A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby jenesaislaw » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:32 pm

Philo38 wrote:"No, the same level of information is not available for all prospectives. There is far more information available to those at the best schools."

This just led me to believe you were talking about potential lawyers, that is, law students who are trying to get info about the job market, which, I agree the better law schools provide them with better information. I'm talking about potential law students, that is, the people trying to decide which JDs are worth what, and we all have acess to the same info no?


No. That is not what I am saying. Here is my original post with annotations:

No, the same level of information is not available for all prospectives [for all prospective/potential law students]. There is far more information available to those at the best schools [I should have said "applying to the best schools" to be clearest - figured this was implied with prospectives above]. The further down the rankings you go, the worse off prospectives are in terms of what they know. [This points to the amount of information prospectives have. They have the most information about post-graduation outcomes at the top law schools, and the least information at the worst law schools. There is such little information available on employment, the difference isn't too much in terms of volume, but a lot in terms of quality.] This is because a) "law firms" has more meaning for schools that place large percentages in NLJ 250 firms; [The ABA provides employment breakdowns by job-type. The NLJ graphs provide one further breakdown of the "private firm" category. The only other breakdown that happens is from the US News Article III clerkship rankings. That's pretty useful too.] and b) reporting percentages are higher from schools that place more graduates in these firms because people are more inclined to share when they're highly paid. [The reason we care about this extra information is because we know the salaries of those graduates to a great degree of accuracy.]

I did not opine on the information law schools provide their current students. It's not much more, though.
Last edited by jenesaislaw on Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Philo38
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:21 am

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Philo38 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:33 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:
Philo38 wrote: . . . Part Fordham law student, part erotic dancer . . .

Hmmm... didn't see this turn coming in the thread.
Image


My roommate claims that show is based on the Bronx Defenders, where she used to work. What episode? We should rent it.


She is a minor character in a few different episodes, I don't know wich ones to be honest . . . season 2 maybe.

User avatar
Philo38
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:21 am

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Philo38 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:34 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:
Philo38 wrote:"No, the same level of information is not available for all prospectives. There is far more information available to those at the best schools."

This just led me to believe you were talking about potential lawyers, that is, law students who are trying to get info about the job market, which, I agree the better law schools provide them with better information. I'm talking about potential law students, that is, the people trying to decide which JDs are worth what, and we all have acess to the same info no?


No. That is not what I am saying. Here is my original post with annotations:

No, the same level of information is not available for all prospectives [for all prospective/potential law students]. There is far more information available to those at the best schools [I should have said "applying to the best schools" to be clearest - figured this was implied with prospectives above]. The further down the rankings you go, the worse off prospectives are in terms of what they know. [This points to the amount of information prospectives have. They have the most information about post-graduation outcomes at the top law schools, and the least information at the worst law schools. There is such little information available on employment, the difference isn't too much in terms of volume, but a lot in terms of quality.] This is because a) "law firms" has more meaning for schools that place large percentages in NLJ 250 firms; [The ABA provides employment breakdowns by job-type. The NLJ graphs provide one further breakdown of the "private firm" category. The only other breakdown that happens is from the US News Article III clerkship rankings. That's pretty useful too.] and b) reporting percentages are higher from schools that place more graduates in these firms because people are more inclined to share when they're highly paid. [The reason we care about this extra information is because we know the salaries of those graduates to a great degree of accuracy.]

I did not opine on the information law schools provide their current students. It's not much more, though.


It was the "at the best schools" that was confusing. I still don't understand how people applying to the best schools have more information. Anybody applying to law school, preparing to make a huge investment, should and can know the value of the degree, and the nature of the job market. Don't you agree?

AffirmativeOffense
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby AffirmativeOffense » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:44 pm

I think it is a bad idea to open this law school, but for a reason I think many people here are glossing over.

The legal industry does not need more private law schools charging private school tuitions. If Belmont were a public university charging only 10K/yr to attend, I would not have a problem with it. In fact, I think we need more public universities opening inexpensive law schools to displace schools like Belmont that charge obscene tuition.

I think reasonable_man's argument that since Nashville needs more local talent, Belmont should open up a law school is silly, because it's a private school. If TN thinks it needs more local talent, it is perfectly capable of opening cheap law schools at its public universities.

