Looking into Legal Education
Tremendous site. Thank you for providing transparent consumer information to prospective law students.
While I do strongly agree that law schools should be transparent and detailed with their employment data, I’m reluctant to argue that their lack of transparency is the primary reason why recent and near future graduates face unemployment.
As your site mentions, the economy and technological advances, have tightened the job market. The economy is expected to stay its current condition at the very best. Obviously, this is very alarming. As far as technological advances, I think the legal industry needs to evolve and reinvent itself to restore its value. But this is an entirely different discussion.
Then of course, there’s the misguided youth to blame. Since when did common sense erode so quickly? These are prospective law students…individuals who I assume to be intelligent. They are well aware of the economy and the uncertainty of the legal market. But that doesn’t stop them from applying, does it? What other choices may they have considering how worthless a college degree is these days? I find a 16% decline in law school applications shocking. I expected a higher percentage than that. Until that number reaches, perhaps 30-40%, the lower tier schools will remain in business. The market will equalize eventually.
btw, the key captcha prog is really annoying.
Thanks for commenting. First things first, I agree about the captcha. However, we were having really bad spam problems, and it’s cut down on the spam entirely.
I don’t think anybody credible has argued that a lack of transparency is to blame for the structural changes our profession is undergoing (or has undergone). However, I think it can be credibly argued — and I think you even make this argument, albeit implicitly — that the number of those who are un- and under-employed is higher because of the lack of transparency. In other words, if more people had known that there was not enough room at the entry level of the legal profession, they wouldn’t have gone in the first place. This is the basic belief that fewer total people would attend with better information.
As for misguided applicants, I think many people underestimate what the Times has quoted me saying in this story:
“For a long time there has been this culturally embedded perception that if you go to law school, it will be worth the money,” said Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency, a legal education policy organization. “The idea that law school is an easy ticket to financial security is finally breaking down.”
Can we really damn a young person for trusting his teachers, parents, and peers, along with the schools?
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