Monday, April 23, 2012

Mistaken beliefs about the crisis of the American law school: Part I

This week I'm planning to write about various widespread but in my view mistaken beliefs regarding the intensifying crisis in American legal education.  I'm going to start with this one:

The biggest problem with American legal education is that it fails to produce practice-ready graduates.

This claim has been made by critics of the legal academic establishment for roughly a century now (every 15 years or so some sort of quasi-official report reiterates it).  It was a topic of discussion at a law school symposium this weekend on the future of the legal profession, and is apparently a theme of Jim Molitenrno's forthcoming book, A Profession in Crisis, which argues that the fundamental problems with legal education today are in large part products of the fact that more than a century ago "medical schools decided that their mission would be to turn out doctors, while law schools decided that their mission would be to turn out law professors."

Now the claim that law schools remain largely indifferent to the fact that law school teaches law students almost nothing about the practice of law is itself quite true.  What isn't the case is that this fact has in itself much to do with the increasingly unacceptable relationship between the cost of a law degree and the economic benefits it confers.  Making graduates practice-ready is a fine idea in theory -- why else are law students going to law school anyway? -- but if such reforms do nothing about, or worse yet exacerbate, the crumbling cost-benefit structure of legal education they will do nothing about this fundamental structural problem.

Producing "practice-ready" graduates (to the extent this could be done within the context of institutions that even loosely resemble current American law schools) does nothing about the problem that there aren't nearly enough legal jobs that would allow those graduates to practice their newly-acquired skills, and even fewer legal jobs that pay enough to justify the current cost of legal education.  And the only thing producing law graduates who are better prepared to practice law will do to the basic economics of the legal services industry is to make new lawyers better off than they would otherwise be relative to experienced attorneys, while doing nothing for the economic circumstances of the profession as a whole.

It appears the great hope of at least some people who advocate a more practically useful legal academic curriculum is that turning out tens of thousands of new attorneys every year who are ready to hit the ground running will drive down the cost of legal services, thus creating new markets for those services, and thus more legal jobs.  I don't understand how this theory is supposed to work in practice.  For one thing, it's difficult to envision how moving law school toward a more experiential, practice-based, clinical model is going to make legal education less expensive, again at least within the confines of anything even vaguely resembling the contemporary American law school. Any reform that doesn't make legal education less expensive while reducing the number of new attorneys is doing nothing about the real crisis, which is that law school costs far too much relative to the number of jobs available for attorneys.

After all, given the basic structure of American legal education, making that education more clinically intensive would be even more expensive than maintaining the present model, which remains centered on tenure-track law professors teaching classes with 50 and 75 and 120 students in them. (The simplest way to drive down the cost of legal education would be to make the tenure-track faculty teach the same number of classes their predecessors  were teaching in the 1970s. It's true this might result in 5000 rather than 10,000 law review articles being published per year, but under the circumstances this might be a price worth paying).

Now it's true that a genuinely clinical model could be cheaper within the context of a radical restructuring of legal education -- one in which for example law school is transformed into an undergraduate major followed by a year or two of supervised apprenticeship work.  But within the current model, in which law schools are supposed to be a combination of graduate schools of law and vocational training centers, doing what would actually be necessary to produce graduates who are more ready to practice law than current graduates would drive up the cost of legal education even beyond its present absurd and unsustainable level. And doing so would certainly not do anything about the fact that ABA-accredited law schools are producing (at least) two law graduates for every legal job.

In other words, to the limited extent that making new graduates more practice-ready would enhance their future earning potential, it would to that same extent decrease the future earnings of older graduates. And if the increased cost of producing practice-ready lawyers turns out to be higher than the enhancement of earning potential such reforms produce that would actually make law degrees even worse investments for future graduates than they have been for recent ones.   The problem, as these statistics illustrate, is that it appears essentially the same number of real legal jobs that existed 25 years ago are now being pursued by literally twice as many lawyers. Which of those lawyers get and keep those jobs is not nearly as important as the fact that the ratio between legal jobs and people with law degrees continues to get worse every year.


  1. Sometimes the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    Yes, if legal education is improved it would undermine those who graduated before the improvements.

    And yes, if tuition were reduced it would undermine those who already paid higher tuition.

    But in general, "I suffered and therefore you should too" is not a very convincing argument.

    Law school (and the legal profession) is not a zero sum game.

  2. Seems like a zero sum game to me unless the schools can also increase demand for lawyers. Currently, they are not doing that.

