timbs4339 wrote:jordan15 wrote:
USNEWS is to blame. As long as they include "spending per student" there is no incentive to reduce tuition. Any T14 could probably fund their law school without any tuition but then they would fall 20+ points in the rankings.
State subsidies where much higher pre-2008. At the undergrad level, tuition has risen by about 2x what it used to be at community colleges, CSU, and UC. Community colleges were $20/unit, now are ~$50, and now legislature just passed a bill to make them $200. $200/unit at a JC! So the fact that there is any sort is state subsidy at the law schools (even though they are pathetically small) is remarkable, as well as unlikely to ladt much longer.
The fact that the "incentives" are aligned so as to lead to the most money going into the pockets of tenured professors and administrators might clue you in on why USNWR isn't the source of this problem. That's a smokescreen.
The emphasis on reducing tuition to cure the problems in the legal market (ie an excess amount of lawyers) is a little curious to me.
I feel like on a certain level they're just seeking out what the market will bear. The fact of the matter remains that even with the applicant drop, there are still way more people who are willing to shell out $200k than there are jobs available. Wouldn't the natural assumption be that tuition is actually still too low to make the market clear?
Granted, earlier there was an asymmetric information problem that led people to believe that the ROI of law school was much, much higher than it actually was. But at this point I don't get the impression that that exists much any more.
I know that due to the fact that you don't have to pay out right away, you're dealing with optimism bias so the consumer isn't perfectly rational. But the reaction to the employment info/crushing debt load of the last few years has been to drastically reduce the number of people who are willing to pay that much to attend. Don't you think that if tuition everywhere doubled next year, the lawyer glut would end pretty quickly?
On a personal level, of course I would love to see reduced tuition, but I just don't see how that would solve the problem of 55% employment out of law school.