Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Law School Economics and Success

It has been a long time since I posted anything, but this is worth it. This New York Times article looks into the expanding tuition for law schools in comparison to the chances of economic success.


This New York Times article just hits the tip of the iceberg in my opinion.

I have long thought that the modern legal education model had serious flaws -- too many people and not enough weeding out. Quantity over quality. Though I had not thought about it in terms of economics, this article may have hit the nail on the head in terms of motive.

Many of the lower end law school graduates (either by class rank or law school) end up in criminal defense (and family law among other consumer practices) not because it is what they want to do, but because it is all they can do when not hired by a firm. Too many should not be lawyers and even more should have been weeded out by the (broken) law school education system.

Medical schools do it right and have much better control over the graduating population sent out to begin practicing on the public.

Law schools have never been designed to teach anyone how to practice law. At least the medical profession requires internships and residency before graduates can begin plying their trade. In my view, it is long past time for this to be part of a legal education.

Years ago I represented a private school that provided court reporter training. This entity was later sued by a group of students who were not able to pass the classes (on the theory that the school had misrepresented the likelihood of graduation and later success). The case was confidentially settled before trial, but I have long thought that some (and perhaps many) law schools might face the same kind of litigation. As tuition rises and employment prospects decline, this litigation may not be far off for law schools.

The Titanic law schools may be headed for the proverbial iceberg if they do not get back to Law-4-Lunch rather than three meals plus snacks a day.