  3. Zero sum game?

    No way that law skool is a zero sum game. Not even close.

    In a zero sum game, one player loses so that the other player can win. The amount of money one can win is limited by how much someone else can lose.

    The law skool game is more akin to a casino or lottery. The house is taking "vig" off the top. Everyone playing in the game THEN gets to fight for what is left AFTER the "vig" is taken off the top.

    So I would argue that law skool is LESS than a zero sum game.

  4. It's just not that complicated: changing what's being taught, or how it's being taught, is easier for the schools and their faculties than would be laying off professors or closing institutions. Expect more of these attempts at distraction.....

  5. Clinical programs can be very helpful, but relatively few law students participate in such programs. This is mostly due to limited space or slots.

    Schools cry that such clinics are very expensive, and would lead to higher costs. Then again, if a black cat walks near the campus, the schools would use that as an excuse to increase tuition. Take that with a grain of salt. The "professors" who teach these clinics are often paid much less than their more academic peers.

    To be fair, producing practice ready lawyers will not reduce the glut - as the schools are out to fill all their seats.

  6. "it appears essentially the same number of real legal jobs that existed 25 years ago are now being pursued by literally twice as many lawyers."

    Exactly. Shameless greed by do-nothing lazy fuck professors and deans destroyed legal academia.

  7. My understanding is this blog considers the real problem to be the excess of unemployed or underemployed* graduates.

    Improving the practice readiness of graduates is one of those things that might help at an individual school, but only at the expense of other schools. It's a better strategy for playing Musical Chairs -- it can do nothing for the players collectively.

    The big barrier there is that the best thing for the ecosystem is for half the organisms to die. Unsurprisingly, everybody thinks it's someone else's responsibility.

    Also, @6:13 the phrase you're looking for is "negative-sum game" -- that's where the winners' winnings are less than the losers' losses.

    * i.e. paid too little to service their debt and have a life

  8. Off Topic:

    My statcounter analytics showed that "The Executive Office Of The President" in Washington DC was looking at my blog last week.

    I have also hade views from the US Comptroller of the Currency, The US Department of State, and the US Senate, and the US House of Representatives.

  9. There are plenty of people who would love to hire a lawyer but can't afford to pay anywhere near $100/hour, the billing rate for a first-year associate in most states. Providing graduates with a practice-ready education at a reasonable cost would allow them to service this market, slashing billing rates.

  10. @8:00

    "Providing graduates with a practice-ready education at a reasonable cost would allow them to service this market, slashing billing rates."

    It's that "reasonable cost" part that does it. Practice-ready is nice but irrelevant. Journeyman lawyers are having to charge too much because they can't afford to work for less. That's why legal-services needs go unmet.

    Apropos of nothing, imagine if there were a Medicaid for legal services -- some sort of tax-funded program that ensured everyone had access to legal assistance. It'd be better for those currently adrift in the legal system and unable to get justice for small claims, it'd be better for the masses of unemployed attorneys thanks to the new demand... and you could probably pay for the whole thing by upping the top marginal tax bracket's rate by two-tenths of a percent!

  11. 8:00 AM:

    Would it? Explain to me how a practice-ready lawyer, who billed a hypothetical $30.00 per hour would be able to have any sort of life, maintain office expenses, AND service their student loan debt? Additionally, assuming they had the clientele in an already saturated market....if they billed 40 hours per week at $30.00 per hour (which is about a 65 hour workweek) how would they ever get ahead? In case you are no "math major" as I hear all the time, this is only about 58K per year gross.

    You sound out of touch. Additionally, in my state, $100.00 per hour is way too low. Clients would stay away because they would assume something is wrong with a lawyer who bills so low. Those of us who have practiced understand this fact. Maybe you have never practiced before?

  12. While the "crisis" has nothing to do with graduates who are not practice ready, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater: changes towards making graduates more practice-ready are good.

    Perhaps you could argue that changes on the edges are "bad" insofar as they put off the day of reckoning longer. That is, we need to get to the point where we're closing half of law schools, and if a new "heavily clinical curriculum" is used as an excuse by some TTT school to stay open for another five years and to raise tuition, then that's bad.

