utlaw2007 wrote:untar614 wrote:utlaw2007 wrote:It is true that, of the regional schools, fewer of those grads become lawyers, but a humongous percentage of a region's lawyers come from those regional schools. We have schools that may only produce lawyers with just 40% of their grads. But the grads of all those schools may provide 95% of the actual working attorneys that service that region. If you close those schools, you have a severe shortage in the region. True, the market will cause some lawyers in flooded regions to relocate to under served regions, but that may not erase the shortage, especially when many grads will think they are going to be the one who breaks through and gets a job in a fairly popular region. Then you have those that would just rather enter into another profession than practice in (insert undesirable state here). So those states needs will remain under served, screwing the general public who lives there.
It is a highly inefficient way of providing legal services to a region. But it the best way that we have. And if we are going to make a decision about what law schools to close, the general public's legal welfare should trump the needs of unemployed law grads every day of the week.
But also, if nearby low-ranked private schools are closed, wouldn't the employment %s of the public school in the area go up, as those jobs are now going to the public school grad? For example, employers in Minnesota may hire from the top third of Hamline, William Mitchell and St .Thomas, but if those were gone, wouldn't they instead hire deeper into UMN, giving UMN better employment?
True, but those numbers may not be enough to adequately serve all those people/businesses in a given region. The employment numbers for schools would go up, but the numbers of lawyers who service the region go way down. If the private schools in Texas closed, there are not enough law grads from UT, Houston, Texas Tech, and TSU to serve all of Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, and those are the metropolitan areas. You still have the smaller towns to worry about. They are exclusively filled with lawyers from regional schools. The problem is that you have poorer areas of law that have lawyers from these low ranking schools who serve these under served populations. And even still, they are not enough. Texas greatly tries to persuade us lawyers to do pro bono work. These are real problems. But nobody wants to enter into these areas of law because they pay ridiculously low and the work is not interesting. But these populations need to be served.
I am an owner of my own law firm. The businesses that I serve are severely under served, like waaay under served. The problem is that not enough lawyers think how these communities/industries can be served. So you have a few lawyers who are smart enough to take advantage of this and the rest don't even bother. Plus, the work that you have to do is very demanding and many lawyers don't want to do it or they can't do it if they tried. The real answer is that law schools need to do a better job of actually training grads how to be lawyers. The problem is that so many graduates come out of law school not having a clue how to do something to serve the public. Biglaw trains it's associates. Smaller law firms don't do that. So they aren't looking to hire a green grad because that grad cannot offset the work load. He/she would require too much supervision. So then it is no point in hiring that grad in the first place.
But if that's the case, then a new grad from top third at UT-Austin is no better at filling this need than a bottom-thrid grad from Texas Southern. So it's still not that we need to be pumping out tons of grads from TTTs. Having a bunch of law school grads without jobs doesn't help. If the issue is as you describe, reducing grads won't hurt, we just need to be sure the ones not going to big firms in major cities are prepared to work these kinds of matters.