Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

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justicefishy
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby justicefishy » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:02 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
MrShneebly wrote:Didn't read the thread, but this ad was at the bottom of the article

"Ads by Google
what's this?
Thomas Jefferson Law
Earn an Accredited Master of Laws
at Thomas Jefferson Law School.
MastersinLaw.TJSL.edu"


Got the same ad, LOLed.


I see ads for that and Cooley all the time. I LAWL often :D

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JCougar
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby JCougar » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:16 pm

The problem with the legal education market is that it works the opposite way most markets do. Competition makes legal education more expensive, not less.

The more you charge for tuition, the better faculty you can hire, the better student/teacher ratios you can promote, the more merit scholarships you can give out, the more library space you can afford, etc. The fact that the US News rankings seem to be the end-all, be-all of law school merit distinctivizes efficiency and rewards waste. And of course, the higher you are on the US News rankings, the more students will fork over in tuition because they realize it's a ticket to a better job.

Free market competition doesn't always drive down costs -- sometimes it drives them up. Privatized healthcare is just one example. Legal education is another. No matter what happens, law school is not going to get cheaper, because the ones that charge less tuition will sink in prestige.

With that said, I think making the schools themselves guarantee a portion of the loans they give out is a good idea. Regulatory capture is a real problem when the school is not on the hook for the lack of effectiveness of their degree. I think the top schools will continue to charge high tuition, though, because students will always be overly optimistic about their prospects and thus overpay for a degree. But if put on the hook, you'd have to imagine worthless hellholes like Cooley, Golden Gate, and Barry are going to have to close their doors.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:57 pm

RedBirds2011 wrote:
LOL @ this trite liberal bullshit.

Care to actually elaborate as to why it is "trite liberal bullshit"


The vast majority of the problems URMs face in getting into law school involve aspects of our society that have failed URMs before they're even in college. Fix the public school system, discrimination in housing, discrimination in lending, and other related problems before you start throwing free loan money at under-qualified minorities to allow them to attend law school.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:01 am

I think the posts advocating for specific regulation of law schools with regard to tuition levels are a bit far-fetched and unprincipled. I think it's far less costly and more effective to eliminate government lending for student loans altogether and implement the general financial regulatory regime that was already put in place by Dodd-Frank. I'm all for passing laws requiring transparency with regard to the reporting of employment statistics, however.

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mattviphky
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby mattviphky » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:47 am

fuck it. just close 30 law schools. Cooley, FL Coastal, Barry, and JMLS have like a total 3,000 grads per year heading into dire straights with huge debt, so that's a good start.

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wiseowl
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby wiseowl » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:17 am

noleknight16 wrote:If the ABA's standards can be removed from a one size fits all system, some schools can focus on low cost legal education for public interest work and others can focus on big law prestigework.


FTFY

PinkRevolver
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby PinkRevolver » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:18 am

mattviphky wrote:fuck it. just close 30 law schools. Cooley, FL Coastal, Barry, and JMLS have like a total 3,000 grads per year heading into dire straights with huge debt, so that's a good start.



idk if you're being sarcastic or not....but these have been my thoughts exaactly.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:30 am

wiseowl wrote:
noleknight16 wrote:If the ABA's standards can be removed from a one size fits all system, some schools can focus on low cost legal education for public interest work and others can focus on big law prestigework.


FTFY


LOL

Renzo
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:32 am

I actually think the solutions posed by the editorial are brilliant, and would go a long way towards solving several problems within legal education and the legal profession.

As far as I'm concerned, the ABA is a quasi-criminal body whose man purpose to enable current members of the bar to extort unreasonable rates for their services, at the direct expense of the general public and aspiring lawyers. It's essentially a medieval guild that is primarily interested in limiting competition in the legal industry. Law schools should be allows to operate with considerable adjunct faculties, and with "no frills" libraries and physical plants. This would let schools at the low end of the spectrum actually offer an affordable education, and give them an incentive to compete on price.