    Having said that, I'd love to see a new law school open, so long as it did the following:
    - limit class size to under 100
    - keep tuition to under $10,000/yr
    - graduate students in two years
    - require every student to participate in a clinic every semester
    - require all professors to dedicate >75% of their time and effort to teaching, running clinics, and curriculum development (and as a corollary: making evaluations of teaching quality the primary determinant of tenure)
    - make bar prep a heavily emphasized, explicit part of the required curriculum

    Of course, there's no way to actually DO this, since the absurd accreditation requirements would make a new private $10,000/yr law school impossible, and a school that explicitly emphasizes teaching over "research" would have such an abysmally low USNWR score that it wouldn't be able to attract competent candidates.

  13. Law prof,

    I think the exact opposite would happen. If you made law school actually practical, and implemented regulations to make it practical, it would force schools to cut students and shrink, or else close.

    Imagine a requirement where 1 year of the 3 years of training were mandatory clinical work. Suppose the ABA caps each clinic at 15 students, and every student is required to take 6 clinics in the 3d year, at least one of which must be transactional and at least one of which must be litigation related.

    Such a requirement could readily be adopted by true law schools of 150 or fewer students per class. But it would be the death knell of the law factory model. With the exception of HLS and GULC, the profit would disappear from 300+ graduate classes.

    It would greatly raise the operating cost of a school, robbing the milk from the cash cow. It would teach students something. And it would make it unfeasible to run a school that offers only 100+ student auditorium lectures.

    That's win, win.

    You'd see trial ad clinics, appellate ad clinics, real estate clinics, estate planning clinics, criminal law clinics, indigent habeas clinics, family law clinics, etc. develop. The clinics would be the limiting factor on class size.

    No more bloated 250+ student graduating classes.

  14. I'm with LawProf on this one: education is kind of unimportant without a corresponding increase in jobs. Think of it this way: you can train "badly prepared" law graduates how to work in the professional law world, but "well prepared" law students that have little job prospects isn't helpful to anyone. This is a big problem in other parts of higher ed as well. Until students have a reasonable chance at getting good employment after graduation (pays well enough to live on and pay down debt, does not require ridiculous competition or additional schooling between grads for scraps of unstable work), all other solutions are, well, academic.

  15. LawProf's premise was aptly described by the poster talking about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. LawProf isn't saying that improving legal education would be a bad thing, it's just that, when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter because there are no jobs.

  16. @9:43, I'm not sure I understand where cost control comes in for your scenario. What prevents the schools from increasing costs to fund the model you propose? I think that is what LP was getting could be really expensive to do under the current model; less expensive under a different model that seems unlikely to be able to be implemented; and either way you still end up with too many grads in too much debt. So focus on that.

  17. I am inclined to agree with this post, although the specifics would need to be worked out. having a volume practice at $150 hour one CAN make a good living:
    "imagine if there were a Medicaid for legal services -- some sort of tax-funded program that ensured everyone had access to legal assistance. It'd be better for those currently adrift in the legal system and unable to get justice for small claims, it'd be better for the masses of unemployed attorneys thanks to the new demand."

    $150 is lowish insurance defense rates but my former boss and I made a good living for a number of years doing that kind of work. Imagine pro se eviction tenants getting paid legal help this way. Imagine Eldercare needs for wills, powers of attorney for healthcare, and living wills for tens of millions of people who now cannot afford even $500 for it. That's a lot of billable hours that could be paid for.

  18. I think the big thing that's being missed is the "prestige factor". I went to lower ranked law school (80-100) where I was able to get many "practical experiences". Our school had a pretty in depth clinical program where if a student applied, they would likely have the experience to be placed in some sort of opportunity. While I was in school, I had the opportunity to be an extern for our school funded mediation program and as an extern for our state's Department of Justice. Both of these experiences presented multiple practical learning opportunities. Moreover, my school offered many practical workshops that utilized experiential learning (usually taught by an adjunct). The problem is the stench of my law school's name makes me an undesirable. I have friends who went to higher ranked law schools and took classes in "Law and gender"and had positions as research assistants who have better chances of getting jobs just due to the fact that they come from a name brand institution. Even though I probably am more "practice ready" than them, no one is willing to give me a shot. I guess this must be how "RC Cola" feels...

  19. Are there positions going unfilled because there are not enough applicants with enough experience? No. End of inquiry.

    'Practice ready' grads would be a good thing, and even if it does nothing to solve the problem, this should be pursued. The let's-make-law-professors model was always silly, and dropping it can only be a good thing.

    But 'practice ready' is never going to mean that a new grad will be prepared to open her own law office, assess potential clients properly, and represent them to conclusion in an economically viable (both for lawyer and for customer) manner. As every lawyer knows, the law part -- both finding out the substantive law (starting from what you remember, and working forwards to take particular circumstances into account) and finding out how to get it presented -- is the easiest part of a law practice. The part that is founding, growing, and running a small business, that's what is hard. And I don't see how a university can teach it.