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby jenesaislaw » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:47 pm

Philo38 wrote:It was the "at the best schools" that was confusing. I still don't understand how people applying to the best schools have more information. Anybody applying to law school, preparing to make a huge investment, should and can know the value of the degree, and the nature of the job market. Don't you agree?


I'm going to break down what I agree or don't agree about. But first, I'll try to demystify what seems to be confusing you.

I still don't understand how people applying to the best schools have more information.

Are you familiar with the National Law Journal, and the employment summaries they provide?
http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414 ... trends.pdf This link provides information about the class of 2005. It is not up to date, but it does provide a heuristic so long as we assume that prestige and professional opportunities don't vary from year to year at schools. That is not to say that the %'s don't change, but that they provide a good guideline for showing who places the best in a general ordering (with little merit given to one school being a few points better than any other).

This list uses the data the ABA collects from schools. It puts it in a bar graph, with 100% representing the entirety of a class (graduating and those who drop out). The reason people bother linking to the NLJ, however, is that it includes the percentage of the class that goes to a firm in the NLJ 250 (the 250 largest US-based law firms). These are all private law firms, so carve out only graduates from the private firm category.

For 68.6% of the ABA-approved law schools, the NLJ 250 metric provides additional information for less than 10% of the class. For about half of the ABA-approved schools, this metric provides additional information about less than 5% of the class. Only 6.7% of schools placed at least half of their 2005 graduating class in NLJ 250 firms, so the ambit of prospectives this information is useful for is limited. The point is this: the applicant whose world includes the top 20 schools have more information than somebody whose world includes the worst 20 schools. While everybody knows the breakdowns at each school, that information is not meaningful without knowing what underlies it. Knowing that a graduate works at an NLJ 250 firm is more informative than just knowing they work at a firm.

So now, what do I agree or disagree with you about?
I agree that every applicant is making a huge investment, that they should know the value of their degree, in the current market and in the markets in the future, but do not agree that they do know this now, nor that they can. This is why observationalist and I view ourselves as change agents. We see this clearly, believe it should change, and are working to make the change.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Matthies » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:53 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Matthies, I'm trying to understand what your point is. It seems tangential to the real issue. I know obs is typing a response, but I want to make sure the debate here is clear. What exactly are you criticizing when you say, "You don’t have to borrow 150k to go to law school unless you chose to"? Can you sum this up in 1 or 2 sentences?


obs mentioned that schools are graduting studnts with 150k debt and no jobs. Mypoint being that there are ways to go to law school and not owe 150k, they may not be th traitional ways to do it, but borrowing 150k is one option, but not the only option. Ist the most popular option, but again that's choice someone has to make do I want to broow $ to go to this school or do I look at other options. out for the evening will respond to anything new tommrow.

User avatar
Mr. Matlock
Posts: 1360
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:36 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:56 pm

I grow weary of this debate. Bring on the strippers!!

User avatar
observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby observationalist » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:05 pm

Matthies wrote:Observationalist,

You make good points as always. And I enjoy the few times we are on opposites sides of an issue because you challenge me to think carefully about what I want to say. But again I’m not disagreeing with you that schools need to do a better job of reporting statics on job placement and that students and acdemcis should demand this. (Of course there is the double edged sword here, people want good information but students also want the schools ranked by USNEWS, demand by students to know this info gives schools the incentive to lie). ...
You talk about placement numbers and the fact that 43% of grads don’t have job at graduation. This is going to sound harsh, but that does not bother me. I don’t see the school as being a job placement office. To me the role of a law school is to give you the education you need to get the JD. It’s a school. If they also happen to find you a job too, great, but I don’t see guaranteeing the employment of their grads as their primary duty to their students. ...
But I don’t think just graduating law school, any law school, means someone owes you a job as a lawyer. ...
There are lawyers out there working in cities and that are graduates of the law school someone is looking at going to. Its easy to find them. Its easy to ask them for their advice. Its easy to go to local bar associations website and download salary data. Its easy to do, but it takes effort to do it right....
You can go to law school part-time and work to defer costs. You can work for years and save money to go to law school. You can take a scholarship at a lower ranked school. You don’t have to borrow 150k to go to law school unless you chose to....
The system is broken no doubt. But closing a few law school here and there is like putting a cork in a bathtub....
You won’t stop the supply until you stop the demand. (how we should do this is beyond the scope of this arguemnt, and I sure as hell don;'t have a decent plan of my own)


