Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

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romothesavior
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Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:47 pm

This is an article written by my Torts prof (he is the same guy who wrote this popular article:http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/06/wake-up-fellow-law-professors-to.html.) A very good read, especially if you are a current student:

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-deans-vision-speech.html

A few highlights:

Three major factors have fueled this spectacular rise. From 1998 to 2008 alone (as reported in National Jurist): 1) law faculties expanded in size by 40%; 2) pay for full professors increased by an average 45%, and benefits by 25%; and 3) scholarships increased by 300%.


I recognize that the high earners among you, many of whom are accomplished senior scholars, will be dismayed by my proposal. Let me say just two quick points in defense. Law professors often remark that we have sacrificed income to become professors since we could have earned more as lawyers (this rationalization justifies the fact that we earn upward of a third more than professors in other university departments except for the medical school). It’s a terrific deal for us. We exchanged money for freedom of time and thought, and quality of life. To be paid two hundred thousand dollars a year is a handsome sum for what we do. The particular salary cut-offs I have identified are arbitrary and open to discussion. But the essential point is that salary increases must be sharply reduced.


The most direct way to increase faculty productivity is through teaching loads. Thirty years ago many law professors taught five courses a year; the norm then became four courses, and many schools have since moved to three courses. The justification for the reduction in course load is to free up professors to engage in more scholarship. When individual professors teach fewer courses, more professors are required overall to achieve the same course coverage.


I know we all love or profs, but it seems like they are a huge part of the problem and deserve a fair portion of the blame.

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General Tso
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Re: Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

Postby General Tso » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:04 pm

you'd think the glut of lawyers would also translate into a glut of law professors thereby driving prof salaries down. but then again we've seen how easily a market can be distorted by easy access to credit.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:08 pm

General Tso wrote:but then again we've seen how easily a market can be distorted by easy access to credit.


Yup. The fact that anyone can get a loan for any amount of money to attend is the primary driver. All the other stuff is a byproduct of that.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:19 pm

Most law schools that are part of a large university or college charge a tuition that more that covers their costs, and use the excess to help fund other, more expensive programs and departments. I suspect that any savings gained from increasing teaching loads would be passed on other departments, rather than used to reduce the tuition of law students.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

Postby gwuorbust » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:23 pm

also, scholarships are a major cause of the increase in tuition prices. I receive a major scholarship, for which I am grateful. However, that is a direct income transfer from other students to me. While can say that money is coming from donations that is a distinction without a difference. If nobody got scholarships then that donation could be used to pay the profs, etc., reducing tuition. The reason for widespread use of scholarships, of course, come right back to USNWR and the emphasis on LSAT/GPA. . .

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romothesavior
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Re: Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:41 pm

gwuorbust wrote:I receive a major scholarship, for which I am grateful. However, that is a direct income transfer from other students to me.

Yes and no. At least at WUSTL, the scholarship fund is massive. Scholarships here typically don't come from the school's general fund, but from scholarship endowments and annual scholarships. And the alumni are making donations specifically for scholarships, not into some general pot. So while some students are subsidizing the other students, I don't think it is quite as direct as it is made out to be. A drop in overall costs of running the institution would cause a drop in the cost to students as long as the scholarship funds remained the same.

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Grizz
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Re: Great Article on What is Wrong with the LS Model

Postby Grizz » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:49 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
General Tso wrote:but then again we've seen how easily a market can be distorted by easy access to credit.


Yup. The fact that anyone can get a loan for any amount of money to attend is the primary driver. All the other stuff is a byproduct of that.


Agree. Throw is unreliable employment statistics, and the market functions miserably.




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