The 20K Solution: A Rational Law School Reform Plan (Serious, 2017)

Lest anyone accuse a critic of not having a plan, the LSTC has commissioned several blue-ribbon special interest task forces, and has developed the following reform plan for legal education.

I.  Guiding Principles
  • There is a practical need for lawyers in the United States.  Federal policy requires a balance of encouraging a healthy, appropriately sized cohort of future lawyers to law school each year.
  • While law schools should be geographically diverse within reason, not every state needs its own law school.  Alaska is not starving for lawyers.
  • Lending must be rationally capped to prohibit a windfall to law schools at the expense of the American public.
  • The number of law schools, per se, is not a relevant issue; rather, it is the number of enrollment slots and the total number of graduates that needs to be controlled.
  • Law schools should not be closed by executive decree necessarily.  If there is market support for a law school beyond what federal policy should support, the free market should be allowed to continue to support it.
  • If the practical result of any reform plan is for some law schools to shutter, the remaining law schools should be strengthened, and this natural strengthening should be viewed as a good thing and factored in any evaluation.
II.  Practical Lawyer Need in the US

The LSTC believes there is presently a practical need for roughly 20,000 law graduates in the United States each year.  This is based on the following:
  • For the class of 2016, ABA accredited law schools reported approximately 22,500 full-time, quality jobs on the aggregate using Law School Transparency's numbers.  The LTSC estimates a bit of inflation in that number, both due to reporting errors and jobs that may have resulted from frequent turnover not reflective of the real demand for labor.
  • The most recent BLS numbers report 778,700 employed lawyers in the United States with growth of 43,800 for the decade between 2014 and 2024, for an anticipated total of 822,500 in 2024.  20,000 represents 2.57% of the former number and 2.43% of the latter, which is approximately a 1 in 40 replacement ratio each year, or a 1 in 50 replacement rate once the "growth" is subtracted.  The replenishment rate should be deliberately conservative due to increased automation, longer employment lifespans, and the existing overstock of labor.
  • The BLS reports approximately one million employed in "legal occupations" total.   Twenty thousand would represent a 2% influx of new graduates even accounting for those that compete for any alleged JD advantage jobs.
 III.  Limiting the 20,000

Knowing that the country has a practical need for 20,000 or so new law school graduates each year, the question becomes how to limit law school enrollment.  What the LSTC proposes is first a two-part evaluation of all existing law schools to determine the following two data points:
  • How many productive graduates is each law school contributing to the legal market; and
  • How efficient is the law school at producing them.
In short, federal lending practices should neither be backstopping institutions who make a minimal impact on the legal profession nor providing funding to institutions who are unacceptably inefficient at creating marketable lawyers. 

Institutions who fail either metric should be denied federal funding entirely.  For all other institutions, the number of federal loan candidates should be limited to an allocation based on actual market results, with the share of any de-funded schools being reallocated to the "surviving" institutions.

It is crucial to do this at a bird's eye, federal level because law schools at present have little incentive to "right size" themselves to market reality save maybe the few who try to preserve their rank in the U.S. News poll at the expense of extra bodies in seats and money in the bank. 

That said, any school that can survive without federal funding should absolutely be afforded the right to exist.  Notably, some schools on the "survivor" list - such as Yale - would certainly be able to get private lending to increase enrollment.  As a practical matter, it would mean the closure of numerous schools.

Finally, the LSTC would recommend across-the-board capping federal lending at an amount of twice the salary of a third-year assistant US attorney, but any sort of metric that sets a reasonable cap would be acceptable.

The proposed allocation below is based on recent employment outcomes and the practical need of lawyers on a state by state basis, with the subtotal for that state/group in brackets.  Since it is based on the actual labor market, it is the closest approximation to a market-driven result that we can have in a world where anyone who scores well enough on the LSAT can graduate law school with federal funding as-is.

Obviously, if some schools were to drastically change their enrollment, the allotment numbers would change.  It is imperative that these numbers be frequently reviewed.  Not reviewing this sort of thing every now and then is how the rust belt and northeast wound up with far too many law schools.