Good stuff Matthies. I agree with you that law schools are professional educational institutions first and foremost and that people tend to lose sight of that when we're only talking about job prospects. I certainly don't think a school should primarily be a job placement office, or that people attending these schools should in any way feel entitled to jobs at the end of the ordeal. For me, job prospects specific to a school are instead something people have a right to know about when figuring out what their debt burden is going to be like. And I don't think talking with alumni and joining the local bar association are an appropriate substitute to actual employment lists in allowing a person to actually gauge the value of their JD.

Are they important? Sure. Will doing those things help people decide if they even want to be a lawyer, or if they want to work in a particular city or in a particular field?? Absolutely. And the networking will help for when it comes time to looking for work. Hopefully, some people will realize right then that they don't actually want to be a lawyer, rather than halfway in once they've become sufficiently informed of what the legal community is like. Hopefully others will realize they are being called to the profession and will do whatever it takes to succeed, even if it means years of saving up so that high debt doesn't keep them from pursuing their passion and contributing to their community. Philo seems like she could be in the latter camp, and to her I definitely think it's important to continue talking with people (and networking) to help her decide on schools. But - and I guess this is where we have irreconciable differences - it is not ok to let uninformed consumers take out debt and attend law schools that, from the information they receive, mistakenly appear to be worth that debt. You can say that you just don't care about the people who fail and that may be true (although I doubt it, judging by how many people you've assisted on these boards in the last few years). You can't just attribute what you know now or while you were in school to what prospective students should know when they're still in college and trying to sort out what their lives will look like. Many of them won't make good lawyers and it's in our best interests to at least set up the system to weed them out earlier, before they accrue debt that limits their ability to contribute to society in other ways.

I absolutely agree that we need to find a way to slow demand if we're going to succeed in fixing this problem. Letting schools fail or prohibiting new schools from opening isn't the solution I'm proposing; those are just some potential consequences. The solution is to inform the market so that people are at least capable of making rational choices. Then we can see which schools can adapt and remain in business. If the actual job prospects were made visible to the general population, the demand for JDs would drop and schools would either find ways to reign in the cost of attendance or fail. If a school can succeed in a competitive, informed market where they're not incentivized to mislead consumers in order to maintain the quality of their program, then they should absolutely deserve to be accredited and given the right to compete for tuition.

We know the schools are ultimately on our side with all of this; they are not inherently evil nor do they want to be forced into playing this game. A number of law school Deans have spoken out against USNews because of how tightly it constrains their ability to adapt their programs and engage in meaningful curriculum reform. But at least at its inception, USNews had the effect of increasing access to information by weighting certain characteristics that schools previously didn't have to consider (like % employed at graduation, which the ABA still doesn't care about). If you want to talk about putting a cork in a bathtub, USNews is your example. They thought they were providing a useful tool, but instead the tool became more important than anything else and schools had to learn how to game the rankings to remain competitive. In contrast, I don't think new ABA regulations requiring full disclosure of employment lists would leave many opportunities for such gaming to continue. They could even minimize the importance of USNews, which I think just about everyone would be on board with.

Remove the incentives to game and you've got all the information out there for prospectives to use or ignore at their own peril. And maybe at that point, I'll agree with you that we don't need a safety net for those who blindly go into a profession that offers different rewards than what they knew to be true. And with that, the library is closed and I'm out. Mr. Matlock, you can now turn this ship into a discussion on strippers.

User avatar
OperaSoprano
Posts: 4410
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:54 am

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:21 pm

Philo38 wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:
Philo38 wrote:"No, the same level of information is not available for all prospectives. There is far more information available to those at the best schools."

This just led me to believe you were talking about potential lawyers, that is, law students who are trying to get info about the job market, which, I agree the better law schools provide them with better information. I'm talking about potential law students, that is, the people trying to decide which JDs are worth what, and we all have acess to the same info no?


