Friday, May 25, 2012

Taxi! taxi!

DCM promised another post on cartels, and tomorrow is DCM's birthday so he makes the call. We suggested earlier this week that the high tuition currently collected by law schools might represent monopoly profits drawn from the profession's remaining trade restrictions. Law schools guard the gates to a profession that many still desire, despite the best efforts of bloggers and consumer advocates to warn 0Ls away. As gatekeepers to a government-protected profession, law schools are in a strong economic position to skim at least some of the profession's excess profits.

To explore that suggestion, I tried to think of analogies. My first google search of "gatekeeper cartel" turned up many references to the Mexican drug trade. That was intriguing (could we deem legal education an illegal substance?) but I was afraid that the DEA might show up at our house if I browsed too many of those sites.

Then I hit upon a more perfect (or at least wholly lawful) analogy: taxi medallions. Those are the licenses that New York City sells to taxis cruising its streets. Only a cab sporting one of the official medallions may pick up passengers who hail a ride at curbside. The city notoriously limits the number of medallions, although one owner may sell the precious emblem to another.

The demand for taxi medallions has raised prices even higher and faster than law school tuition. In October, two medallions sold for a million dollars apiece. In 1985, as the linked article observes, a medallion sold for "just" $100,000. That 900% increase in medallion value (thank you, commenters, for fixing my math) exceeds even the rise in tuition prices at both public law schools (820% for residents) and private law schools (375%) during roughly the same period. (I've drawn the latter figures from Brian Tamanaha's forthcoming book.)

Could it really be that lucrative to drive a NYC taxi? Should unemployed law graduates actually embrace the chance to drive cabs? Clearly not. Most cab drivers aren't reaping those huge cartel profits. Investment companies buy most of the taxi medallions, then lease the driving rights to cabbies. A driver pays a set amount to use a medallion-marked taxi for a shift; the lease price comes out of her fares.

In this analogy, the medallion owners are like law schools and the cab drivers are the law students. Cab drivers must rent the medallions to get access to the streets, just as students must pay law school tuition to get access to the profession. Restrictions on the number of cabs almost certainly raises fares for passengers on the street, but most of the excess profit goes to the gatekeepers who own the medallions. The medallion owners are the ones who control the keys to the gated taxi profession. That has given them the power to reap profits that, during the last thirty years, exceeded returns from the stock market, gold, or oil. That's the enormous economic impact of government-enforced restrictions on trade.

Law schools similarly seem to profit from their power to grant access to the legal profession. Except for rare "law readers" in a few states, schools provide the only path to bar admission. As DCM stresses, applicants don't realize how competitive practice has become. Some lawyers still benefit somewhat from trade restrictions, but others are hurt by those rules. Smaller firms, for example, probably would benefit from looser rules on multidisciplinary practice and opportunities for nonlawyer investment. Meanwhile, applicants perceive law as both a skilled profession and a strongly maintained cartel, a combination that should give them job security and high income. The law school "scam" is that schools charge tuition as if they were offering access to a tightly controlled profession.

But there is another actor in our law school story: the legal profession itself. Law schools hold their gatekeeper position at the profession's request.

As Richard Abel and others have written, American lawyers created formal legal education to limit entry to the profession. The academic gambit was originally quite successful: It tightly constrained lawyer growth from 1900 through 1950. But, as Abel recognized in 1986 (sub. unfortunately req'd), those walls had fallen by 1980. "Lawyers [had] exerted no restraint over the threefold increase in law students since the early 1960s," he wrote. As a result, "the greater number of lawyers, especially in recent cohorts, [had to] compete with each other more aggressively." Abel was far from the only academic to recognize this trend--and the potential problems for the profession--but he wrote frequently about it.

Since 1980, the profession has tried other means to make the path to bar admission longer and harder. During the 1990s, for example, states raised passing scores on the bar exam. That temporarily constricted access to the profession: nationally, bar passage rates dropped from 74% in 1994 to 66% in 1998. Rates have crept slowly back, but have not regained the 1994 level. New York's recent decision to mandate pro bono service from bar applicants falls in the same category; it adds another hurdle for potential lawyers to climb.

Whenever the profession builds barriers, it creates opportunities for the guardians to profit. Law schools profit from education requirements, and I suspect that bar prep companies profited from tougher bar exams. In response to NY's latest mandate, enterprising organizations may even start charging fees to find pro bono opportunities for time-strapped new lawyers.

Where does this leave us in 2012? As we hail a taxi to get out of Dodge and end our guest-blogging days, we offer these departing thoughts:

To law professors: Remember that we are the medallion owners. As long as the profession leaves those medallions in our hands, we should exercise those powers as fiduciaries for our students, the profession, and future clients--not for personal profit or prestige. That is the most important thought we wanted to share this week.

To practitioners: Reconsider the benefits of cartel restrictions. The profits may go to gatekeepers, rather than to the profession. Loosening some traditional restraints, like mandatory fee schedules and advertising bans, has helped clients. We have all benefited in many ways from the fact that white women, minority women, and minority men are now part of our profession. Keep pressing law schools, bar associations, and state supreme courts to find better, cheaper ways to educate lawyers--even if that puts DJM out of business. But keep thinking too about whether our remaining guild restrictions do more harm than good, even for lawyers.

And to new lawyers everywhere: We hate the fact that so many of you hurt so much. But you are the best of the best. Take the profession forward, as so many of you are already doing in your calls for reform.

Have a happy holiday weekend everyone--we've enjoyed our temporary stay and, like all of you, look forward to LawProf's return next week.


94 comments:

  1. We don't need "better, cheaper ways to educate lawyers." We need fewer lawyers and fewer law schools.

    Frankly, an apprenticeship model makes significant sense. Nothing is added by the "medallion owners" -- nothing. Law professors are a scourge on academia and the professional bar. Law faculty should be ashamed of yourselves.

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  2. "Cab drivers must rent the medallions to get access to the streets, just as students must pay law school tuition to get access to the profession."

    There is one important difference between the two groups:

    Cab drivers use their current wages to pay for the use of these medallions, law students are sacrificing future labor on the chance they may get a job by taking out NONDISCHARGEABLE student loan debt. If a cab driver does not like the wages paid, they can quite and move on. A lawyer cannot do so and must risk indentured servitude in order to play the game.

    Additionally, like 9:34 said..."We need fewer lawyers and fewer law schools." Could not have said it better myself. You can tweek the law school model all ya want with clinics, bullshit, practice ready lawyers, blah, blah. The reality is that there are too many lawyers hunting for too few jobs. Make the teaching model better all you want. This is necessary (outside of HYS) but not sufficient. Many law schools need to be CLOSED down regardless of how much the education is changed. The predatory debt is also an issue and needs to be addressed as well.

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  3. quit, not quite.