    The best answer for partially solving the simultaneous crises in underemployment of law grads and vast unserved legal needs of low income people is adequately funding and staffing legal services organizations. It's not about law school at all -- but the social inertia here is much more serious than a relatively small group of academics worrying about their oxen being gored. It's the potential defendants of all those actions poor people are not financially capable of bringing.


  20. And closing law schools, of course. Even with my increased employment proposal, you'd still need tens of thousands of fewer attorneys.


  21. To sum up this excellent post-- it's not the training, it's the cost of the degree when financed by non-dischargeable compounding debt, coupled with the cost of living in any urban market that could conceivably produce the salary necessary to even come close to paying the debt service.

    All of these problems are structural, systematic ones.

    I hope when this is all said and done, Campos can turn this into a book that surpasses Scott Turow's 1L as required reading for prospective law students. I for one, would buy it just to place it in a safe deposit box with instructions to my kids that if I passed away (most likely due to this profession) and they thought about going to law school, that they read the book.

  22. This was a really excellent post. It seems like there's a vicious paradox right now, with law school being both too expensive AND producing too many graduates. If it was cheaper, there would be even more JDs flooding the market. If it was significantly more expensive, that might reduce the number of JDs to a reasonable level, but they'd be even more wrecked by debt.

    The best solution is just to fix the rest of the economy, and make it so that a new college grad with a liberal arts degree has more options for a career other than just going to law school.

  23. What bothers me the most about the law schools is they are supposed to be teaching us ethics. They teach how to fudge and cheat instead. If law school deans aren't ethical why should we be. All the deans that are hiring their graduates and hiding their true employment figures should be ashamed of themselves.

  24. The best solution is just to fix the rest of the economy

    Just that? You don't want to add a Mars shot, or a cure for cancer to that task list?

    1. Heh, fair enough. But really I don't see any way for the law school crisis to go away as long as the entire job market is in the dumps. If there was an easy, simple, solution it would have been done already.

  25. From St. John's mission statement, "Consistent with the Vincentian Mission of St. John’s University, St. John’s School of Law seeks to: Foster a diverse community emphasizing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, Engage students to search out the causes of economic and social injustice and to find adaptable, effective, and concrete solutions;
    Endow graduates with the skills and values required for successful participation in a global legal profession."

    From Hoftra's mission statement, "The mission of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University is to prepare, challenge and inspire students to change the world. Since 1970, we have provided a comprehensive, contemporary law education to our students, helping them become skilled, informed and ethical attorneys...We insist on creating a place where students, faculty, judges, lawyers, scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines can come together to broaden everyone’s perspectives and advance justice for all."

    From the BLS website, "The strength of our outstanding faculty lies in their ability to guide, teach, and lead by example." "The fundamental mission of Brooklyn Law School is to provide its students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical values needed for a career in the law."

    You get the idea. All the law schools produce students with ethical values. The faculty and deans serve as role models. The law schools help us learn how to battle social injustices.

    Well deans, how can we learn ethics when you are not ethical yourself? Are deans and faculty that lie to us good role models? Is it social justice you teach us or how to screw the other guy?

  26. Law Prof, I am a practicing lawyer with nearly 15 years of experience. I opened my own shop 7 years ago and I hate to use your blog to vent but I just received my malpractice insurance renewal rate. My rate increased by 20% despite that my firm has had no bar complaints, fee disputes or malpractice claims. I called my carrier and inquired why the hefty increase and was told that too many claims are being filed against newly minted attorneys that are trying to strike it on their own with no legal experience or training. As a result of this, from this day I will no longer give my alma mater a dime. I can handle the competition of schools pumping out garbage JD grads but this is affecting my bottom line in a different way in that I am forced to pay for the incompetence of the younger practitioners. Fuck that and fuck this profession. It is getting harder out here every day to make a buck. The law schools are not helping any.

  27. @1:19

    The same thing happened to me. My rates doubled and my deductible increased. I've never had a claim either. When I asked my agent to explain the increase she told me that 2011 was a record year for claims.


    It's been almost three years since these people took the bar, I wonder what the no jobs guy is up to right now.

