My hunger strike has been covered by major media organizations such as USA Today, MSNBC.com, Above the Law, ABA Journal, The Huffington Post, and a series of blogs. Despite this publicity, I have not received any communication from representatives of any of the law schools on notice.
I write to you for your assistance and support. The current state of legal education is in disrepair and law students and recent law graduates are victims of the standoff between academic regulators, institutions, and other for-profit entities. To restore the faith of my peers in legal education and the future of the legal industry, I implore you to begin a conversation about law school transparency and career counseling reform within your academic institution. These problems are simply too big for the American Bar Association (ABA) to handle on its own.
As for me, I will continue my hunger strike until I receive a response from the law schools on notice or my body gives in, whichever comes first. Change, positive change, is all that I am after. If not for me or my classmates, then for the future of legal education.
Very respectfully yours,
It turns out that "Ethan Haines" is really Zenovia Evans, a 28-year-old woman living in Denver, who graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2009, reports Karen Sloan in Law school hunger striker revealed: He is a she. Evans started her hunger strike hoping to prompt law schools to participate in Law School Transparency — a Tennessee-based non-profit organization that is attempting to compile better employment and salary data about law graduates. Sloan also reports that there's room for fruit smoothies in her hunger strike. [JH]