At the same time, caps on student loans would encourage some schools to offer cheaper education. Those that chose not to would have to make arrangements for their students to borrow from other sources (either institutional or private loans), which would give them some skin in the game: if their graduates were always defaulting, the private sector would be less willing to loan to them (or would also place caps on total indebtedness, as some private lenders already do), and the school would not be as able to fill classes at full price.

This plan would almost certainly lead to more JD's entering the world. But who cares? The price they will be paying for their folly will be tiny compared to the current system, and it will just become a common graduate degree for non-lawyers to hold.

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thelawyler
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby thelawyler » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:15 am

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.


Just some random thought experiment, although it'd have to be a private company to bring about the change and not public policy but...
US News makes diversity and need-based aid ratings worth 10% of the rankings. Result? Schools dish out money to the people who really need it and we maintain relatively equal access to legal education.

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thelawyler
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby thelawyler » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:34 am

I saw this comment on the blog, and I thought it was an interesting solution:

Here's the reform: (1) max federal student debt per person capped at $100,000; (2) non-governmental student debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy 10 years after origination; (3) federal loans must have an educational institution co-signer or surety.


I would say even creating an incentive for schools to cosign with private loans would allow actual good schools with good outcomes put their money where their mouth is. If you truly believe your grads will be able to repay their debts, you can offer to co-sign as an in between option of the extremes of need-based grant-aid and pure private loans which may not approve a "poor" student for that debt.

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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Napt » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:37 am

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:LOL @ this trite liberal bullshit.

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jas1503
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby jas1503 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:01 am

Going to take stroll off a cliff here; yeah, there are too many law schools; however, limiting access to a law education through loan-limits seems a bit elitist.

I'm not a law student yet, but it seems like the best way to stop many people from coming out of law school with $100k-$200k is to make it harder to graduate. It seems like a forgone conclusion that once you start law school (outside the top schools) that you're almost guaranteed to graduate or at least make it to 3L.

Instead of making it harder to pass the Bar or making it harder to gain access to a law education, why not just make it more likely that people will 'wash out' of law school at a much higher rate?

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minnbills
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby minnbills » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:07 am

jas1503 wrote:
Instead of making it harder to pass the Bar or making it harder to gain access to a law education, why not just make it more likely that people will 'wash out' of law school at a much higher rate?


Because then they would have debt and nothing to show for it.

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dresden doll
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby dresden doll » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:10 am

jas1503 wrote:Going to take stroll off a cliff here; yeah, there are too many law schools; however, limiting access to a law education through loan-limits seems a bit elitist.

I'm not a law student yet, but it seems like the best way to stop many people from coming out of law school with $100k-$200k is to make it harder to graduate. It seems like a forgone conclusion that once you start law school (outside the top schools) that you're almost guaranteed to graduate or at least make it to 3L.



Pretty sure you got that backwards. It's the top law schools that don't fail anyone, and for a good reason: people at top schools are pretty bright on average and therefore perfectly capable of comprehending what is a relatively easy material. I don't see how it's beneficial to institute some bogus curve that requires a portion of students at schools like Yale to be failed out.

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flem
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby flem » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:14 am

jas1503 wrote:Going to take stroll off a cliff here; yeah, there are too many law schools; however, limiting access to a law education through loan-limits seems a bit elitist.

I'm not a law student yet, but it seems like the best way to stop many people from coming out of law school with $100k-$200k is to make it harder to graduate. It seems like a forgone conclusion that once you start law school (outside the top schools) that you're almost guaranteed to graduate or at least make it to 3L.

Instead of making it harder to pass the Bar or making it harder to gain access to a law education, why not just make it more likely that people will 'wash out' of law school at a much higher rate?


Because curving out a large portion of your class is TTT as shit and you're saddling people with debt that, though smaller, is absolutely not worthwhile?

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jas1503
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby jas1503 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:16 am

minnbills wrote:
jas1503 wrote:
Instead of making it harder to pass the Bar or making it harder to gain access to a law education, why not just make it more likely that people will 'wash out' of law school at a much higher rate?