  29. tdennis239:

    My carrier also told me 2011 was a banner year for malpractice claims. I guess when you live in a society where there is no accountability for your personal actions, someone else has to be at fault and pay. When I asked my carrier why so many claims, she said it was a combination of the economy and newer lawyers branching out to areas where they didn't know what they were doing. Apparently, bankruptcy malpractice claims are soaring since many newly minted lawyers see this area as merely filling out forms. Then when the trustee decides to pursue a voidable preference or fraudulent conveyance, the client sues for malpractice.

    I am done with mentoring. I have mentored at least 25 attorneys since I became a lawyer. Want to know how they repay me? By competing against me and undercutting me on fees. Fuck that. Let the new lawyers sink or swim. I am surely done with doing the job that the law schools should be doing, which is to teach these kids how to practice. I am not getting $50K a year to teach these kids the ropes--the law schools are. Let them be accountable. In fact, clients should also start impleading the law schools for doing a terrible job of teaching its graduates how to practice law.

  30. @2:12
    I couldn't agree with you more. Others on this website will probably howl at us, but I simply cannot afford to mentor potential competition. It is not just what the law schools are doing to students----they (and our "trade organization", theABA) are wreaking havoc on the profession as a whole.

  31. The attitudes expressed above kind of have a "I have mine" mentality. Depending on when you graduated, your JD cost a lot less, you learned about the same, the job prospects were better, and you have had an income for a lot longer.

    But every side needs to be heard, and even if new law students have it much worse than you that is no excuse for marginalizing the issues of those who are better off.

  32. tdennis239,

    My best friend hired a newly minted attorney in 2006. No one wanted to hire this kid, even when the economy was booming. The kid went to a TTT school and graduated in the bottom 50% of his class. My friend felt sorry for him and gave him a chance. In 2008, after 2 years of working and learning all the tricks of the trade from my friend, the kid demanded that he be made partner and split the profits 50/50. My friend told him no and the kid left. Guess what the kid did? He opened up his own office half a block away from my buddy's office and stole most of his clients by slashing his rates. That is the gratitude you get nowadays from these kids. So yes, my mentoring days are behind me. And this isn't about "I have mine." I would have never demanded partnership after 2 years out of law school, especially from a practitioner that spent a decade building his practice from the ground up. My friend had a heart attack in 2010. He said it was the stress of competing with his former protege, who forced him to lower his hourly rates. This fucking profession is a race to the bottom today. I will not help any young attorney because I feel they will want to demand partnership and a corner office after a year of working. These kids have no idea of what it is like to hit the pavement and hustle for business.

  33. And that's why I can't get a mentor... I guess I can't blame older folks for not wanting to help, after all in this game you literally eat what you kill, and there is but so much game out there.

    It really is shame that current conditions are creating a divide between the experience and the next generation. If law school won't teach old and the field will not either, who will?


  34. You are never going to produce a practice ready attorney from 3 years in law school. The person has to actually practice for a few years to be practice ready. Doctors rotate for 2 years in med school and generally have a 4 year residency, for a total of 6 years of practical experience before they start working.

    The t0o many lawyers for too few slots is a real problem. As the recent Bloomberg article points out, excess labor is present at all levels of the legal profession.

    The law school deans need to start admitting this, and reduce enrollments. Any law school dean who says my law school is not affected is in denial. This glut affects everyone in the profession.

  35. The cost of one's legal education has little to do with the cost of legal services. Out of touch.

  36. What is incredible to me is the complete tone-deafness of the schools.

    If you want to go into a specialty in medicine, you research which school is good for that specialty.

    What is the option for the young man or woman who seeks to be a prosecutor, or public defender? Oh, you can look up which schools have this or that ranking in "criminal law" but what that usually means is that the school has a professor who is of some reknown in the area, i.e. they've written interesting and trendy law review articles, despite likely having never ever stood before a jury in an actual criminal trial.

    And yet, out of nearly 200 schools all trying to distinguish themselves, how many have taken these folks (one actual, legitimate steady stream of future lawyers where actual jobs do and will continue to exist) into account and sold themselves as a school for them?

    What if a law school set out to make themselves the destination for future D.A.s and P.D.s? Lower tuition would be necessary, but you'd have folks going into steady work, actual lawyers trying actual cases, who might give back to the law school in the future.

    But the current model punishes that. Because if someone did, they'd see their average salary drop, other schools would talk about how "you can never get to Biglaw from there" (as if you can from 75% of the existing law schools as it is) and it would fall below all the other schools that lie about their average salaries.