No. That is not what I am saying. Here is my original post with annotations:

No, the same level of information is not available for all prospectives [for all prospective/potential law students]. There is far more information available to those at the best schools [I should have said "applying to the best schools" to be clearest - figured this was implied with prospectives above]. The further down the rankings you go, the worse off prospectives are in terms of what they know. [This points to the amount of information prospectives have. They have the most information about post-graduation outcomes at the top law schools, and the least information at the worst law schools. There is such little information available on employment, the difference isn't too much in terms of volume, but a lot in terms of quality.] This is because a) "law firms" has more meaning for schools that place large percentages in NLJ 250 firms; [The ABA provides employment breakdowns by job-type. The NLJ graphs provide one further breakdown of the "private firm" category. The only other breakdown that happens is from the US News Article III clerkship rankings. That's pretty useful too.] and b) reporting percentages are higher from schools that place more graduates in these firms because people are more inclined to share when they're highly paid. [The reason we care about this extra information is because we know the salaries of those graduates to a great degree of accuracy.]

I did not opine on the information law schools provide their current students. It's not much more, though.


It was the "at the best schools" that was confusing. I still don't understand how people applying to the best schools have more information. Anybody applying to law school, preparing to make a huge investment, should and can know the value of the degree, and the nature of the job market. Don't you agree?


I think JNSL's point is that schools with subpar records have no incentive to share detailed, accurate, and complete information, and many of them will never do so unless the ABA compels them to. Vandy really shines in letting prospective students see all of their graduates' employment information, and I believe more schools need to follow suit. The problem is that the information literally is not out there. I did a lot more digging than the average applicant is likely to do, and I couldn't find comprehensive employment data for several of the T2 schools I was considering.

My own school publishes salary data based upon 87% of the class reporting, which is quite respectable, but I think we can and should do even better. Potential students should not have to morph into Sherlock Holmes mode to figure out the likely return on their investment, and this goes double for schools that obfuscate and game the rankings with their employment data (not going to name names, but there are a great many schools that base reports on less than half of each graduating class.)

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:59 am

OperaSoprano wrote:I think JNSL's point is that schools with subpar records have no incentive to share detailed, accurate, and complete information, and many of them will never do so unless the ABA compels them to.


I hope I don't appear too contrarian here. Part of the problem must be that I'm not being clear enough. While you are 100% right that schools with subpar records are not incentivized right now (hopefully they will be), my point with philo had to do with the information currently available. Schools are forced to share most of the information available on the NLJ 250 chart (to the ABA). The only additional information added is the % of the class going to an NLJ 250 firm in 2005. This % is then subtracted from the private practice percentage. The more graduates going to these firms a school has, the more information this list provides prospectives for that given school. This means there are fewer questions to ask about the best (if you're wanting to define best in this way - what you call the NLJ 250 top performers doesn't matter) schools' graduates.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Matthies » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:37 am

Obsvervationalist,

I don’t think we are at odds, here, I completely agree with what you’re saying. I’m all for complete and true candor for schools, for reporting of actual employment statistics. I’m completely for schools that, with this information, can’t keep enrolment and close. Let the consumer make an informed choice and let the schools respond to that or fail. No disagreement here.

However, I don’t share your assessment that access to more and detailed information about job prospects will actually do much to stem the demand for legal education. Today A simple Google search on Cooley provides more than enough information to any prospective applicant of what lays a head of them. Yet the school fills three campuses a year. Given that every law school in the country is at capacity now, I’m not connived that giving the consumer more information on what they have to look forward to will really do that much to dissuade them from enrolling anyway.

As I said before, what I am against is artificially limiting supply (closing current schools that are at capacity, or preventing new schools from opening that will be at capacity their first year) without addressing demand. It seems to me an intellectually shallow “quick fix” that does nothing to address the fact that everyone and his brother wants to be, and can be, a lawyer. I’m afraid we will continue to see all law schools packed to gills, true information of job prospects or not, until people decide law school is no longer the default degree with everyone with a BA.

I see two things that could address the demand besides better access to information, neither of which I personally like as a solution, but at least they address the demand side rather than just the supply side. Either or make it harder to get into law school (i.e. pre-reqs, adaptive testing ect.) or as the market continues to saturate and lawyers get paid less people will not want to spend three years to make what they could with a BA. It’s the last option I’m afraid that is going to really have the most effect on demand.

