Too Little Too Late Part II: ABA Journal Article

A recent blurb was published in the online ABA Journal positing the question of how to improve law schools. One of the highlighted suggestions included reducing the cost of a law school education. This will have a two fold negative effect: 1) As law schools are already discharging and furloughing support staff and adjunct faculty to further reduce costs will increase the loss of non tenured faculty and support staff (I know reader, I heard you chuckle) 2) Will lower the standards of a law school education which will make the law degree worth even less than it is now, as many law graduates learned the hard way. Ironically, it is published by the very law school accrediting agency that is responsible for the glut of attorneys that’s been happening for decades. Those who are in a position to implement change can start by not accrediting any more law schools and it is now time to shut down many of them. The measurement of success is not just in a constricted market but does the law degree hold value when the economy enjoys economic progress. For most, the answer is “no” as the problem existed for decades cloaked under false employment statistics and contract work. For many law schools the following suggestions is akin to performing CPR after the person has died.
I hope you enjoy the comic relief:
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How to improve law school? Required clinical training, capped loans are among expert suggestions

http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/article/how_to_improve_law_school_required_clinical_training_capped_loans_are_among/

By Debra Cassens Weiss
Jul 24, 2013, 05:45 am CDT
Law schools that once promised grads a place among the elite need to change along with the legal profession, according to several experts who offered their suggestions.

The New Republic queried the experts as a follow-up to an article that, in its words, “chronicles the looming economic collapse of the legal profession.” ABAJournal.com reported on the highlights or the prior article here. The experts’ suggestions are here.

Among the suggestions gathered by the New Republic:

• From Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz: Law schools should offer two years of academic instruction and a third year focused on the student’s career choice that could include internships and clinical training. The third year change might result in the need for fewer teachers and reduced costs. “There are no free lunches when it comes to legal education,” he write, “but cost-cutting is essential as law-school tuition has ballooned dramatically over the past half century.”

• From University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos, who formerly blogged at Inside the Law School Scam: Cap student loans. “The cost of law school needs to be reduced to what it was a generation ago,” he writes. “This would happen practically overnight if the federal government put reasonable caps on educational loans.”

• Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick: Add a hands-on clinical component to legal education, and put it during the first year. “The hope is that a year of practicing taking depositions, doing document review, and interviewing cranky clients might have helped clarify for many of us, early and often, that we won’t all get to be Clarence Darrow,” she says.

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2 Comments »

  1. Nando Said:

    Campos is correct, compared to the others. Unfortunately, even in his scenario, you would see predatory lenders jumping into the student loan game. These pigs have the money to buy Congre$$men who – as typical whores – simply cannot do enough tricks for a big wad of cash.

    Then again, fewer students would be financially ruined as a result of attaining a law degree. A few would be worse off, due to higher interest rates. However, the schools would realize that at least 90% of their pupils have no way to pay $45K in yearly tuition. In that sense, the cockroaches would be forced to lower their prohibitive cost of attendance.

    In the end, the solution is simple in theory and construct. However, there is no political will among Congressroaches to do anything meaningful and fundamentally change this broke, morally-bankrupt $y$tem.

    • A Law School Victim Said:

      Think tanks, lobbyists and Congressmen = special interests and the elite. Ironically I remember a few years ago on congressmen who owed not only years of back taxes and private debt. Guess this is how they pay off their student loans or simply stave off inevitable unemployment.


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