A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

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Indifferent
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A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby Indifferent » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:02 am

I thought this article was pretty interesting. It has a thorough and well reasoned discussion the public policy concerns of rising law school enrollment and tuition costs.

http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdail ... ising.html

CanadianWolf
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:10 am

Just skimmed the article. Didn't find much substance or anything new.

Law schools are profitable. Law school student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy since 2005/2006. Student loans are easy to obtain. Easy money raises prices whether for tuition or real estate. If student loans become dischargeable in bankruptcy once again, then tuitions will fall as lending standards tighten. Many law schools will close.

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Indifferent
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby Indifferent » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:18 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Just skimmed the article. Law schools are profitable. Law school student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy since 2005/2006. Student loans are easy to obtain. Easy money raises prices whether for tuition or real estate.

The article essentially concludes that law schools are receiving a substantial public benefit due to easy access to financial aid, but are not conferring a reciprocal public benefit. It suggests that reigning in the accessibility of federal financial aid would be beneficial to both the public and students.

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albusdumbledore
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby albusdumbledore » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:18 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Law school student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy since 2005/2006.

Neither are other school loans. The article was trying to address why law school tuition has raised even faster than other professional schools. His conclusion was the combination of a) Federal student loans (easy money like you said, although this is not particular to law schools) and b) the increase in law school enrollment over other professional schools (due to either higher startup costs in other fields or the ABA's unwillingness to regulate accreditation like the ADA or AMA--personally I think it's the latter).

The whole thing pretty much hits the nail on the head.

CanadianWolf
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:23 am

Yes, I know that student loans are not dischargeable since 2005/2006. This is the primary reason for soaring college tuitions. Comparing law schools to medical schools is not fair. Medical schools are expensive to run, there is a cadavor shortage & we need more doctors. Medical schools cannot expand easily. Physician's assistant programs are designed to help cure the shortage while greatly lowering student debt to become a PA.

NoJob
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby NoJob » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:12 pm

Indifferent wrote:I thought this article was pretty interesting. It has a thorough and well reasoned discussion the public policy concerns of rising law school enrollment and tuition costs.

http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdail ... ising.html


Law schools are cheap and can be fully paid for in whatever amount the school wants in federal loans. The profits derived from them go to faculty and administrative pay. Also new buildings. That is why costs keep going up. You are reading the same ancient cases that students read twenty years ago especially in 1L. The quality of the "education" did not change.

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splitbrain
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby splitbrain » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:50 pm

There's also the University administrators that think the vast majority of law students are going to be getting showered in cash the rest of their lives, so they have less qualms about charging us more.

(Partially referring to Colorado's statements recently).

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drdolittle
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby drdolittle » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:01 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Just skimmed the article. Didn't find much substance or anything new.

Law schools are profitable. Law school student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy since 2005/2006. Student loans are easy to obtain. Easy money raises prices whether for tuition or real estate. If student loans become dischargeable in bankruptcy once again, then tuitions will fall as lending standards tighten. Many law schools will close.

Something like this is obviously what needs to happen. But the stupid Democrats won't want to do anything that appears to limit access to 'education' while the stupid Republicans think the 'free market' can take care of everything; of course it will in the long run, but in incredibly inequitable ways thanks to both parties' policies. The recent Obama comments on creating a new scheme where the amount of fed loan one can receive to attend a school is tied to the school's performance, however to be determined, at least is a nod towards the problem.

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Gail
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby Gail » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:37 pm

drdolittle wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Just skimmed the article. Didn't find much substance or anything new.

Law schools are profitable. Law school student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy since 2005/2006. Student loans are easy to obtain. Easy money raises prices whether for tuition or real estate. If student loans become dischargeable in bankruptcy once again, then tuitions will fall as lending standards tighten. Many law schools will close.

Something like this is obviously what needs to happen. But the stupid Democrats won't want to do anything that appears to limit access to 'education' while the stupid Republicans think the 'free market' can take care of everything; of course it will in the long run, but in incredibly inequitable ways thanks to both parties' policies. The recent Obama comments on creating a new scheme where the amount of fed loan one can receive to attend a school is tied to the school's performance, however to be determined, at least is a nod towards the problem.


How would you measure who to loan to?

I'm all for people with low grades being cut from the government's tit though (then again, I didn't have low grades, so I have a bias). But you're going to have to have other factors involved too. Major and school, for one. That brings up a whole bunch of other problems.

My uninformed assumption is that the richer you are, the more likely you are to go to a private school. Private schools are worse for grade inflation than public schools. If they tie lending rates to GPA, it's really just making the rich, richer. I know some very qualified high school students who don't go to great schools because they simply can't afford it. Only giving money to students that can afford to go to these places is incredibly regressive.

As I'm thinking about it this has a lot of other problems. Clearly the situation now is not working, but I'm not sure that just allowing students to go bankrupt is the answer either.


From Obama's tone, however, he does seem to understand it. He constantly talks about community colleges and tech schools as being alternatives. And he's right. There are too many kids in the liberal arts, four-year university system. Many of them should be doing something else.

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drdolittle
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby drdolittle » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:30 pm

Gail wrote:How would you measure who to loan to?

If I understood some of Obama's comments on this, I think the focus would be on limiting fed loans to things like the for profit schools that have become so successful in recent years yet offer poor job prospects, e.g., the U of Phoenixes. And maybe to schools in general whose tuition has risen significantly more than inflation. Not sure how this would work though because like aggressive businesses I think virtually all schools have increased their tuition beyond inflation. So limits at least for fed loans would be based on the school not individual student.

As has been proposed elsewhere, including TLS, limiting fed funding per school will also require independent verification of school employment claims through audits or whatever. But law schools should be held to this already. Regardless, a run of the mill UG diploma (and JD) should be cheaper across the board -- instead of trying to force students into trade schools, etc, before they are ready by allowing UG degrees to remain insanely expensive for what they typically offer. The obvious solution seems to be to set an education policy where degrees are either exclusive and expensive or fairly non-exclusive and cheap. We just can't have run of the mill degrees (whatever field or level) remain so expensive and disconnected from job prospects.

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sunynp
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby sunynp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:45 pm

Also the university may be funneling off significant funds from the law school. I know that above the law had some stories about the University of Baltimore taking quite a bit from the law school. I am sure this happens at many other law schools, possibly all of them.

Law.com link

For anyone interested there is a new book coming out about law school tuition. Failing Law Schools by Brian Tamahana. I'm not posting the link to the NYTimes review because sometimes you have to register for access to their articles. Here is a link on the taxprof blog.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... fish-.html

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westinghouse60
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Re: A Rational Explanation of Why Law School Tuition is Rising

Postby westinghouse60 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:39 pm

albusdumbledore wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Law school student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy since 2005/2006.

Neither are other school loans. The article was trying to address why law school tuition has raised even faster than other professional schools. His conclusion was the combination of a) Federal student loans (easy money like you said, although this is not particular to law schools) and b) the increase in law school enrollment over other professional schools (due to either higher startup costs in other fields or the ABA's unwillingness to regulate accreditation like the ADA or AMA--personally I think it's the latter).

The whole thing pretty much hits the nail on the head.


I see this getting brought up a lot, and while I definitely agree, the "borderline" ABA accredited schools aren't even the main problem...there are only a few schools like these really on the bubble, but the majority of the oversupply in lawyers is coming from T50 to TTT's, schools that have been accredited for a long time and programs that are pretty old.




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