Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

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Paul Campos
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Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:52 am

Brian Tamanaha, author of the new book Failing Law Schools, has an op-ed in the NYT on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/how-to-make-law-school-affordable.html?ref=opinion

I have some thoughts on it here: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/06/and-new-york-times-said-law-is-dead.html
Last edited by Paul Campos on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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morally0bese
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby morally0bese » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:56 am

Yeah there is nothing here that law school applicants should not know already.

It may be useful to consider this article's impact within the wider student loan debate that has gotten so much attention this political season. Will this focus lead to increased awareness and possibly policy?

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sunynp
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby sunynp » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:18 pm

morally0bese wrote:Yeah there is nothing here that law school applicants should not know already.

It may be useful to consider this article's impact within the wider student loan debate that has gotten so much attention this political season. Will this focus lead to increased awareness and possibly policy?


You are mistaken if you think that everyone knows this information. There are still plenty of people who have no idea what is happening with law school. Just read some of the threads here. I read one yesterday by a guy who was considering transferring and deeply regretted not finding this site first. There was a while ago where I argued with a girl who wanted to give up Michigan to go for free at a her local T4 California school with high stips.

I think there are many, many undergrads who don't know about law school. Neither do their parents nor their pre-law advisors. Also, the years of misinformation put out by the schools is a lot to overcome.

Another aspect is that some people are desperate for jobs. They can't find any work, so they feel that law school is their only ticket to financial security. If it doesn't work out, they feel they will just go on IBR and not be any worse off than they are now.

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CwallXC322
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby CwallXC322 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:28 pm

Paul Campos wrote:Brian Tamanaha, author of the new book Failing Law Schools, has an op-ed in the NYT on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/how-to-make-law-school-affordable.html?ref=opinion

I have some thoughts on it here: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/06/and-new-york-times-said-law-is-dead.html


People who think an economic turnaround is going to save legal academia's bacon should consider the very real possibility that this is the "economic turnaround," and that the debt-leveraged growth of recent decades simply isn't going to be repeated in the foreseeable future.

Finally, someone (besides Krugman) who things we need more spending and less austerity.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:33 pm

CwallXC322 wrote:Finally, someone (besides Krugman) who things we need more spending and less austerity.


How can we have less austerity when there hasn't been any?

MrAnon
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby MrAnon » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:34 pm

CwallXC322 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:Brian Tamanaha, author of the new book Failing Law Schools, has an op-ed in the NYT on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/how-to-make-law-school-affordable.html?ref=opinion

I have some thoughts on it here: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/06/and-new-york-times-said-law-is-dead.html


People who think an economic turnaround is going to save legal academia's bacon should consider the very real possibility that this is the "economic turnaround," and that the debt-leveraged growth of recent decades simply isn't going to be repeated in the foreseeable future.

Finally, someone (besides Krugman) who things we need more spending and less austerity.


You are advocating doing whatever is necessary to get us back to where debt leveraged growth got us?
Last edited by MrAnon on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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minnbills
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby minnbills » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:34 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
CwallXC322 wrote:Finally, someone (besides Krugman) who things we need more spending and less austerity.


How can we have less austerity when there hasn't been any?


Not really appropriate to this thread, but we've been shedding government jobs every month

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CwallXC322
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby CwallXC322 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:48 pm

MrAnon wrote:
CwallXC322 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:Brian Tamanaha, author of the new book Failing Law Schools, has an op-ed in the NYT on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/how-to-make-law-school-affordable.html?ref=opinion

I have some thoughts on it here: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/06/and-new-york-times-said-law-is-dead.html


People who think an economic turnaround is going to save legal academia's bacon should consider the very real possibility that this is the "economic turnaround," and that the debt-leveraged growth of recent decades simply isn't going to be repeated in the foreseeable future.

Finally, someone (besides Krugman) who things we need more spending and less austerity.


You are advocating doing whatever is necessary to get us back to where debt leveraged growth got us?


While there hasn't been a major austerity plan in the US yet (see Ryan budget), local, state, and federal gov't jobs have been cut. Austerity doesn't grow an economy.

I am advocating what has gotten the US economy out of recessions and depressions in the past. An injection of capital (stimulus, I know such a dirty word!) from the government where private companies aren't willing to invest (infrastructure, education, energy) will grow the economy. The only times where it is necessary to increase the national debt is during a war or an economic downturn. During economic stable times is when talks of reducing the debt should be front and center, not during a jobs crisis.

