Author Amy Li, a professor in the University of Northern Colorado’s department of leadership, policy and development, found that not only is there no correlation between lower costs and the number of applicants and matriculants at individual schools, but that increased costs correlate to higher enrollment at many private law schools.You have to take this research with several caveats, of course. For one, there's no real control group against which to actually test the hypothesis, which is typically damning to scientific-ish conclusions. Second, the articles' time range coincides with global economayhem that caused a slight but correctable dip in the rocketing fortunes of budding lawyers. Third, it's not written a law professor, and this Northern Colorado doesn't even have a law school itself from which the author could draw knowledge, inspiration, and analyses of Pleasant Grove City v. Summum (2009). Fourth, it's a behavioral economics study where no one's using "real" money.
But I kinda like the conclusion, so I can look past these problems.
What I particularly like is that Professor Li assumes that this pool of maimed indentured servants is rational.
Law students may understand that their employment prospects are the best at elite law schools that charge the most, Li theorized, and thus are willing to pay top dollar. Or law students may feel more comfortable paying for the school they want because they are older and more established than undergraduates, she speculated. Law students may also be savvier than undergraduates about federal loan repayment options such as income-based repayment—which limits monthly payments to a percentage of their income—and public service loan forgiveness, Li wrote.You could also consider the LSTC official hypothesis which - and this theory that I have, that is mine, that belongs to me, etc. - is that law students simply don't care about marginal increases in digital Monopoly funny-money. They don't have to worry about repayment until they've been baptized into the legal faith 3-4 years down the road. Law schools, meanwhile, get the immediate benefit of real, spendable money and everyone wins.
In terms of shameless law school apologia, we can now have a vibrant debate. On one hand, many people - including the LSTC at times - believe that law applicants are stupidly naive and being exploited by masters of white collar public service debauchery. On the other hand, there's a very nice strain of alluring, sexy economic scholarship developing that justifies this superficially insane behavior.
The question moving forward is no longer "How many law schools will close?" my dear friends.
The question is now "Are law students dumb with ignorance or dumb with knowledge?"
I propose we name our sects. Sticking with the cleverness of lawyers in general, I would suggest "Ignorists" and "Knowists." Do law students just not know they're running headlong into helicopter blades or have they calculated the rotation and earnestly believe they'll be sipping gin without a drop of blood on the coat?
We can debate these things at law school symposia instead of shit that actually matters to law practice. I will gladly volunteer to argue on behalf of the Ignorists. Just get me a lunch that's nicer than that sandwich-and-an-apple bullshit. I know the dining car on the Million Dollar Express has fresh prawns, and by gum, the audience knows it, too.
I can see them salivating the more I louder I hit the pleasure bill.