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  4. "Restrictions on the number of cabs almost certainly raises fares for passengers on the street, but most of the excess profit goes to the gatekeepers who own the medallions."
    -Fare rates are set by the TLC, not the medallion owners. The real problem with the medallion system is low access, not high fares. Try hailing a cab on a rainy day in Manhattan. Try finding a yellow cab anytime in an outer boro.

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  5. I'm not convinced by the taxi comparison. Medallions are so expensive because of a supply and demand problem. Supply is severely limited, therefore the price has gone up.

    The price has gone up for law school simply because it can. It is enabled by unlimited government money to whomever will take it. The supply of law schools and students is certainly not constrained. In fact, the student loan scam ensures that there is an endless supply of schools and students to fill the seats.

    Law schools are a problem of subsidization. It's a pretty simply economic concept -- you'll get more of anything you subsidize. More debt, more schools, more students, more lawyers.

    Therefore, while taxi medallions are an example of a supply constraint, law school enrollment is an example of demand being artificially inflated, so law schools open and raise costs to take advantage of the demand -- and they will keep doing so as long as unlimited government money will bear the increase in cost.

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  6. yesterday i said the u.s. could support 65 law schools. i changed my mind. 50. that's it. no more. hell, i don't care how you get rid of the 150 losers. make it based on endowment size. that's the only language these snakes speak anyway. top 50 endowed law schools can stay, the rest shuffle off to buffalo. retro-fit the law schools for something else that is useful. if the buildings cannot support a science/engineering curriculum, then make them modern languages buildings. a new graduate degree in which lib arts flakes can get a m.a. in modern languages. when they graduate they must be fluent in 4 contemporary business/industry languages. that's actually a marketable skill. more marketable than a jd would be right now.

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  7. While removing gate keeper barriers may alleviate the problem of the high cost of law school, it would do nothing to solve the greater problem of no jobs. I’ve made this point before, and I will make it again. Even if you emerge from law school without owing a penny (due to scholarships or wealthy parents or whatever), if you can’t find a job, you have paid a steep price. You’ve wasted three years of your life. And once that reality sinks in, you will be dealing with a lot of unhealthy emotions with shame and anger topping the list.

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  8. My thanks to both of you. You have contributed greatly to the conversation and as we have talked things around us continue to change, I think, for the better. Many of the truly bad actors have been called out and my expectation is that come fall we will see some dramatic changes forced by reduced enrollments of high-quality students. I can see a couple of changes on the law school side that would make a huge difference: 1) abolition of tenure; and, 2) restoration of need based financial aid and abolition cross subsidy.

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  9. $100,000 to $1 million is a 900% increase.

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  10. And, I would nominate MacK for some guest commentary. Perhaps his firm could put him on paid leave for a few days. He does a great job off-the-cuff and I can't imagine what he could do with a little time to reflect and edit. LawProf?

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  11. I still think there are too many law schools. When you look at the posting earlier in the week re: solutions and today's posting, I get the sense that the author(s) are dancing around the all important solution: Closing down schools. The simplest answer is usually the right answer (Occam). CLOSING the excess law schools will solve the problem of oversupply. Overhauling the student loan system will solidify the answer. Any other solution is just window dressing. I think this is the true goal of the Scambloggers. Turn the vacant law schools into homeless shelters.

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  12. @10:31
    Of course, you are right. Closing down 100 law schools would have a tremendously positive effect. The problem is who does that and how is it done?It is one of those solutions that is almost impossible to achieve in the short run considering the existing regulatory environment, both private and public.

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  13. Take away the federal money stream. The schools will HAVE to close.

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  14. Big law firm partners, like taxi medallion owners, are the ones getting the big profits and the huge increases since 1986. They are the ones profiting off the labor of the worker bees. The supply of lawyers overall may not be restricted, but there is a limited number of firms with a history and a trade name that can generate huge profits. Law schools are a piece of this puzzle, but that is not where the bulk of the money from law work goes.

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  15. Not impressed with the guest blogging! It doesn't have the insight or understanding of LawProf, and these guest posts are exactly the kind of weak "analysis" I'd expect from a law professor who is clearly not interested in overturning this apple cart. Far too academic, far too "I don't get what the problem is", and far to protectionist of law professor jobs. Not good.

    The solution is simple, and need not be any more creative than the following:

    1 - Cut law school tuition by at least 50%

    2 - Cut law schools by at least 50%

    3 - Cut law faculty by at least 50%

    Anything more elaborate than that is pointless, and shows a lack of understanding of the issue (which is to be expected from a career law professor, instead of a career lawyer - and there is a big difference). This beast is out of control and needs to be gutted. We don't need carefully-thought-out blog pieces drawing strained links between law schools and NYC cabs.

    These posts are spoiling the blog, and turning it into something that it isn't supposed to be (i.e. just another outlet for law professors, and just another line item on their resumes - "2011-2013 Guest Blogger, Inside the Law School Scam".

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  16. Law schools and faculty must be cut.

    DJM,

    Why not propose to Ohio State that 1/2 the faculty resign? Then cut tuition in 1/2. Then reduce class size at Ohio state by 25%. Then convince Toledo, Akron, Capital, and Cleveland-Marshall to close?

    Once you've called for these things to happen, I think we'll be off on the right foot in Ohio.

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  17. Lawprof gets it. I'm beginning to think that DJM does not.

    But she's at least a nice person who feels bad about being part of the scam. Most faculty members do not feel such guilt. They now only feel fear that they may actually have to go hack out a living as a professional lawyer, where their heads will be handed to them by lawyers who actually know what they're doing.

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  18. DJM's writing is not angry enough. Crazy it up a bit.

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  19. DCM's writing is okay, but there is too much magical thinking, and not enough - as others have said - focus on the main problem.

    What she should be writing about is a call for Law School Administrators and Professors to accept salary cuts.

    It's actually in their best interests to do so, because tenure can only protect them so far. Schools will simply close down their departments.

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  20. DJM should also be advising Law School Administrators and Professors to save their money in case of unemployment in the next 5 years. They earn, after all, a significant salary, and if there is no true excuse for them not to be saving enough money to potentially weather 1-5 yrs of unemployment when the house of cards collapses.

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  21. 1042 AM

    Politicians receive "campaign contributions" from Lobbyists of the Higher Education Industry. Don't expect the cash cow to cease. The way to destroy the Law Schools is for demand to disintegrate.

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  22. I think DJM would be a good advocate for the cause in more polite circles like ABA meetings, faculty events, perhaps in court . . .

    But on the internet we need more fire and brimstone.

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  23. Law Office Computing

    Oh no - not a chance. First, it is not about my firm letting me off for a few days, it is about my client's business letting me take the days off (I decide the hours I work.) Second, I am an odd fish swimming constantly between legal systems with the travel schedule from hell (I know the checkin people on certain airlines long haul desks so personally we talk about their kids (and advise against going to law school.)

