Wednesday, April 09, 2008

 

A lot of people are thinking creatively about law schools


Prof. Ryan tipped me off to this entertaining site, a mobblog which offers up all kinds of ideas on what law schools are doing, might do, and should be doing.

I was especially interested in one recent post on single sex schools. While I was in Boston, I visited a family friend who is a freshman at Wellesley, which in itself (given the success of its graduates) is a pretty good advertisement for single-sex education.

Comments:
The blog is thought-provoking, if nothing else, although I believe that they do men a disservice by not pointing out the beneficial effects of a single sex enviornment on young males. However, I attribute this to (what seems to be) to be a political slant on the blog opposite my own. Additionally, I agree that limiting the access to the legal market or lowering the cost of tuition is vital- some of us are paying "sticker price" of $50K/yr (with room and board) in order to attend this school, yet we may enter into a legal market flooded with competition, in which we can make only 30-40K/yr- I am not denying that is a decent wage, especially for Waco, however, we should not have to spend $150K and three years of our lives to make that. So, I agree that one of two solutions MUST be pursued by the the legal profession
1. limit access to the profession further- i.e. limit slots in exsisting schools, and close many (say at least 25%) of exsisting law schools down.
2. In the alternative, make law school much (as in MAX of $25K/yr including room and board) and offering truncated, practical programs, as suggested on the blog, such that we graduate with much less debt (i.e., maybe it costs $50K in loans to graduate and get a $40-$50K a year job).

I personally am in favor of re-creating the cartel method of law practice- limit entrants drastically, thus driving up the average wage that can be commanded- this will also allow law schools to continue to raise their tuition as they are used to, without having the risk to students of paying large amounts of money for a degree, and then graduating and obtaining a job that pays $30-$40K/yr. For those who so choose, yes, it is wonderful to work in Legal Aid, Government, etc- I may do that myself, however, as the authors of that "mobblog" pointed out, many students come here expecting a $160K/yr job out of school, when in fact only 10% of us get that- and many more are simply scraping by, struggling with a massive debt burden. I will say that the new government debt relief programs for those in public service are very helpful, however!

- Chicago
 
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