Because then they would have debt and nothing to show for it.

I was thinking along the lines of, if they wash out at 1L, then it's about a $40,000 hit and 1 less lawyer in the field.

I'm imagining that it would also work as a deterrent, since less people are going to risk that money in the 1st place, if they think that it's incredibly hard to even graduate.

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dresden doll
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby dresden doll » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:22 am

jas1503 wrote:
minnbills wrote:
jas1503 wrote:
Instead of making it harder to pass the Bar or making it harder to gain access to a law education, why not just make it more likely that people will 'wash out' of law school at a much higher rate?


Because then they would have debt and nothing to show for it.

I was thinking along the lines of, if they wash out at 1L, then it's about a $40,000 hit and 1 less lawyer in the field.

I'm imagining that it would also work as a deterrent, since less people are going to risk that money in the 1st place, if they think that it's incredibly hard to even graduate.


Why would you do that when some of the people at top schools get decent jobs every year despite relatively shitty grades? Those kids aren't the ones that are contributing to the current crisis.

Correlation between grades and jobs isn't exactly perfect, broheim, particularly not higher up the ladder.

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rayiner
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:22 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
minnbills wrote: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.


But if private capital is actually on the hook if the borrower defaults the problem is largely solved. Tuition and enrollment both go down.

As Campos has said just about anything would be an improvement over the current system. I'd even prefer a hardcore left-wing system of straight capping the number of people allowed in over the existing disaster.

To BearsGrl's point, we probably need to make the schools accountable by having them issue or guarantee at least part of the loan. That way if you really are capable of making it the school can let you in, but it prevents them from taking on just any idiot who can borrow from the government.

minnbills wrote:Haha exactly, somebody on Wall St. will take the risk


Not if the government got out of the way. But it's fair to suggest this won't happen. For those of us that support limited government, it's sad times.


There are three elements to this whole problem.

1) There is almost certainly a psychological element undermining market efficiency here. There are information asymmetries that the buyers of legal education are on the wrong side of, and there is likely an overestimate of the value of legal education amongst buyers.

2) The government really is distorting the market by making loans so accessible. This creates more people in law school than there is demand for lawyers;

3) There is increased competition from people who without federal student loans would not be able to afford legal educations. A huge part of the reason top law schools had 50%+ acceptance rates back in the 1950's was because only people with financial resources could really afford to go to top schools.

The "limited government" folks are really focused on (2), but it must be understood that (1) and (3) are also huge problems. Their deeply flawed economic models which ignore behavioral/psychological elements of modern economics make them ignore (1), and their lack of concern for fairness makes them ignore (3). But just getting government out of the way isn't going to fix the problem. It's not going to address the psychological irrationalities in the market, and will return us to the status quo ante. The status quo ante was pretty great for upper middle class folks, who faced less competition, but was far less meritocratic.

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rayiner
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:24 am

Julio_El_Chavo wrote:
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.


LOL @ this trite liberal bullshit.


Sorry for your tiny pink worldview little breh.

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Antipodean
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Antipodean » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:39 am

It's not the educational loans that are the problem here. It's unlimited educational loans. Your average educational consumer is in no position to calculate risk/reward on this issue, meaning that high debt figures will not act as a sufficient average deterrent; thus schools can raise their tuition with abandon.

But it's stupid to make money a determinant on whether you get higher education. Higher educational should be determined on merit; otherwise, misallocation of resources will result and society will suffer. That said, higher education does usually result in private benefits for its recipients, and where that occurs, society in general should receive a portion of those benefits as return on investment.

If you want an example of an educational loan system done right, look at Australia's HECS/HELP model. Fixed per-year loan amounts from the government (in three tiers depending on type of degree; more for expensive degrees like science, less for cheap degrees like arts). Income-based repayment. The result is widely accessible, low cost education partially paid for by society and partially paid for by those who reaped benefits from receiving it.