    My situation gives me an odd perspective because I have practiced and practice on 3 continents - but I am a serious outlier here and I am also aware that a lot of the profession think I am to a lesser or greater degree nuts (some other people call me "MacK the knife" and other refer to various varieties of bad tempered dog.) My partners and I have spent a decade building a firm that BigLaw sometimes sarcastically refers to as that "legal fun firm," usually after we have taken a client. But I don't have the time - or the predictability in my life for this. Anyone reading my posts would already realise that they must come from a bunch of time zones.

    My career has been a mix of good luck and bad luck - and there have been moments of serious despondency. Building a law firm that does high end international tech law from scratch is not easy - building a practice where you do not have marble offices and a big brand behind you is tough too (you may never have heard the advertising strap line "no one ever got fired for buying IBM, but on serious major litigation it is what every corporate person tends to think.) I had the very bad luck to graduate in 1992 - but compared to the bad luck that someone graduating in 2010-12 experienced - it was nothing.

    I spend too much time here anyway.

    MacK

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  24. I heard a month or two ago that there were going to be 20 more lawsuits by Memorial Day. Are they going to be filed today?

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  25. I have called for my faculty to leave open faculty lines unfilled (and we have several), using the funds to decrease tuition or otherwise address the economic crisis of our students and graduates. I made that proposal at a faculty meeting attended (unexpectedly by me) by our university president. We had a lively exchange on the issue.

    I've used these posts to try to illustrate some of the underlying moral and ethical issues to faculty. There is, unfortunately, some magical thinking in the notion that market pressures will lead law schools to rapid closures or imminent reductions in faculty size. It will be some time before most law schools feel any significant economic pressure. Even then, there are many staff members to cut before schools will even think about eliminating tenure-track faculty. Look back at how Hastings handled the decreased revenue from lower class size.

    So I think it's important to address these issues in a variety of ways, with a variety of styles. LawProf and the comments here have are continuing to make some impact, I think. DCM and I hoped to add pushes from slightly different perspectives this week. And there's value even in letting you riff off (and complain about) my more professorial style :) But I look forward to being back in the comment section rather than on the main stage.

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  26. I hope Lawprof will consider making DJM a permanent part of the blog, if she'd be willing. She is a good complement. While the facts on the ground make it harder and harder to pretend Paul Campos is not to be taken seriously, many still try to do that. With DJM as a partner, the message is much harder to ignore. Can any of the law school apologists attack her for anything? What do Leiter and Horwitz and Dean Z have to say about her? Nothing, there is nothing to say except that she's absolutely right. And they fear her, she's been making them all look foolish in comment sections everywhere. Please stay DJM.

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  27. @12:56 p.m.:

    Law school apologists are usually limited to two attacks on Campos: one, that he continues to work at an open-pit student loan mine/law school despite his assertions about the nature of law schools in the present; two, that he fails to strike the proper note of Clinical Detachment that one needs to be taken seriously by other law professors.

    Both lines of attack are nonsense, and usually the purveyors are promptly mocked.

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  28. I don't agree. This isn't some "debate" where we're discussing the issues to determine the scope of the problem and the possible solutions. We already know what the problem is, and we know what the solutions are.

    DJM, you don't need to pretend that there are two sides to this story, or that there are various positions of equal validity. There aren't. The schools are WRONG. The cheated students, the unemployed law grads, and the statistics are RIGHT.

    Don't let this confuse you. Nobody is after your head. There will obviously be gradual change, and it's not like this is a revolution. It's a change in the direction of the tide. Your job will be safe for the foreseeable future, I'm sure. So don't make the mistake of arguing a position that indirectly prolongs the status quo. Don't be on the wrong side of history (not that this is a particularly historic issue, but still.)

    Schools must cut tuition costs. That is the most pressing issue. Student debt. I personally don't care if there are two hundred thousand law grads each year, provided that they didn't each pay two hundred thousand dollars for their degrees. If law grads could pay their student loans on regular jobs (teacher, admin, haircutter, small business owner etc.) then I have no problem with law schools whatsoever.

    Bottom line: make a law school model that doesn't cripple law grads financially, and I'm on your side. I don't care if it's a model with a two year program and practical courses, or a three year model with theory like it is now. I just don't care. Stop crippling law grads with outrageous debt! That's the only thing most of us as asking for!

    I don't care if that means schools have ten professors each getting paid one million dollars per year. I don't care if that means schools have a faculty of five permanent full time professors getting paid $250K per year, and supervising a field of adjuncts. I just don't care.

    The existing model is broken. It must change. And you're either an advocate for change, or you're an advocate for the system remaining as it is.

    From your posts, and from the simple fact that you're writing on this blog, I know that your heart is in the right place, and that deep down, you know that law school is a fucking disgrace right now. But you just don't know how to approach the issue. You want to help, but you also want to protect your job, your friendships, your reputation etc.

    And this is why you're not a good writer for this blog. Campos made the RIGHT choice by picking the RIGHT side, and by becoming a strong advocate for change at the expense of his friendships, his reputation, his job etc. And that's what this blog is about for most readers: total, brutal honesty.

    There are countless other blogs by law professors out there that would suit your more mellow, indecisive style. I suggest you use them, instead of this incredible, groundbreaking blog.

    You see, while your amazing academic resume (15 pages, right?) impresses many people and gives great weight to many of your projects, to those of us struggling with huge debt, no jobs (or trash legal jobs), and no hope of a future, your reliance on a S.Ct. clerkship two decades ago, followed by legal academia, really doesn't make you a good advocate for the cause. I'm sure you're a great academic, but unfortunately, unless you're willing to throw out that entire reputation and devote yourself to changing the system, this blog isn't the right place for you.

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  29. DJM:

    Solid post, but I think it would be interesting if you elaborated on a thought experiment. Imagine that, overnight, all states eliminated the barrier to entry of mandatory law school attendance. IOW, anybody could take the bar at any time, and anybody who passed the bar could get a license to practice law.

    How many law schools would stay intact operating as they currently operate? My guess is roughly 14. The top 14 law schools wouldn't be affected much by this, imo, because law school is a sorting mechanism more than anything else. People go to Harvard not to learn something but to tell people with a bullhorn that they are the kind of people who could get accepted to Harvard.

    How many schools would exist, but see devastating declines in enrollment? Probably the next 40-50. Very solid schools with smart kids, but you don't get a job by going to Case WEstern or Emory.

    The rest of the law schools would die. Schools like Cooley just don't add any value other than allowing you to get your medallion. Kids going to Cooley could take a short bar review course for 1/100th the cost and be in exactly the same situation if this barrier were removed.

