JCougar wrote:The legal industry is going through a dramatic change, and the schools that propped their insane tuitions up on the prospects of their students getting Biglaw salaries (many of which prospects being lied about and exaggerated through their websites) now have no legitimate job openings to place their students.
Especially this ^, though pretty much all of that poast is right on.
Except that I think for the truly very top schools, costs around current tuition levels are not that unreasonable b/c evidently any one of their grads who wants it can still snag biglaw, which in some shape or form will probably survive. As mentioned, even an altered biglaw biz model will presumably require fresh talent/grunts who start at the bottom, just not at the bloated numbers as in the recent past. Those who don't want biglaw out of such schools could fully rely on these top schools' loan repayment programs to enable their public interest work.
But for most schools outside the absolute elite, of which there are of course less than "14" in the country, something around 20K max per year sounds about right just based on about how much state colleges can cost. It's hard to compare though since law schools incur very little instructional costs outside of prof salaries, basic utilities/maintenance, i.e. there're no labs or other unique facilities needed beyond space for lectures.
Speaking of profs it's also laughable that in hiring profs schools, even the non truly elite, still place an inordinate emphasis at where a candidate got their JD instead of real qualifications like actual experience in practicing law or demonstrated teaching ability. And prof pay is too generous (well into six figures) considering that law prof salaries are mostly paid out of tuition (i.e. typically not w/ outside grants/fellowships), the average prof's responsibilities are limited, the job is guaranteed, the QOL is great & far less stressful than a job in the "real world." So prof salaries, method of instruction, selection/evaluation, duties will probably have to change as well to fix the non-elite schools. Also, 2 years should be enough for a run of the mill JD. Maybe 3, only if the goal is academia, where the last year could be made into some directed research toward a significant publication w/ an extra perfunctory degree like an Master's awarded at the end.
There's so much wrong with legal education today, it's hard to know where to begin. The idea that after all the time and money spent students in many states still need to take a bar review course, costing thousands more, to have a decent shot at passing their state's bar exam is just about the best example of how badly legal education is failing. At least it's good to see econ realities begin to force schools to reconsider their biz model and organizations like law school transparency cropping up to help enact change...