This is irrelevant to the thread, sorry for hijacking.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby rickgrimes69 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:14 pm

CwallXC322 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:
CwallXC322 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:Brian Tamanaha, author of the new book Failing Law Schools, has an op-ed in the NYT on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/how-to-make-law-school-affordable.html?ref=opinion

I have some thoughts on it here: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/06/and-new-york-times-said-law-is-dead.html


People who think an economic turnaround is going to save legal academia's bacon should consider the very real possibility that this is the "economic turnaround," and that the debt-leveraged growth of recent decades simply isn't going to be repeated in the foreseeable future.

Finally, someone (besides Krugman) who things we need more spending and less austerity.


You are advocating doing whatever is necessary to get us back to where debt leveraged growth got us?


While there hasn't been a major austerity plan in the US yet (see Ryan budget), local, state, and federal gov't jobs have been cut. Austerity doesn't grow an economy.

I am advocating what has gotten the US economy out of recessions and depressions in the past. An injection of capital (stimulus, I know such a dirty word!) from the government where private companies aren't willing to invest (infrastructure, education, energy) will grow the economy. The only times where it is necessary to increase the national debt is during a war or an economic downturn. During economic stable times is when talks of reducing the debt should be front and center, not during a jobs crisis.

This is irrelevant to the thread, sorry for hijacking.


Agreed entirely. The trumpeting for austerity by the GOP smacks of political pandering devoid of fact, because it is. When I argue with people who claim that cutting spending will improve the economy, I ask them to show me one example where austerity measures brought a country out of a recession.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:23 pm

I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.

BearsGrl
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby BearsGrl » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:28 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


+1

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minnbills
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby minnbills » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:32 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Why shouldn't the government be lending to students? I don't think the answer to this problem is making a legal education less accessible.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby RedBirds2011 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:32 pm

sunynp wrote:
morally0bese wrote:Yeah there is nothing here that law school applicants should not know already.

It may be useful to consider this article's impact within the wider student loan debate that has gotten so much attention this political season. Will this focus lead to increased awareness and possibly policy?


You are mistaken if you think that everyone knows this information. There are still plenty of people who have no idea what is happening with law school. Just read some of the threads here. I read one yesterday by a guy who was considering transferring and deeply regretted not finding this site first. There was a while ago where I argued with a girl who wanted to give up Michigan to go for free at a her local T4 California school with high stips.

I think there are many, many undergrads who don't know about law school. Neither do their parents nor their pre-law advisors. Also, the years of misinformation put out by the schools is a lot to overcome.

Another aspect is that some people are desperate for jobs. They can't find any work, so they feel that law school is their only ticket to financial security. If it doesn't work out, they feel they will just go on IBR and not be any worse off than they are now.



Yea, this. Sites like TLS are invaluable. But the thing is, the average person is not going to take an Internet forum seriously. Also, a lot of people don't seek out an Internet forum as a credible place to find such advice. So, even the ones that research it get their advice from outdated sources that seem very credible (such as boomer lawyers who don't understand fully the present law school conditions).

BearsGrl
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby BearsGrl » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:39 pm

minnbills wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Why shouldn't the government be lending to students? I don't think the answer to this problem is making a legal education less accessible.


It should, just not at the present rate that it does. This "free money" concept is why tuition increases.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:42 pm

minnbills wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Why shouldn't the government be lending to students? I don't think the answer to this problem is making a legal education less accessible.


Of course you don't. But you need to understand that it's your desire for access to higher education that has led to these disastrous unintended consequences.

Call me cruel, but I do think part of the solution is making legal education less accessible. Lowering tuition sounds great until you realize it lets even more people in. I did like how Tamanaha addressed this by capping the total amount of federal money a school could get, but smaller schools could still expand and maintain the surplus of JDs.

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CwallXC322
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby CwallXC322 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:49 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Ad-hominem bra. "You guys"? I'll take common sense solutions, over Mitt Romney's borrow some money from your parents and shop around one size fits all solution.

I actually agree with Profs. Tamanaha and Campos that gov't subsidies of private student loans eliminates the risk that is necessary to keep tuition low. If everyone, regardless of the school and their employment statistics, can receive 200k in loans then obviously schools are going to increase their tuition. Schools are just reacting to what they can get away with.

The government has eliminated the free market in higher education and the suggestions in the NY Times article are definitely worthy of consideration. There needs to be some sort of balance between creating access for lower income students and lowering the debt burden. A hybrid solution is what is needed. Maybe creating ratings for graduates of law schools exposing how risky an investment it can be for the lender? I really liked the idea of creating a cap of federal loans to an individual school.

A formula that creates a rating for how much federal money can be accepted at a certain school vs. the risk a graduate of that school defaults on that debt.
Last edited by CwallXC322 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BearsGrl
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby BearsGrl » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:51 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
minnbills wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Why shouldn't the government be lending to students? I don't think the answer to this problem is making a legal education less accessible.