IV.   Specific State by State/School Analysis
  • The Alaska Group, i.e., states that need no independent law school
Alaska has no shortage of lawyers despite not having a law school.  An evaluation of the relevant numbers would suggest the same for Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island.  The only ones close to needing their own law school are Rhode Island, which has a mid-sized metropolitan area in Providence, and Hawaii, which is remote and has a mid-sized metropolitan area in Honolulu.

However, neither of these states' current law schools are placing sufficiently enough to justify their existence.  Hawaii can likely import the few lawyers it needs as Alaska does and Rhode Island is filled by the other schools of the northeast.

What the LSTC would propose, more generally, is that the other states consider pooling resources to have a regional public schools.  North Dakota and South Dakota, for example, could have a joint school that is necessary and sustainable, as could various combinations of New England schools.  But for now, they should all be defunded.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Hawaii, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont Law School, Maine, and Roger Williams.
  •  The One School States
New Mexico, West Virginia, and Nevada have one law school currently, each of which seems to have the stability, output, and population base to be sustaining long-term.  Delaware is an interesting case - it has one law school that's a relative garbage heap, but it places a significant number of students and the state has an abnormally high demand for legal services relative to its population.

Idaho belongs in this group as well.  Despite being only slightly larger in population than Hawaii, Idaho places almost double the graduates in real legal work.  That said, there's no need for Concordia to exist with federal funding and it should be defunded entirely.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Concordia and allocating loan backing as follows:  

Widener-Delaware:  75
Idaho:  95
Nevada: 80
New Mexico:  70 
West Virginia:  65 [385]
  • The One School States, But...
Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa have two law schools, should probably only have one based on their size, but the present continued federal support of both is recommended to continue because the output of the "second" school exceeds the present excess capacity of the "primary" school.  If any of these state flagships were to expand considerably, it would likely be advisable to reduce federal funding to only one institution per state.

The LSTC recommends allocating loan backing as follows:

Arkansas:  65
Arkansas-Little Rock:  60
Mississippi:  65
Mississippi College: 65
Nebraska: 65
Creighton:  65
Kansas:  65
Washburn:  60
Iowa:  65
Drake:  60  [635]
  •  The Other Unchanged Multi-School States 
Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Utah, and Wisconsin each have two law schools that are more or less justifiable.  Each has a flagship public school and a private school located in a fairly large market, Utah's (BYU) also being a unique school with some national pull.  Washington has a flagship school, another school in the 15th largest metro area, and a long-standing school to serve the opposite side of the state.

The LSTC recommends allocating loan backing as follows:

Denver:  150
Colorado:  120
Maryland:  120
Baltimore:  130
Seton Hall:  120
Rutgers:  225
Utah:  65
Brigham Young:  85
Wisconsin:  120
Marquette:  115
Washington:  95
Seattle:  110
Gonzaga:  60  [1515]
  •  Alabama
While Faulkner and Samford have similar employment scores, Samford is twice as large.  As Faulkner only contributes 35-40 lawyers to the Alabama market each year at present, it's a fairly easy candidate to de-fund.  Alabama's size justifies two law schools, and Alabama is not big enough at present to absorb Sanford's output.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Faulkner and allocating loan backing as follows:

Alabama:   120
Samford:  90  [210]
  •  Arizona
A state that needs two law schools and, for quite some time, functioned well with two mid-level public flagships.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Arizona Summit and allocating loan backing as follows:

Arizona:  115
Arizona State: 150  [265]
  • California
A relative mess, as the state has twelve (12) law schools with an employment score below 50%, but with multiple major metropolitan areas and a practical need for approximately 2000 lawyers each year.

Whittier is already closing.  Fairly obvious candidates for defunding are Golden Gate and San Francisco in the Bay area, McGeorge in the Sacramento area La Verne, Western State, and Southwestern in the Los Angeles area, and TJLS and Cal-Western in the San Diego area.

Not so obvious are the next class down:  Santa Clara, UC-Hastings, Chapman, Pepperine, and U. of San Diego.  The LSTC errs on the side of continuing limited funding for these institutions because the anticipated reductions in output from the above schools should boost outcomes for these schools.