Even with the knowledge out there alavailbe to many law students now, every law school in the courty has more demand for seats than supply. I’m not confidant that will change much even when USNEWS says if you go here you have a 30% chance of getting a job that pays more than 40k. People will continue to take the risks I believe, even in the face of easier to accesses information about results, so long as demand to be a lawyer remains high.

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:21 pm

Google search: --LinkRemoved--

Interestingly, their enrollment is not static. The thing about demand for prospective law students is that the U.S. News rankings are still in their heads (and for Cooley, their own rankings). Will these schools fill their seats with 130/3.0's?

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby General Tso » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:32 pm

jenesaislaw wrote: Will these schools fill their seats with 130/3.0's?


I'm sure they would if not for the whole ABA bar passage requirement.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Matthies » Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:23 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:Google search: --LinkRemoved--

Interestingly, their enrollment is not static. The thing about demand for prospective law students is that the U.S. News rankings are still in their heads (and for Cooley, their own rankings). Will these schools fill their seats with 130/3.0's?


They have three campuses. THREE. Even if they closed one they would still have larger enrolment than many top tier schools. These schools are not going away so long as people are willing to go to them.

User avatar
jenesaislaw
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:58 pm

Matthies wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:Google search: --LinkRemoved--

Interestingly, their enrollment is not static. The thing about demand for prospective law students is that the U.S. News rankings are still in their heads (and for Cooley, their own rankings). Will these schools fill their seats with 130/3.0's?


They have three campuses. THREE. Even if they closed one they would still have larger enrolment than many top tier schools. These schools are not going away so long as people are willing to go to them.



Yet the school fills three campuses a year. Given that every law school in the country is at capacity now, I’m not connived that giving the consumer more information on what they have to look forward to will really do that much to dissuade them from enrolling anyway.

and

It seems to me an intellectually shallow “quick fix” that does nothing to address the fact that everyone and his brother wants to be, and can be, a lawyer. I’m afraid we will continue to see all law schools packed to gills, true information of job prospects or not, until people decide law school is no longer the default degree with everyone with a BA.

and

Even with the knowledge out there alavailbe to many law students now, every law school in the courty has more demand for seats than supply.

Even Cooley has standards, and this goes directly to my point about demand. In fact, two-way demand is probably the wrong way to put it. There are three, separate demand considerations. First, people wanting to go to law schools. Second, employers wanting to hire law students. And now a third category, schools wanting minimally adequate law students to fill their class.

You're right that Cooley could fill its class if it wanted to. But they didn't. They could have let in the 130/3.0, but they didn't. You're also right that there is more information available on the internet now that screams, DON'T GO TO COOLEY!!! Maybe it's a coincidence that they're struggling to fill their enrollment quota with adequate students? One counter point is that they fail out so many people. Perhaps they are truer to their mission than we all give them credit for. Perhaps they view the 130/3.0 as somebody who couldn't pass the bar, whereas the 140/3.0 as somebody who at least has a shot, so deserves a shot at their law school - at least for a year.

swheat wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote: Will these schools fill their seats with 130/3.0's?


I'm sure they would if not for the whole ABA bar passage requirement.


That's probably true. Since the bar passage requirement is part of schools' realities, that's going to help when the adequate students realize more clearly what's in store for them at schools like Cooley. So maybe they would but for x, y, and z...but x, y, and z, so they can't/don't/won't.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Matthies » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:28 pm

jenesaislaw wrote:and


You're right that Cooley could fill its class if it wanted to. But they didn't. They could have let in the 130/3.0, but they didn't. You're also right that there is more information available on the internet now that screams, DON'T GO TO COOLEY!!! Maybe it's a coincidence that they're struggling to fill their enrollment quota with adequate students?


Or perhapse they exapned to quickly during the gogo days of law school. We are only 2 years past the best year on recornd for top salries paid to lawyers coming out of law school, 2007. Many schools in the last years have exanpned thier offerings and class sizes, before the big crunch. But I'm not clear on your point: do you think these schools should be closed or do you think thse schools should be open but have better infomed studnets? I mean I’m not clear what your arguing here, are you arguing people should only be allowed to go to law school if there are enough available jobs for each graduate? Are you arguing people should only be allowed to go to law school if there are NLJ 250 jobs as lawyers for them? Becuase that seesm to be a very diffrent argument than just better infroming prospctive students of the real employment stats for a given school.