Of course you don't. But you need to understand that it's your desire for access to higher education that has led to these disastrous unintended consequences.

Call me cruel, but I do think part of the solution is making legal education less accessible. Lowering tuition sounds great until you realize it lets even more people in. I did like how Tamanaha addressed this by capping the total amount of federal money a school could get, but smaller schools could still expand and maintain the surplus of JDs.


I generally agree with this. But I also don't think access should only be granted to high LSAT takers. I think that there needs to be some blind system where schools look at the candidate's application first, numbers second. Some people just aren't build for standardized tests, no matter their efforts. I know that my testing has not been indicative of my professional performance. But otherwise, I generally agree with you on restricting access and figuring out a way to cap off the amount of students in each class.

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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby BearsGrl » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:53 pm

CwallXC322 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Ad-hominem bra. "You guys"? I'll take common sense solutions, over Mitt Romney's borrow some money from your parents and shop around one size fits all solution.

I actually agree with Profs. Tamanaha and Campos that gov't subsidies of private student loans eliminates the risk that is necessary to keep tuition low. If everyone, regardless of the school and their employment statistics, can receive 200k in loans then obviously schools are going to increase their tuition. Schools are just reacting to what they can get away with.

The government has eliminated the free market in higher education and the suggestions in the NY Times article are definitely worthy of consideration. There needs to be some sort of balance between creating access for lower income students and lowering the debt burden.


The problem is, we're all lower income students when it applies to the law school game.

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CwallXC322
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby CwallXC322 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:56 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
minnbills wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Why shouldn't the government be lending to students? I don't think the answer to this problem is making a legal education less accessible.


Of course you don't. But you need to understand that it's your desire for access to higher education that has led to these disastrous unintended consequences.

Call me cruel, but I do think part of the solution is making legal education less accessible. Lowering tuition sounds great until you realize it lets even more people in. I did like how Tamanaha addressed this by capping the total amount of federal money a school could get, but smaller schools could still expand and maintain the surplus of JDs.


Unfortunately this is absolutely true.

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sunynp
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby sunynp » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:57 pm

CwallXC322 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
minnbills wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Why shouldn't the government be lending to students? I don't think the answer to this problem is making a legal education less accessible.


Of course you don't. But you need to understand that it's your desire for access to higher education that has led to these disastrous unintended consequences.

Call me cruel, but I do think part of the solution is making legal education less accessible. Lowering tuition sounds great until you realize it lets even more people in. I did like how Tamanaha addressed this by capping the total amount of federal money a school could get, but smaller schools could still expand and maintain the surplus of JDs.


Unfortunately this is absolutely true.


I don't think it is cruel to prevent people from going into hundreds of thousands in debt they will never repay.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby RedBirds2011 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:00 pm

CwallXC322 wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:I'm curious to see if this left-wing circle jerk will head back to the original topic of the thread. At some point you guys will have to address the issue of government involvement in the student loan business.


Ad-hominem bra. "You guys"? I'll take common sense solutions, over Mitt Romney's borrow some money from your parents and shop around one size fits all solution.

I actually agree with Profs. Tamanaha and Campos that gov't subsidies of private student loans eliminates the risk that is necessary to keep tuition low. If everyone, regardless of the school and their employment statistics, can receive 200k in loans then obviously schools are going to increase their tuition. Schools are just reacting to what they can get away with.

The government has eliminated the free market in higher education and the suggestions in the NY Times article are definitely worthy of consideration. There needs to be some sort of balance between creating access for lower income students and lowering the debt burden. A hybrid solution is what is needed. Maybe creating ratings for graduates of law schools exposing how risky an investment it can be for the lender? I really liked the idea of creating a cap of federal loans to an individual school.

A formula that creates a rating for how much federal money can be accepted at a certain school vs. the risk a graduate of that school defaults on that debt.



I would be for a system that has very very low tuition but a very very initial high weed out rate. Money should not be a huge barrier to pursuing education otherwise we are going very far backwards in time and this is NOT good for society either. In the weedout model, you get your chance to prove yourself and if you dont make it you move on without having a huge debt burden as a consequence. It would also be vey competitive so the cream would rise to the top. The difference would be the losers wouldn't ruin their lives.

Edit: in a system that uses money as a barrier to entry, only the wealthy would become educated. That's going back in time and I find it anti progressive.
Last edited by RedBirds2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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minnbills
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby minnbills » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:01 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Of course you don't. But you need to understand that it's your desire for access to higher education that has led to these disastrous unintended consequences.