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jas1503
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby jas1503 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:41 am

dresden doll wrote:
jas1503 wrote:
minnbills wrote:
jas1503 wrote:
Instead of making it harder to pass the Bar or making it harder to gain access to a law education, why not just make it more likely that people will 'wash out' of law school at a much higher rate?


Because then they would have debt and nothing to show for it.

I was thinking along the lines of, if they wash out at 1L, then it's about a $40,000 hit and 1 less lawyer in the field.

I'm imagining that it would also work as a deterrent, since less people are going to risk that money in the 1st place, if they think that it's incredibly hard to even graduate.


Why would you do that when some of the people at top schools get decent jobs every year despite relatively shitty grades? Those kids aren't the ones that are contributing to the current crisis.

Correlation between grades and jobs isn't exactly perfect, broheim, particularly not higher up the ladder.

I get what you're saying...I think.


1. That student is still going to get a good job if he/she graduates from Yale anyway, so he/she isn't the problem.
2. The problem is outside of the T6 or T14
3. Unemployed/Underemployed lawyers are the problem


If a Yale student with shitty grades at Yale would still be the 'creme de la whatnot' at a lower ranked law school, then a curve at Yale wouldn't be necessary?

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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:48 am

jas1503 wrote:
If a Yale student with shitty grades at Yale would still be the 'creme de la whatnot' at a lower ranked law school, then a curve at Yale wouldn't be necessary?


In the words of Justice Scalia, “By and large, I’m going to be picking [clerks] from the law schools that basically are the hardest to get into. They admit the best and the brightest, and they may not teach very well, but you can’t make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. If they come in the best and the brightest, they’re probably going to leave the best and the brightest.”

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moonman157
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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby moonman157 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:52 am

Going out on a limb here completely, but maybe shut down more than just a few of the worst law schools. Shut down a ton of them, leaving only the T14 and the best regional schools. Random example: get rid of Northeastern, Suffolk, New England, etc. and leave just BU/BC. It will seriously cut down on the number of lawyers entering the market, and these are the students who are most in trouble in terms of getting a job. It will also add job security for those who go to BU/BC because it cuts down on the number of new lawyers. It will also make law school more exclusive and thus getting in is an achievement. If you don't have the GPA/LSAT to get into one of these schools, or get scholarship money from them, then maybe you shouldn't go to law school. I wouldn't go as far as to call for slash and burn when it comes to elimination. Leave Pitt Law, but get rid of Duquense. Leave Temple, but get rid of Nova. Again, if you can't get into Temple of Pitt with scholarship money, then maybe you aren't cut out for it. Elitist? Maybe. But maybe there should be more elitism when it comes to law school admissions, because there's certainly elitism when it comes to hiring.

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Re: Brian Tamanaha's New York Times editorial

Postby Renzo » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:56 am

moonman157 wrote:Going out on a limb here completely, but maybe shut down more than just a few of the worst law schools. Shut down a ton of them, leaving only the T14 and the best regional schools. Random example: get rid of Northeastern, Suffolk, New England, etc. and leave just BU/BC. It will seriously cut down on the number of lawyers entering the market, and these are the students who are most in trouble in terms of getting a job. It will also add job security for those who go to BU/BC because it cuts down on the number of new lawyers. It will also make law school more exclusive and thus getting in is an achievement. If you don't have the GPA/LSAT to get into one of these schools, or get scholarship money from them, then maybe you shouldn't go to law school. I wouldn't go as far as to call for slash and burn when it comes to elimination. Leave Pitt Law, but get rid of Duquense. Leave Temple, but get rid of Nova. Again, if you can't get into Temple of Pitt with scholarship money, then maybe you aren't cut out for it. Elitist? Maybe. But maybe there should be more elitism when it comes to law school admissions, because there's certainly elitism when it comes to hiring.


Two problems with this (well, more than that, but let's start with two). First, it's an illegal restraint on trade. Second, it would drive up prices for those schools, since they would have an even bigger monopoly than they already do, and thus would likely drive up the cost of legal services as lawyers try to recoup their investment.




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