    The ABA should be shutting down the schools that exist solely because of the restrictive barrier to entry. Those schools are pure rent-seeking parasites, that basically effectuate an upward transfer of wealth.

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  30. DJM

    vis-à-vis:

    "There is, unfortunately, some magical thinking in the notion that market pressures will lead law schools to rapid closures or imminent reductions in faculty size. It will be some time before most law schools feel any significant economic pressure. Even then, there are many staff members to cut before schools will even think about eliminating tenure-track faculty."

    I think you underestimate the ruthlessness of college administrations. Law schools have grown to their current scale because they are cash cows - not because of any real commitment by the University that they are often part of. Moreover, law schools often have useful buildings or valuable property. If the administration of a university sees as a constant cash drain as opposed to a net source of revenues I think some schools would be cut very fast - it is also the best way to deal with expensive tenured faculty, who can be readily cut if the school closes, but not otherwise.

    Shuttering the law school may seem an extreme measure, but it is a 'rubicon' I expect some university to cross within 2-3 years - and once the first crosses the river of death it may become a fashion, and trend, something serious people seriously consider.

    Your call to "to leave open faculty lines unfilled (and we have several), using the funds to decrease tuition or otherwise address the economic crisis of our students and graduates" may be a smart move since it would keep income in line with spending at least, diminishing the likelihood that Ohio State might consider serious cut-backs. Of course the thing that might speed this process is some sort of underwriting standards for student loans ... and that might happen quicker than people think. Certainly it is hard to believe that Ohio needs 9 law schools or 5 state schools - and while Ohio State may be more highly regarded than the others, it does change $6,000 more or thereabouts than its state law school peers - I can see the state of Ohio asking about that extra cost as the furor over law school debt rises.

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  31. The difficulty of sacking tenured professors vs. closing down entire departments reminds me - and maybe Campos mentioned it on a blog post - of the findings that because of the practice of extinguishing small brush fires, the amount of major forest fires has increased dramatically in recent decades.

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  32. This analogy would work better if cab drivers paid $150,000 to go to cab driving school. The cab driving schools would advertise that "many" of their cab driving school grads had become medallion owners themselves (when in fact 1 grad had ever become an owner, and that was due to his uncle being a medallion owner).

    I'll assume work satisfaction is already equal.

    @Mathprawf is right: that is a 900% increase.

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  33. No, I'd rather be a cab driver than be bored out of my box looking at mindless documents so I can make an error and get yelled at.

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  34. Ohio State eh?

    The one whose Chancellor makes $2,000,000 a year, billing $500,000 in travel expenses? If law schools became unprofitable, rest assured that such an unscrupulous man will cull entire departments if necessary.

    In the ruthless country of America, it is only those at the extreme top that are *relatively* safe. And in the corridors of once noble institutions, where learning has been sacrificed for a worthy-of-being-spit-upon profit model, the men and women of knowledge seem gleefully unaware of the sort of principles that come attached to the coattails of profit obsession.

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  35. 1:17:

    Bravo. Fucking Bravo. You articulated what I was too lazy to do myself. Well said (written).

    11:53:

    I do not believe demand will ever cease for a legal education. The numbers are out there now and sill, lemmings attend in droves. Just like the housing market: demand has not ceased, it is the access o the money stream that has been turned off. Sometimes, people are too stupid to get out of their own way. They need to be protected from themselves. Turn off the moneystream and ya solve many problems. SHAME the lobbying and EXPOSE it. Call your newspapers. Expose Boehner, Foxx, and others for who they really are.....

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  36. First, DJM, THANK YOU.

    Second, I reiterate my opinion that we should focus on figuring out a way for more jobs to be created.

    One step is to think along the lines of how most doctors make most of their money - patients paying by insurance and Medicare.

    Most middle and lower class people need lawyers much more than they can afford to do - just as people without health insurance need doctors more than they can afford to.

    Enable middle class folks to have good legal insurance and "Medicare" legal benefits for elder law needs, and there will soon be far more jobs for lawyers.

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  37. For the people who keep saying we need to shut down 50-75% of law schools, please go back to remedial math.

    There's about 45,000 law grads for 25,000 law jobs. Shutting down 50% of schools would mean 22,500 grads for jobs, or a 10% shortfall. Shutting down 75% would mean 11,250 grads, or a 55% shortfall. (It's made even worse if you consider bar passage rates.)

    Both of those cuts are too large.

    The ideal number is going to be somewhere higher than the number of jobs. For once, there is some small percentage of students who plan to do something else other than law (poll on Con Daily puts it at 6.3%, but let's call it 5%). On top of that, an efficient economy needs there to be some losers. Having too few lawyers means even the most braindead grad will find work - that's not actually desirable. We probably want 5-10% of grads to be denied entry into the market.

    If we say 5% voluntarily take alternative jobs, and 5% are forced to take alternative jobs due to being too stupid to practice, for 25,000 jobs we need 27,800 grads. That means shutting down 38% of law schools, or about 76 schools.

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  38. BJM

    You are looking at entry level jobs, but as we have learned on these blogs, aren't the employment prospects of lawyers 5+ years out of law school even worse (as far as getting JD required degrees)?

    50% is a minimum

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  39. "Both of those cuts are too large."

    And seriously deluded. You'll be lucky to STOP THE RATE OF GROWTH of law schools.

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  40. 3:55:

    Before you get all defensive: I agree that many people do need remedial math.

    While your math is sound, a few things:

    Many of the 25K available jobs are usually not permanent and full-time. Many part-time and temp jobs are included in that number (even though the debt is full-time and permanent).

    I think the numbers would easily be filled if more than half of the law schools were closed down. Why? What about grads from prior years who have been unwillingly shut out of the market? Half the May 2011 class did not get legal employment. They are still young. They could fill the shortage of jobs. It is not like the people from 2005-2011 have upped and vanished. Nearly every one of my classmates from ten years ago are UNWILLINGLY not practicing law. Again, pretty young. The market has been flooded for so many years that there are many solos in an eat-what-you-kill situation who would gladly take a job with a firm.

    Close half the fucking law schools.
    101-200: GONE.

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  41. bl1y- also take into account the glut (and it is a major glut) of recent graduates who cannot find legal work. they can't all be "brain dead."

    additionally, is the legal profession set to remain stable in terms of job demand? is it a growth field? i'd say, if anything, it's shrinking.

    fine. close 80 law schools. how'd that be?

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  42. I agree that the fundamental problem is that there are not enough legal jobs for the current number of law students. Assuming demand for lawyers does not skyrocket in the future, we must do one or both of the following:

    - reduce the number of new entrants into the legal job market;
    - reduce the cost of legal education so that it does not become a crippling burden for the growing majority of students who won't be able to be employed as attorneys

    For the first, others have suggested eliminating or cutting back federal student loans. At a minimum, loans should be tied to employment rates, meaning that every law school accepting federal loans should be required to give 100% accurate (or as near as possible) employment stats.