Call me cruel, but I do think part of the solution is making legal education less accessible. Lowering tuition sounds great until you realize it lets even more people in. I did like how Tamanaha addressed this by capping the total amount of federal money a school could get, but smaller schools could still expand and maintain the surplus of JDs.


I don't think it's the availability of federal cash on its own that's led to this problem. I view it more as a symptom, actually. For one, USNWR incentivizing high expenditures per student has encouraged schools to raise tuition, which I'm sure you already know. If federal loans are restricted, private capital will probably step in to fill the gap since the need for loans will still be there, and the issue will still be unresolved.

I think the chief problem would be better solved by:

A. finding a way to close down unnecessary schools (the market seems to be moving in this direction already)
B. getting rid of the third year of school (which seems to be universally regarded as a waste of time)
and C. capping the amount of money a school can spend per student.

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PDaddy
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby PDaddy » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:07 pm

Paul Campos wrote:Brian Tamanaha, author of the new book Failing Law Schools, has an op-ed in the NYT on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/how-to-make-law-school-affordable.html?ref=opinion

I have some thoughts on it here: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/06/and-new-york-times-said-law-is-dead.html


Your friend's plan sounds nice, in theory, but there's one huge problem with his proposal: the profession would almost certainly become elitist and exclusionary towards the ethnic minorities and the poor if such strict limits force banks to loan primarily to students who are least likely to really "need" the money. This is almost a certain reality if caps are placed on the law schools and the federal government tightens regulations so that private lenders refuse to loan to the most needy students.

This would have a devastating impact on the legal profession and the public itself, as the courts are already denying access to those persons who most need it. As it is, victims of civil rights violations are unable to find lawyers to take their cases in this economy; adding batches of lawyers from upper-end financial backgrounds will only result in a legal industry that is wholly apathetic to minorities and the poor, which will result in more civil rights violations, disparate prosecution and sentencing, predatory lending, and loss of home ownership for those persons.

I do agree that one solution would be to lower tuition at law schools to the point that they are profitable, but only within reason.
Last edited by PDaddy on Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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CwallXC322
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby CwallXC322 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:07 pm

minnbills wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
Of course you don't. But you need to understand that it's your desire for access to higher education that has led to these disastrous unintended consequences.

Call me cruel, but I do think part of the solution is making legal education less accessible. Lowering tuition sounds great until you realize it lets even more people in. I did like how Tamanaha addressed this by capping the total amount of federal money a school could get, but smaller schools could still expand and maintain the surplus of JDs.


I don't think it's the availability of federal cash on its own that's led to this problem. I view it more as a symptom, actually. For one, USNWR incentivizing high expenditures per student has encouraged schools to raise tuition, which I'm sure you already know. If federal loans are restricted, private capital will probably step in to fill the gap since the need for loans will still be there, and the issue will still be unresolved.

I think the chief problem would be better solved by:

A. finding a way to close down unnecessary schools (the market seems to be moving in this direction already)
B. getting rid of the third year of school (which seems to be universally regarded as a waste of time)
and C. capping the amount of money a school can spend per student.


I'm not so sure that private capital will be willing to risk 200k on a law student that has a low probability of paying the loan back if it isn't already subsidized by the federal gov't.

Unless of course they bundle subprime student loans into massive tranches, rate them AAA, trade the risk for a small fee, default on the tranches, get bailed out by the gov't, profit.

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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby RedBirds2011 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:09 pm

PDaddy wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:Brian Tamanaha, author of the new book Failing Law Schools, has an op-ed in the NYT on the subject. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/how-to-make-law-school-affordable.html?ref=opinion

I have some thoughts on it here: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/06/and-new-york-times-said-law-is-dead.html


Your friend's plan sounds nice, in theory, but there's one huge problem with his proposal: the profession would almost certainly become elitist and exclusionary towards the ethnic minorities and the poor if such strict limits force banks to loan primarily to students who are least likely to really "need" the money. This is almost a certain reality if caps are placed on the law schools and the federal government tightens regulations so that private lenders refuse to loan to the most needy students.

This would have a devastating impact on the legal profession and the public itself, as the courts are already denying access to those persons who most need it. As it is, victims of civil rights violations are unable to find lawyers to take their cases in this economy, adding batches of lawyers from upper-end financial backgrounds will only result in a legal industry that is wholly apathetic to minorities and the poor, which will result in more civil rights violations, disparate prosecution and sentencing, predatory lending, and loss of home ownership for those persons.

I do agree that one solution would be to lower tuition at law schools to the point that they are profitable, but only within reason.



Exactly this. Money as a barrier would have terrible consequences for society in this way. Much more than its already does.
Last edited by RedBirds2011 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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