User avatar
observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby observationalist » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:07 pm

Here's an argument that I think warrants consideration:

-Law is a meritocracy. Even when the legal community is flooded with too many members (current situation), we still want large numbers of people competing within the law schools to produce the best trained minds for entry into the legal community. Don't dilute the talent pool.

If decreased demand for JDs did in fact result in fewer applicants (demand side) rather than simply less expensive or fewer JD offerings (supply side), wouldn't the argument above hold some weight?

[Not that I agree law is actually a meritocracy... the fact that 70-80% of the jobs right now are coming through networking would suggest law is anything but a true meritocracy.]

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Matthies » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:39 pm

observationalist wrote:Here's an argument that I think warrants consideration:

-Law is a meritocracy. Even when the legal community is flooded with too many members (current situation), we still want large numbers of people competing within the law schools to produce the best trained minds for entry into the legal community. Don't dilute the talent pool.

If decreased demand for JDs did in fact result in fewer applicants (demand side) rather than simply less expensive or fewer JD offerings (supply side), wouldn't the argument above hold some weight?

[Not that I agree law is actually a meritocracy... the fact that 70-80% of the jobs right now are coming through networking would suggest law is anything but a true meritocracy.]


But is law a meritocracy? I mean if your definition of law is “biglaw” then perhaps it is, but what role would be promoting the best and brightest play in a solo practitioners world? My response would be let the best lawyers rise to the top. But I don’t think we can answer the question at graduation.

To pose another question, what if law school included an internship, like medical school, where the third year was spent practicing law and based upon that a decision would be made to hire you or not (or maybe to give you a lic or not)? Do you think practical experience might keep some folks from entering the profession that maybe should not have but would do so under the current system?

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby General Tso » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:48 pm

Matthies wrote:To pose another question, what if law school included an internship, like medical school, where the third year was spent practicing law and based upon that a decision would be made to hire you or not (or maybe to give you a lic or not)? Do you think practical experience might keep some folks from entering the profession that maybe should not have but would do so under the current system?


they do this in canada and europe too i think

User avatar
observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby observationalist » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:53 pm

Matthies wrote:
observationalist wrote:Here's an argument that I think warrants consideration:

-Law is a meritocracy. Even when the legal community is flooded with too many members (current situation), we still want large numbers of people competing within the law schools to produce the best trained minds for entry into the legal community. Don't dilute the talent pool.

If decreased demand for JDs did in fact result in fewer applicants (demand side) rather than simply less expensive or fewer JD offerings (supply side), wouldn't the argument above hold some weight?

[Not that I agree law is actually a meritocracy... the fact that 70-80% of the jobs right now are coming through networking would suggest law is anything but a true meritocracy.]


But is law a meritocracy? I mean if your definition of law is “biglaw” then perhaps it is, but what role would be promoting the best and brightest play in a solo practitioners world? My response would be let the best lawyers rise to the top. But I don’t think we can answer the question at graduation.

To pose another question, what if law school included an internship, like medical school, where the third year was spent practicing law and based upon that a decision would be made to hire you or not (or maybe to give you a lic or not)? Do you think practical experience might keep some folks from entering the profession that maybe should not have but would do so under the current system?


You mean scrap 3L classes and make it an apprenticeship instead? Like it used to be before schools got caught up in teaching theory over practice?

I'm down with that. As it's set up now the law school grading system is a meritocracy, and it's presumed the people who grade better on exams will make better attorneys. I don't agree with this and neither do you, which is why a third-year practice element seems like part of the solution. My point about merit was that if more information discourages people from attending law school, it might discourage not just the bottom applicants but some potentially very successful candidates as well. We can't assume that shrinking the applicant pile will still produce the same quality of successful attorneys on the other end... there's always the possibility we need a lot of people to fail just to see who rises to the top.

That's part of your argument, right?

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Matthies » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:26 pm

observationalist wrote:
Matthies wrote:
observationalist wrote:Here's an argument that I think warrants consideration:

-Law is a meritocracy. Even when the legal community is flooded with too many members (current situation), we still want large numbers of people competing within the law schools to produce the best trained minds for entry into the legal community. Don't dilute the talent pool.