    For the second, there are more options:

    - reduce law school to two years, or even 1 1/2
    - eliminate the requirement that one needs to go to law school to sit for the bar
    - make a JD an undergraduate degree - frankly there is no reason why a competent undergrad couldn't get the essentials of today's legal education in their junior and senior year of undergrad

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  43. >>>>>>>>>>For the people who keep saying we need to shut down 50-75% of law schools, please go back to remedial math.

    There's about 45,000 law grads for 25,000 law jobs. Shutting down 50% of schools would mean 22,500 grads for jobs, or a 10% shortfall. Shutting down 75% would mean 11,250 grads, or a 55% shortfall. (It's made even worse if you consider bar passage rates.)

    Both of those cuts are too large.
    <<<<<<<<<<

    BL1Y, you're woefully mistaken about this. You'd be absolutely correct if grads from 2000-2012 had 100% employment.

    I'm a 2005 grad. There were about 25% of my class who didn't get legal jobs from my research. So add those 50 people to the total of "available lawyers". The same goes for most other law schools that year. And every year since, getting worse and worse.

    You could probably close every law school in the entire nation for two years, and still not even come close to getting law jobs for all those who graduated before the shutdown.

    There's a huge glut of unemployed, never-employed law grads. Are we to simply forget about that mess and focus entirely on the latest classes?

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am sorry, but a law school graduate who has not worked as a lawyer 1-2 years after graduation (except law clerks) is generally out of the profession and will not get hired - and is a worse bet for an employer than a new graduate. To be blunt, if you have not scored any real experience within 2 years of graduation you have pretty well zero prospects in the profession. It is not fair - I know, especially for the classes of 2008-11, but that is just the way it is. Any 2008-10 graduates not yet hired need to seriously start recognising that they need to cut their losses and move on - 2011 are starting to lose marketability this week as commencements start for 2012.

    Should we lower law school capacity by 50% - yes. The law is a hit or miss business even when the market is strong - it is not fair or right to price law school as if it was a sure thing. It is also not good to have such a large legal training industry that it drills down the pile of qualified applicants to take so many that cannot make it, cannot compete as lawyers. If you cut capacity the marginal candidates will go - and the risk will be reduced. That said capacity and cost needs to be cut.

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  45. Talk about closing schools all you want, but it will not happen. There is no one who can do that and no one who is willing, and why should there be? You have the federal government shunting huge sums to law schools through the conduit of young, uninformed student-debtors. The schools happily take this money and pay law professors salaries well in excess of $200K to amuse themselves and occasionally do a little work. These schools have huge, expensive buildings to maintain; these professors have tenure and contracts that must be honored; these schools bring in money which their universities use to maintain other colleges.

    In short, you have the federal government interfering and distorting the market in favor of these institutions. Don't expect law professors and administrators do anything besides take the money and try to justify it. Law professors and administrators must (and do) convince themselves that they offer enough value to justify the money they are paid-- it's just a matter of psychology.

    So, as long as the government is willing to funnel money to the law schools, the professors and administrators will take it and rationalize it. One of the proofs (and I'm sure we'll see it) will be the lowering of admissions standards when fewer top students decide to go into law. Expect to see rationalizations for accepting poorer students-- and full classrooms again. All paid for by the taxpayer so that politicians and law professors and law administrators can feel good about themselves.

    Unless the federal money stops and market forces come into play, this will not stop. Why is this so hard to understand?

    -- Realist

    ReplyDelete
  46. @MacK/5:37 p.m.:

    To be blunt, if you have not scored any real experience within 2 years of graduation you have pretty well zero prospects in the profession. It is not fair - I know, especially for the classes of 2008-11, but that is just the way it is.

    In the schools' defense, we were stupid enough to attend during the worst recession in 70 years, while believing what they said about employment outcomes was not intended to mislead roughly half of us. I understand we're also price-insensitive, or something.

    ReplyDelete
  47. If you have not scored any real legal experience within 2 years of graduation there are many opportunities out there, but you will likely have to foot the bill for your law firm set up, pro bono training work, and CLE training. Not sure why people always say those folks are done as far as a legal career goes--yes they are done with the traditional law firms, but not done with a legal career. Perhaps these are the same anti-competition people, telling others to go away so there are more opportunities for themselves.

    I'm liking this guest blogger. I hate the focus is always just on law school's and would like to see more debates on the legal practice barriers imposed by ABA and state bars. As far as if law schools should be shut down or not, I'm indifferent. In every game there are winners and losers. I don't fear more competition. Those who choose to go to law school knowing full well the bad economic decision they are making should own it. I don't think its just a 3 year bad decision though for those with loans, it could be a 10 year lost decade to get out of that loan madness (if not more). Also beyond ecomomic opportunity costs, there are some very real social opportunity costs with pursuing a legal career that also haunts the soul.

    I really do hope my generation isn't falling for that more anti-competition crap our predecesors have created for us. I'm want less restriction--get rid of state bar exams and replace with internships or a uniform test that is good for all states. Free market enterprise is what I desire. I want to be able to enjoy revenue shares with firms, I want to be able to partner with non-attorneys, I want to be handle legal clients across state borders without having to worry about state bar association rules. I find myself more likley to back Legal Zoom as it continues to take away nation wide more law jobs then I would any more anti-competive barriers to entry for law students and graduates.

    ReplyDelete
  48. @PoorGrad/10:20 p.m.:

    Because of the odds against it, I omitted the possibility that one might make a run at it as a sole practitioner with no mentors, no experience, no capital and no clients beforehand.

    Some of us will hang a shingle when all else fails, and succeed. That number is so vanishingly small as to mean nothing for the 30-50% of American JDs who have been left out of the market for two years or more.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I think just about everyone can agree that some law schools need to close and/or class sizes must be shrunk.

    "Creating Jobs" is not within the power of anyone to accomplish, particularly in a specific field like the legal market. The job opportunities are out there already, it's just that people can't afford what lawyers need to charge in order to make a living or pay their loans and eat.

    So who is responsible for closing the schools or shrinking the class sizes? Apparently, the ABA is powerless to do anything, and for some reason they approve new schools, exacerbating the problem, so forget about help from that group.

    Like most have said, the law schools are there because of the money they generate or simply because they're already entrenched and universities don't want to lose the status of having their own law schools.

    So, how is it done? You can't just say "close the bottom 50, 75, 100 schools." Who says what is the "bottom," anyway? Are we really going to say that USNEWS should be used? That doesn't seem like a legitimate option, and how would you impose that sentence anyway?

