February 2, 2013

THOUGHTS ON THE DOWNSIZING OF LEGAL EDUCATION. “In my view, 52,000 is far too many law students and even 40,000 is too many. The ‘right’ number of law students must surely be related to the job market.”

Well, this whole branching out into dealing Meth approach to the legal job market isn’t working out. But high level legal education does still seem effective at breeding hubris: “What emerges from accounts of his fellow drug dealers, his customers and his own words, is of a drug dealer who believed that because of his intellectual ability, he was able to outwit law enforcement and avoid detection.”

UPDATE: From the comments to the first link:

I think law schools do themselves a disservice by continuing to pay undue attention to U.S. News, when it is obvious that other sources of information weigh at least as heavily in the minds of prospective law students – AutoAdmit, Top-Law-Schools.com, Above the Law, etc., etc. Those sources are telling them to focus on two things: the amount of indebtedness that they are likely to incur, and the rate at which graduates have recently found full-time, JD-required employment from those schools.

The University of Minnesota is a law school traditionally well-regarded by U.S. News, landing in their top 25. In terms of employment outcomes for the class of 2011, it falls below Samford University and South Texas School of Law and just barely above Touro, all of these allegedly “third-tier” institutions. Maybe we can start by jettisoning the notion that rankings mean anything, if they don’t convey what chance a graduate has of practicing law upon graduation.

Good point!