    In a better system, this type of school would've popped up already, set up a niche, and had government offices all over the country recruiting from this school with their practice-ready graduates. Many states offer third year law students provisional status so that they can actually conduct preliminary hearings or even participate in trials if they are supervised by a licensed attorney.

    It would be seen as a resume-enhancer, something that would set one apart from all the other law graduates.

    But as it is, there are usually only two options for those who want to be prosecutors or public defenders:

    1. Go to an elite law school in hopes of getting into a highly selective federal honors program (which isn't even necessary if one wishes to practice at the state level).

    2. Go to the school with the best public interest LRAP program, to try to offset the insane tuition you'll be paying in order to survive once you take your public interest job.

  37. 1:19 & 1:33 ... Malpractice renewal rates have gone up for many people. The Doctors I know are also burdened by the large increase.

  38. I wouldn't take the word of insurance agents on the reasons behind premium increases. In the medical malpractice field, study after study has shown that insurance companies raise premiums when the stock market tanks (i.e., when they can't make as much off the money they invest), NOT when malpractice claims rise. But agents, of course, always tell doctors that premium increases are due to rising malpractice claims.

    That's not to defend legal education--I'd just sprinkle the words of insurance agents with the same salt shaker justifiably applied to law school employment statistics. I also suspect that if you examined legal malpractice claims, you'd find more filed against experienced lawyers than newbies. The first rule of a plaintiff's lawyer is: Sue someone with money. There's not much point in suing a new lawyer with nondischargeable debt to the government!

  39. Is this (see article below) rearranging the the chairs on the Titanic, but just with a big global wand? There certainly could be fewer chairs available to U.S. students if this rather clever strategy for finding students who can actually afford to go to law school pans out as described. Too bad it's coming from a state university - land grant, no less. Let's mine other countries for students able to pay the exorbitant costs of legal education! And then develop a cool mission statement that justifies it!

  40. @10.38 - Never mind that:

    1) If they're from Europe, they can get legal education much more relevant and cheap at home, which will allow them to qualify locally.

    2) If they're from a BRIC country there is a non-trivial chance that the money used to pay for the education will have come from illegal sources (cf. Bo Xilai's son).

    3) Similarly, since academic fraud is rife in the BRICs, many of these students will not be so well-accomplished as they may present themselves as being.

    4) One of the main reasons that foreign students pay to go to university in English-speaking countries is as a way of proving that they can speak English to a desired level. Put simply: they don't need three years of schooling to accomplish this.

  41. DJM,

    Are you out in the trenches? I have a colleague who specializes in going after legal malpractice claims and he had his busiest year in 2011 in 16 years of practice. Newbie lawyers may not have much in terms of net worth but if they have insurance, there is a deep pocket to pick.

  42. I'm going to give you the other side of some of these comments. I worked for an asshole boss who paid me barely more than his secretary while I did all the work and he played music and came into the office for 2 hours. I left after 4 years and am now a competitor, undercutting him on cost and have a few of his clients.

    Could it be that being grateful has nothing to do with employment relationships? Could it be that he's overcharging so he can have a fancy office, a few blonde secretaries, and a luxury car? Could it be, too, that despite the difference in lengths of resumes that I can do everything he can do, and probably better?

    You don't own your clients any more than you own your wife. Acting like you do is the first step in losing them. If all someone else has to do, especially someone younger and less experienced than you, is offer a lower price then you are charging too much. You are not valuable enough to them. You are to blame.

    But I agree on the fact that lawyers have to start coming out practice ready, jobs or no.
    Just because that won't fix the problem of expense is no excuse. Law schools are scamming hiring firms just as much as they are scamming the students, and someone here ought to have the power to know better.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. 4:03 - You don't understand how the medical profession works, at least you haven't displayed any understanding.

    Ask yourself this: could a second year medical student reasonably be expected to give a patient a basic exam and properly note any problems, like any nurse might? Clinical work begins as soon as the second year in some schools. What you're calling "practice ready" is basically "board certified."

    Now ask yourself this: could a second year law student who only took law school classes look at a basic civil complaint, identify weaknesses, draft a demurrer and appear in court and argue it? If they could, could they figure out whether it wouldn't just be better to file an answer for reasons other than what the "elements" are? Would they know they needed to file an order if they won? Would they be able to figure out how much notice was needed? How to get a motion on the calendar?

    I'd let a second year medical student take my temperature, blood pressure, pulse, etc. I would not let a second year law student review a purchase agreement for a toner cartridge.


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