    So the schools, or their host universities, need to take the action to kill themselves off. Why would they do this? I think it would only be because their costs outweigh their benefits. As long as there are X number of $ in tuition coming in from students, regardless where that money comes from, I guess the benefits are worth the costs. The only way to change the equation is for the costs to the schools to increase and/or the $ coming in to decrease.

    Doesn't it all come down to tuition and access to the money to pay the tuition? It seems like it always comes down to the $ in the world, or at least in the USA.

    Has anyone done a study to determine where all of the tuition money comes from, in general, for law school? How much, overall, comes from savings and how much from scholarships, and how much from loans? How much of the loans are ones that come from the federal government or are backed by the federal government?

    You can't stop private lenders and private citizen law students from borrowing from them. But certainly the federal spigot could be cranked back a bit. Certainly Congress could enact some sort of regulation that would require private lenders to make sure potential students are not borrowing beyond their means--and if not, then predatory lenders certainly shouldn't be protected from having the borrowers file bankruptcy.

    It all comes down to the supply of $. Legal Education reform is necessary, but for entirely different reasons and really is not a part of the answer for the problems facing un/under-employed lawyers.

    I know, it's already been said before, but this past week seemed a big diversion to me.

    ReplyDelete
  50. 6:23 is on the right track: it all comes down to money. I say, sure, let students try to take out private loans with no federal backing and thus attempt borrow whatever staggering amount they want in order to get a JD. I don't have a problem with this because students won't succeed in getting the loans-- the market will see to it. Private institutions are not going to lend $100K to $200K unsecured to 22-year olds who have only a 10% to 20% chance of paying it back. Only the government would do such a stupid thing because it plays with other peoples' money for political advantage and is, practically speaking, unaccountable for its actions.

    So, the money largely goes away, the cost goes down, the number of schools shrink, and those who graduate with JDs but without staggering debt might actually be able to work for people at reasonable cost.

    And let's be honest: law school should be an undergraduate degree anyway. Perhaps students could actually get private loans to help with that.

    --Realist

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ah, the neoliberal line about deregulation helping the small guy... Yeah right, and the tooth fairy and easter bunny.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Also why are people who aren't realist always the most likely to take on that moniker?

    ReplyDelete
  53. 8:43, you're right on!

    Why can't these libertarian fools see that more regulation is what's needed? Surely some nuanced statute could be drafted by wise legislators to fix this whole situation! They could look to the sixty-years of central planning in East Block countries for helpful approaches.

    It's the twenty-first century and anyone can see that you've got to turn to government whenever there's a serious problem. So what if government has screwed the situation up? As long as the intentions behind an action are good, then the action is good independent of what results, right?

    Surely the legislators have learned something from all this by now and could fix the situation. We just need to plead for their help.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Realist - "only the government would do such a stupid thing because it plays with other peoples' money . . ."

    Really?? *Only* the government plays with other people's money and therefore lends recklessly? Have you been around for the last 30 years, or 60, or forever??? Do you think banks lending money have Scrooge McDuck style vaults from which they source their loans. BANKS play with other peoples' money.

    ReplyDelete
  55. DJM writes that "LawProf and the comments here have are continuing to make some impact, I think." As someone interested in social science research, she must realize that there is no evidence in support of that claim. This blog functions as group therapy for embittered and irrelevant people. It has no impact on anything or anyone. It does make for amusing reading though.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Yes, banks play with other peoples' money. Of course they do. Why not? They do it because, when they screw up, the government makes them whole, so there's no risk. Sounds a bit like market distortion to me. Sounds a bit as though the banks are acting as quasi-government agents. It's what a famous European politician of the 1930s called "state-sponsored capitalism."

    The simplest solution is to get rid of the federally-backed student loans. This would solve several problems at once: too many law schools, too many law students, too high a compensation for law professors. Does it solve every problem? No. But many of them at one stroke. However, it's clear that this simple solution is upsetting to some of the readers of this blog. I guess they'd rather keep the loan system, even though it causes so many problems, and then just tinker around the edges. I just can't think what you get in return for maintaining the cause of the problem. But, whatever it is, that return must look awfully good to some people.

    ReplyDelete
  57. - "This blog functions as group therapy for embittered and irrelevant people. It has no impact on anything or anyone."

    This is sadly true. The benefit these blogs give us - the cheated law grads - is therapeutic in nature: "You're not the only one out there..."

    It's having little real impact on legal education. Applicant numbers are still far in excess of available seats, student loan money is still widely available (and will stay that way because the Dems love the idea of education for all, and the Reps like the money the higher education industry gives their campaigns), law is still a top-end career in the eyes of most Average Joes, and so on and so forth.

    But when I feel like my whole life has been ruined by law school (and it has, to be honest), it's good to read that there are plenty of other people whose lives are also ruined, and that I'm not alone at the bottom of the pile of shit.

    Misery loves company.

    ReplyDelete
  58. @9:44 a.m.:

    The blog has helped to establish Campos as an insider testifying against his industry's interest, saying things that others have said without the same impact because they're "embittered and irrelevant."

    Unless you think it's just coincidence that LSAT applications drop by a fifth in two years during a flat economy, I'd say that the embittered are hardly irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Morse Code for J: No one has ever doubted that Campos has a good eye for the latest fad, but don't you think the drop in law school applications might have had a bit more to do with the NY Times articles, news coverage of Senator Boxer's challenges to the ABA, lawsuits against law schools making the news, and front page news about law firms failing?

    ReplyDelete
  60. Of course the people that have have had their lives absolutey destroyed by the law school scam are going to be embittered.


    That is the least of it.

    What the hell is wrong with you ubnfeeling and uncaring and clinical and detatched people?

    And I guess the slumbers and occassional human thoughts by inhuman law school professors and academics,from time to time, over far away criminal and usurious compounded interest and ever growing and impossible student loan debtor's suicide are irrelevant also.

    Law School Student Loan Losers with ruined lives ought to go out and drown themselves, or shoot themselves, or hang themselves, or poison themselves, or jump in front of speeding trains, or drive high speed into bridge abutments, or overdose somehow.

    Law School destroys human lives, and is largely a garden path to nowhere, for many.

    How can anyone with the least amount of possible humanity in his or her being be so cruel as to cobble together human words to defend such a system by now anyway?

    Thank God Medical Schools, do not follow the current day law school rip off model.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Well, some of those factors "might have had a bit more to do with" the drop than this blog. But your original assertion was the much more radical proposition that this blog "has NO impact on anything." Do you have any "social science evidence" in support of your various claims? Thought not. Still, I'm glad you find it amusing.

    ReplyDelete
  62. For the benefit of the overall society, the student loan lending sugar teat must be put in check.

    Stop the human suffering.

    Human lives are being destroyed.

    Law School is an obvious double standard:

    It works out well for some who are priveleged and connected, and at the same time destroys the well being and livelihoods of many others, for life.