If decreased demand for JDs did in fact result in fewer applicants (demand side) rather than simply less expensive or fewer JD offerings (supply side), wouldn't the argument above hold some weight?

[Not that I agree law is actually a meritocracy... the fact that 70-80% of the jobs right now are coming through networking would suggest law is anything but a true meritocracy.]


But is law a meritocracy? I mean if your definition of law is “biglaw” then perhaps it is, but what role would be promoting the best and brightest play in a solo practitioners world? My response would be let the best lawyers rise to the top. But I don’t think we can answer the question at graduation.

To pose another question, what if law school included an internship, like medical school, where the third year was spent practicing law and based upon that a decision would be made to hire you or not (or maybe to give you a lic or not)? Do you think practical experience might keep some folks from entering the profession that maybe should not have but would do so under the current system?


You mean scrap 3L classes and make it an apprenticeship instead? Like it used to be before schools got caught up in teaching theory over practice?

I'm down with that. As it's set up now the law school grading system is a meritocracy, and it's presumed the people who grade better on exams will make better attorneys. I don't agree with this and neither do you, which is why a third-year practice element seems like part of the solution. My point about merit was that if more information discourages people from attending law school, it might discourage not just the bottom applicants but some potentially very successful candidates as well. We can't assume that shrinking the applicant pile will still produce the same quality of successful attorneys on the other end... there's always the possibility we need a lot of people to fail just to see who rises to the top.

That's part of your argument, right?



Yes, pretty much My fear about closing lower ranked schools is the same as yours about a shrinking supply possibly keeping good lawyers out of the profession. Maybe clinical training would determine who has the skills to actually practice and who either needs more training or should consider a new profession. I mean how many law students know at graduation if they are even going to be good at this just because they graduated. I don’t. Hell I have clerked for four years, and I still am not sure of my skills or if I will be anygood at lawyering things when its not asnwer hypos that are put right in front of me and I know to look for "torts" issues becuase its a torts exam.

I’m also not so sure given the present nature of admmsons with so much presence given to LSAT because of ranking, that the best legal minds are going to just come out of the best law schools. If 95% of Cooley grads turn out to suck, so be it, but its that 5% that might include the next great legal mind that could get cut, that worries me.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Matthies » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:28 pm

swheat wrote:
Matthies wrote:To pose another question, what if law school included an internship, like medical school, where the third year was spent practicing law and based upon that a decision would be made to hire you or not (or maybe to give you a lic or not)? Do you think practical experience might keep some folks from entering the profession that maybe should not have but would do so under the current system?


they do this in canada and europe too i think


Swheat do you have any info on how this works there? I'd be intrsted in the details. I know I wish I had taken more clincial classes in LS.

User avatar
General Tso
Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:51 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby General Tso » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:21 pm

Matthies wrote:
swheat wrote:
Matthies wrote:To pose another question, what if law school included an internship, like medical school, where the third year was spent practicing law and based upon that a decision would be made to hire you or not (or maybe to give you a lic or not)? Do you think practical experience might keep some folks from entering the profession that maybe should not have but would do so under the current system?


they do this in canada and europe too i think


Swheat do you have any info on how this works there? I'd be intrsted in the details. I know I wish I had taken more clincial classes in LS.


I don't know much personally...just run a google search for "articling in Canada"

User avatar
Mr. Matlock
Posts: 1360
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:36 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:28 pm

I still think we should end the debate and bring on the strippers. :|

User avatar
reasonable_man
Posts: 2200
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:31 pm

AffirmativeOffense wrote:I think it is a bad idea to open this law school, but for a reason I think many people here are glossing over.

The legal industry does not need more private law schools charging private school tuitions. If Belmont were a public university charging only 10K/yr to attend, I would not have a problem with it. In fact, I think we need more public universities opening inexpensive law schools to displace schools like Belmont that charge obscene tuition.

I think reasonable_man's argument that since Nashville needs more local talent, Belmont should open up a law school is silly, because it's a private school. If TN thinks it needs more local talent, it is perfectly capable of opening cheap law schools at its public universities.


Learn how to read. I have been arguing, without exception, that it is my belief that Belmont opening a law school is wholly inappropriate and completely unnecesary. What did you do, read a half of a line in a full paragraph I wrote? Nothining infuriates me more than being mis-quoted.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests