One of the popular reform "ideas" is adding more "experiential" "learning," things like clinics and externships, expensive do-hickeys that are less fun and lucrative than letting Professor McAncient dust off his UCC or Crim Pro outline each year, while profit margins soar and the lounge gets a new cappuccino machine with silver plating...drool...
The problem is that those expensive clunker clinics don't help employment outcomes. Look, it's science!
To summarize the paper’s key finding: there is no statistical relationship between law school opportunities for skills training and JD employment outcomes. In contrast, employment outcomes do seem to be strongly related to law school prestige.Wah-wah.
If prestige is what truly matters, why spend ridiculous amounts of money on clinics? Everyone knows that clinics are associated with law schools where the 98% employed are most likely to work for government, small firms, or public interest firms; noble deeds, but far from the importance of appellate clerks and law professorships. On the other hand, schools like Stanford, Yale, and Emory have no need for such things.
So what should the "lesser" law schools do? How about instead of dumping cash in the sinkhole of training stupid practical lawyers, you instead pay out the bazooka bucks to land a worthy seven-figure dean?
There is literally no evidence that a domestic violence clinic is a pubic hair better than paying buying Erwin Chemerinsky his own private island. But there IS evidence that having Erwin Chemerinsky as your dean can take prestige from zero to mid-level hero with a good chance at a federal court gig.
And that's what we call logic. Letting your all-star professors backstroke in Scrooge McDuck's gold silo is literally as worthwhile as teaching (well, trying to teach) anyone to actually practice law.
Viva la profession.