    Children that graduate from college are not sophisticated consumers, in spite of what the creepy judge said.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Some people may have ruined their lives by foolishly borrowing huge sums to get a not very marketable law degree. This blog is about finding someone to blame for that misfortune. Sometimes it's on the money, mostly it's just fantasies of revenge again mythical wrongdoers. The economy collapsed in 2008. Law schools didn't cause that. There are many others suffering, besides students who borrowed too much.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Right on 2:35 ... the internet hardass routine ain't cool and it gets real tedious

    ReplyDelete
  65. @ 9:44, this blog has helped inform my own choices, for the better I think.

    ReplyDelete
  66. "The economy collapsed in 2008. Law schools didn't cause that."

    The econonomy absolutely did not collapse in 2008, or almost all of Latin America would have stopped coming over America's wide open borders since then.

    I cannot wait until a lot of today's law academics are out of work, and without any fall back, and end up serving pizzas like the former students that they have ripped off, and end up taking orders from high school dropouts that weren't stupid enough to ever buy into the student loan scam.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Are you reading the papers? The rate of illegal immigration has declined significantly in the past few years.

    ReplyDelete
  68. "There are many others suffering, besides students who borrowed too much."

    Thank you 3:54. I think the primary bloggers, and many of those who comment, raise important issues regarding law schools and legal education. But from some of the posters here you would would think recent law schools grads are the only people in this country who are suffering joblessness or economic hardship.

    ReplyDelete
  69. 7:52:

    "But from some of the posters here you would would think recent law schools grads are the only people in this country who are suffering joblessness or economic hardship."

    What a stupid ill-informed statement. Simply not true. If anything, people on this blog know and understand that their plight is worse than most. The JD is less-than-marketable when seeking employment OUTSIDE the legal world. We know this because many of us paid 150-200K to "think like a lawyer."

    Jackass

    ReplyDelete
  70. IF
    Available Loan Money < Cost of Tuition Not Covered by savings or scholarships/grants

    THEN

    Tuition must drop AND/OR Total seats (all schools combined) must drop

    So why not dedicate all of Campos' vast resources to working on decreasing the amount of loan money available? It might not be the only way, but it's the quickest and most direct. Sorry, but I've no idea how to accomplish this feat though...

    ReplyDelete
  71. I graduated from law school from the 1990s, and I'm a partner in a good-sized firm.

    This blog has made a difference. Personally, I've complained by email and telephone to my law school about its posted employment stats. The school has changed some of those stats. I've also donated to LST and forwarded the link to this blog to a number of prospective law students. I urge others to do what they can.

    ReplyDelete
  72. RE: Illegal Immigration

    I guess it depends on what part of the US you are talking about.

    From what I have heard there is a sort of underground railroad, and that for a fee of 6 to 8 thousand dollars, a person from the Mexican panhandle can be transported by road to just about anywhere in the US.

    Women cost a bit more than men because they are slower climbing "20 ft" high fences at 3AM.

    ReplyDelete
  73. @2:18 p.m.:

    The drop in law school applications has to do with a gradual correction in the information asymmetry between prospective students and law schools, and blogs like this play a key role in this correction. Where did Segal get the background to write his article on law professors and legal "research"? Is Senator Boxer just naturally attuned to the needs of recent law graduates, or did a critical mass of complaint give rise to her interest in how the ABA polices the law schools it accredits?

    The drop in applications surely isn't because the economy for BA/BS-holders is so sweet, or because law schools are tripping over their own feet in their haste to correct misleading employment statistics.

    ReplyDelete
  74. @7:52 p.m.:

    Follow the bouncing ball: it's not because recent law graduates are unemployed or underemployed. It's because recent law graduates are unemployed or underemployed while law schools did their best to conceal past unemployment and underemployment so that they could sign up the next batch of federal student aid conduits.

    Just in case your misunderstanding wasn't deliberate, like most of those on the profitable end of the scam.

    ReplyDelete
  75. To all the disgruntled and unemployed students who blame law school professors for their problems, please take a look at this story:

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/05/26/miami-police-confrontation-men-leaves-1-dead-1-hurt/

    There are people FAR WORSE than law professors in this world.

    ReplyDelete
  76. fyi

    http://thecareerist.typepad.com/thecareerist/2012/05/law-school-news.html

    ReplyDelete
  77. @354:

    "Some people may have ruined their lives by foolishly borrowing huge sums to get a not very marketable law degree. This blog is about finding someone to blame for that misfortune. Sometimes it's on the money, mostly it's just fantasies of revenge again mythical wrongdoers.

    Everybody sing it now! (to the tune of Rock the Casbah):

    Now the deans told the shills
    we've got to keep the fraud covered
    this whiny little boomer kids
    can't let it be discovered
    the deans they drove their cadillacs
    looking for delayed adults
    their lives would be ruined
    but the deans got no faults.

    DOPEY LEMMINGS WILL BUY IT
    BLAME THE VICTIM
    BLAME THE VICTIM
    DOPEY LEMMINGS WILL BUY IT
    BLAME THE VICTIM
    BLAME THE VICTIM

    "mythical wrongdoers," my scrotum. these people sit in offices and drum up ways to fool consumers into buying a product that they KNOW has a negative value for most purchasers, and to try to cover up said fact from a reasonable inquirer, they consistently published statistics that were bogus.

    ReplyDelete
  78. @8:07 a.m.:

    What a penetrating insight you've offered. Maybe we shouldn't investigate alleged rapes or thefts any more, because murder is morally worse.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Murder is worse than rape? More ITLSS sexism by 8:58. Why does this blog hate women so much?

    ReplyDelete
  80. @9:03 a.m.:

    I just checked and insidethelawschoolscamsexism.blogspot.com is available. Hurry and register it, so that you can post your every wondrous thoughts over there.

    ReplyDelete
  81. 9:03:

    While posting, you can keep everyone's focus away from the true problems facing the middle class just like Republicans and Democrats do.

    ReplyDelete
  82. On the bright side, if we experience hyperinflation like Trump suggests it will be a lot easier to pay off those loans. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  83. Morse Code For J said:


    "....recent law graduates are unemployed or underemployed while law schools did their best to conceal past unemployment and underemployment so that they could sign up the next batch of federal student aid conduits."

    The conduit language is perfect. Money, like water, has to keep flowing, and it needs a gutter or rather a conduit like the student loan and law school scam if it is to reach the greedy pockets of whatever destination.

    Also, I think I see a pattern in that Nando's blog and history is being repeated on this blog, in that off topic comments and sub topics will inevitably take on a life of their own.

    My hope (A Prayer to the Gods) is that Colonel Sanders will start commenting on Inside The Law School Scam.

