You can see the full report here, although if you're like most of my readers the lack of guns, cash, teets, or anti-Trump drivel will likely deter your better attention.
The average 2015 Ohio law school graduate has approx. $98,475 in law school debt. Yet, only approximately 58% of Ohio law school graduates are employed in jobs requiring bar passage, and a national study shows median law firm starting salaries have dropped more than 40% from 2009 to 2013. In addition, without effective mentoring, many of these graduates may lack crucial “practice-ready” skills they need to competently serve clients.The conspicuous omission here is long-term salary earnings premium. Exactly how many peer-reviewed articles have to be published showing a lifetime lawyer boost before these hack journalists get it? Does it have to be more than one?
Sure, there's $98,475 in debt now. Sure, only 58% are employed in jobs requiring bar passage now.
But what about 20 years from now when the Boomers are drooling in nursing homes and these Millennial badasses are sipping gin and juice on beaches in the Balearic Islands? Are you going to be complaining about debt or jobs requiring bar passage then???
But I digress.
Setting aside the chicken little debt bitching, it's a fairly comprehensive report with a sui generis poetic grammar. For example, there are concerns about legal pedagogy connected to a nut-licking of large law firms:
The traditional Socratic method of teaching law students to “think like a lawyer” is more widely scrutinized than ever as law schools and the practicing bar acknowledge that law school graduates are not graduating practice-ready. They enter a field of law which remains highly interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial, but the economics have shifted. Fewer attorneys, for example, are being hired by large firms, which have historically provided invaluable, on-the-job training and mentoring to help new lawyers learn the business.There's a bizarre and awkward interjection of the opioid crisis.
[W]ith Ohio facing an opiate epidemic and knowing that so many Ohio lawyers, like the rest of the population, continue to struggle with substance abuse, chemical dependencies and mental health issues, there is still a need to educate attorneys on how to recognize the symptoms and seek help when necessary.Chet, of course, can lay off the Hydro and go to a rural part of Ohio, because they drop that white lightning, too:
OSBA should continue to offer and expand upon its “Rural Practice Initiative” to encourage new lawyers to practice in nonurban areas of Ohio, where there is a growing access to justice need due to the diminishing number of attorneys practicing in these areas. Many new lawyers aren’t willing or able due to debt to re-locate. We must develop a program to entice them to do so.One may wonder how debt prevents someone from living in a low-cost area with a market need for legal services, but it's best to simply not ask questions and go with the mojo.
See, the good thing about these Task Force! reports is that they always find a way for the important people to have their cake and eat it, too. With just a few minor changes, poor folks can find affordable representation and new lawyers can get themselves easy payable work. One has to admire the sheer pluck of the liberal reformer.
Of course, these folks are so left-wing Bernie Sanders-y that they missed the long-term earnings increase that comes from having a law degree even if one never practices law. So many of the concerns in the report could be more properly addressed by simply letting Case Western and Toledo produce exemplary graduates in an efficient and factory-like manner. Enough law graduates and eventually legal needs in East Shitsberg are met or, better yet, created. Enough work and eventually some of it becomes high paying - that's a law of economics. Enough easy money and eventually the private market invests in companies that end the opioid crisis by producing even better drugs.
Sometimes we just need to trust the market. Free markets work, especially when you subsidize them with government-guaranteed loans. At least the report didn't get all hell-bent on that particular "solution."