Law school criticism has much in common with the historical revisionists who think the Maginot Line was a ineffective waste of money. Sure, superficially it looks like a colossal failure. But dig deep enough, and by gum, it's a good idea.
Take Indiana Tech. Now, the superficial, simplistic analysis in that this low-enrollment, high-cost unaccredited dumpster fire was a bad idea. In retrospect (and retrospect only!), we might say that putting a new law school in Fort Wayne, Indiana was the damn stupidest idea this side of getting a haircut from a whirlybird blade.
But that's not thinking like a lawyer. Lawyers provide deep, thoughtful, probing analysis. Molesting analysis.
Here's an editorial in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette entitled "Reasons to support Indiana Tech law school still valid."
[N]othing has changed from the perspective of northeast Indiana benefiting from the presence of another professional school.Pape says the school hit a run of bad luck with the effects of the recession (Tech enrolled its first law students in 2013, so the blindsiding is understandable). The departure of the last dean "inevitably" damaged their accreditation bid.
Tim Pape, managing partner of Carson Boxberger, was a member of the feasibility study committee for the law school.
“It had a very thorough and thoughtful process,” he said. “(Indiana Tech) did their homework. They looked at law schools that had opened and had not been successful. They studied the issue; they had plenty of data to support the case that the state and region could support another law school. If you look at the baby-boomer generation and expected retirements, and at the expected growth in the economy, the case was there.”
Sure, people blasted the feasibility study at the time for being a shoddy piece of conclusion-first dogpoop and literally nothing since then has confirmed the practical need for this institution's existence. But Pape says they had "plenty of data" and, er, the baby boomers are retiring and the economy is going to rebound and gosh darn it Fort Wayne needs a law school!