    I think the good Colonel will, in the not too distant future, be mercifully employing a lot out of work law academics after the Sl bubble bursts, and this so called sugar teat SL system has proved itself unsustainable.

    ReplyDelete
  84. AtheistATLLawyerMay 27, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    This memorial day, think of all the military scum who went overseas to kill brown people with weapons created by lockheed martin and paid for by the shitty united states.

    Think about Dean Cythnia Nance from third tier University of Arkansas law school. She continues to laugh all the way to the bank cashing close to 175k per year for doing 5 hours worth of work (if even that) per week.

    Think about all the mouth breather law students who thought that a J.D. would "transform" them into a success, but are now working at starbucks and defaulting on their students loans.

    What a wonderful kunt-try we live in.

    At the end of the day, even though I am raking in 20k per month and have transcended the law school scam, I'll still collect my food stamps, I'll still default on my student loans and my unsecured credit cards. I don't give a shit. I'll operate in the underground economy and go strictly with cash, and cashed checks.

    ReplyDelete
  85. On the bright side, if we experience hyperinflation like Trump suggests it will be a lot easier to pay off those loans. ;)

    May 27, 2012 10:26 AM
    ----------------------------

    From my understanding, this is not true. It either will remain as the same probability, or there will be a LESS likely chance of the loans being repayed. The error in your thinking is the assumption that a hyperinflation scenario - an increase in the circulating currency - will distribute itself proportionately throughout the economy.

    If such a balanced distribution happened, then yes, it would be more likely for students to repay loans. But inflation works in the same way as introducing COUNTERFEIT money into an economy. ***Those with initial access to the currency (such as the counterfeiters who make their imitation paper) are the ones who gain, and this access is obviously disproportionate***

    Thus as inflation increases the cost of everything, that does not mean wages go up, as the FAKE (to the real wealth of the nation) currency is mostly taken by the ultra-elite, then "trickling down". The problem is, by the time it gets to the bottom - where many law students are - the increase in wages is LESS proportionate to the effect of inflation on other costs. Thus I'd expect them to still have difficulties with payment, as they have to cover increasing costs for everything else besides loans, yet without a proportionate wage hike.

    And that's if they even still have a job, as inflation may likely increase the cost of whatever business they are in, potentially causing them to lose their job. It's a exceptional way to transfer the wealth of the poor to the rich, and going back to the law school scam, one way to look at is in how we are seeing law school become a thing for the rich and privileged, who can afford it.

    This is because as Law School Tuition, Room and Board hyperinflated over the past 2-3 decades, it is the very wealthy that profit as they have the access to the currency needed to pay for it. The poor can get loans, and get the degree, but what is the point when they are a debt slave for the rest of their lives?

    America!!!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Problem: There are too many lawyers such that supply far exceed demand.

    This author's solution: Let's create even more of the supply because that will solve demand.

    Only in the world of Libertarian thought.

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  87. Basic economic thought: if you decrease barriers to entry, that means more entrants.

    The problem, of course, is that you got on the one hand you got the same people complaining about government loans (and they may be even right about it although the loans are more a problem with cost than the loans) also advocating deregulation.

    So, they want to cut loans from the government to "decrease demand" while deregulating to what exactly?

    Find Easter Bunnies and Tooth Faeries.

    The other strain argues "well the private sector is better because..." Because I say so. Did 2008, not happen? Is JPMorgan right now, not happening?

    Here's a simple solution to the problem: have the Department of Education decertify the ABA for approving law schools. Have another organization come into to do the job with stipulation and requirements of the approval process for existing law schools. Put a cap through government regulation on the number of law schools to half of what we have now. Provide incentives to cut cost. Increase the barrier to entry to become a lawyer at some fixed point in the future after the other policies are implemented.

    If you want to see more jobs and also better services- thats how you would do it.

    The solutions being proposed now aren't being proposed to solve the problems being discussed.

    ReplyDelete
  88. 9:11:

    Really?

    Your "more government" solution fails to realize that government is the problem. Before you lefties get offended, BIG business is the problem as well.

    Look who works at the DOE. Look close enough and you will find that former executives at Sallie Mae, Nelnet, and AES get jobs there. They were supposed to watch over the student loan industry instead they allowed it to become the monster that it is today so their criminal friends could make more money. You expect them to have solutions? Are you high?

    Arne Duncan has publicly stated that he thinks there are no problems in higher education and is actually encouraging people to borrow in order to go to school. Do you know that he is head of the DOE? Are you aware that Frontline, when they did their documentary on the college crisis, asked him point-blank if he had done anything to address the problems in higher education and he told them he had done nothing?

    Did YOU see what happened in 2008? Have you not figured out yet that BIG business and BIG government have fucked over the middle class by working together to extract more wealth from the masses? Both sides were to blame for the housing mess, the educational crisis, and the health care mess. Both sides have sold out to special interests. Meanwhile we have Presidents pandering to voters for their vote while distracting them from the real problems facing our nation.

    Do you really think there is a difference between a Republican and a Democrat?

    Do you really think the system will right itself? It is BROKEN and has been for a long time. The only reason why people did not see it before was because they were too busy borrowing against their overpriced bullshit Mcmansion homes and buying shit they did not need.

    Get a fucking clue.

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  89. @ 9:44 A.M. 5/26/2012...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss8LDBNcsWc

    ReplyDelete
  90. there is another informal barrier to entry. since law schools don't teach anything practical, a new graduate needs a mentor from a lawyer who actually knows what she's doing. this is not technically a barrier to entry, but it is one nevertheless.

    ReplyDelete
  91. (1) So you have no problem with my policy solutions other than to tell me that its not possible. That's the first take away.

    (2) The second is that you have a problem with the private sector influencing government action. So do I. That doesn't mean the government solutions are bad. That means you eliminate the legalized corruption. As a threshold matter, you are going to have to do that no matter what policies you come up with. There are countries, of which U.S. is becoming more like, where it doesn't matter what policies are on the books because corruption means that the real policies are those for those in power. If you don't end that trend, nothing being discussed here will matter.

    (3) The third is that you say nothing about the "solutions" offered here which are a decrease in the barriers to entry thereby increasing competition at a time when there is already an oversupply.

    (4) Separately, lack of experience is not a meaningful barrier to entry. It is not something that can stop you from putting up a shingle today to practice law. You may not get clients but that's due to competition rather than an absolute bar. The whole experience thing is overplayed on this site, in part because most of the people discussing it do not have experience. Its the typical "raise the bar arguments of why people do not have jobs" (e.g., you need a PhD in Biochemistry to do patent law is not a barrier to entry, but the requirements set by the patent bar is), true, but it is not one that's truly a barrier as far as the customer/client is concerned.

    There needs to be more of the technical requirements and hoop jumping to even get into law school, much less have wasted so much money in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
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