This model would continue federal funding for twelve law schools in California, including six in the Los Angeles area, four in the San Francisco area, and one each in Sacramento and San Diego.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Golden Gate, San Francisco, McGeorge, La Verne, Western State, Southwestern, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and California-Western, with allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Cal-Davis:  115
Cal-Berkeley:  320
Stanford:  185
Cal-Hastings:  165
Santa Clara:  115
Loyola:  240
Chapman:   100
Pepperdine: 115
USC:  170 
UCLA:  265
Cal-Irvine: 115
San Diego: 120  [2025]
  • Connecticut
Connecticut has a strong national law school, a decent state flagship school, and a lower-tier school that contributes little to the legal market.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Quinnipiac and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Yale:  200
Connecticut:  110  [320]
  • District of Columbia
The obvious problem in D.C. is that enrollments at the three largest schools are absurd.  American shouldn't be encouraged to close.  The problem is that they graduate 400 but only place half of them.  Right-sizing the "big 3" goes a long way to adjusting D.C. to a supportable level.

Whether to fund Howard is a difficult case, as it is small and not an efficient school, but the LSTC advocates keeping it open due to providing a historically black option in an excellent location where the other historically black law schools face anticipated closure short of private sector intervention.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Catholic and the U. of DC and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Georgetown:  475
George Washington:   370
American:  215
Howard:  75  [1135]
  • Florida
Florida, Florida State, Miami, Stetson, and Florida International are fairly easy choices to continue receiving federal support.  The tough choices here are Nova Southeastern and St. Thomas.  Both are located in the Miami area and have mediocre employment numbers, and at this time we would recommend retaining both mostly due to Florida's population overall.

Orlando and Jacksonville would be among the largest cities without their own law school assuming no free market support, but the options are so awful we can safely assume the others schools can fulfill need in those areas.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Ave Maria, Barry, Florida A&M, and Florida Coastal, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Florida:  255
Florida State:  170
Stetson:  185
Miami:  225
Florida Int'l:  130
Nova Southeastern:  130
St. Thomas:  100   [1195]
  • Georgia
De-fund Savannah and JMLS and it leaves a strong state flagship, a second-tier regional school and a state school in Atlanta, and Mercer in centrally-located Macon.  Savannah is a nice place, but it's no where near needing its own school.


Georgia could possibly sustain another law school, but neither of the for-profit institutions that it has currently are good enough.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for John Marshall-Atlanta and Savannah Law School, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Georgia:  160
Georgia State: 140
Mercer:  100
Emory:   195  [595]
  • Illinois
Like every major metro area, Chicago has too many law students in the aggregate.  In this model, we recommend defunding JMLS and Northern Illinois and controlling the numbers on the remainder of the Chicago schools, as well as defunding Southern Illinois, as other schools can likely absorb its real output.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for John Marshall-Chicago, Northern Illinois, and Southern Illinois, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Illinois:  165
U. of Chicago:  215
Northwestern:  210
Depaul:  145
Loyola:  145
Chicago-Kent:  150   [1030]
  • Indiana
Indiana and Notre Dame unquestionably should be supported, and Valparaiso is an obvious candidate for defunding.  Indiana-Indianapolis is a close call, but should be retained in light of its size and public school status.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Valparaiso, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Indiana:  140
Notre Dame:  140
Indiana-Indianapolis:  120  [400]
  • Kentucky
Northern Kentucky also places in Ohio (Cincinnati area), but Ohio really doesn't need assistance and Northern Kentucky serves no useful purpose in fulfilling the needs of an average-sized state.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Northern Kentucky, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Kentucky:  155
Louisville:  95  [250]
  • Louisiana
Does the federal government need to support a second law school in New Orleans?  Louisiana's size suggests it should be a two law school state, and New Orleans is barely a top 50 metro market.  The difficulty is that Tulane places regionally, but both its and LSU's numbers are so low that they could absorb the excess if Loyola and Southern were both closed.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Southern U. and Loyola-New Orleans, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

LSU:  170
Tulane:  190  [360]
  • Massachusetts
Suffolk's raw output is almost high enough to warrant continued federal investment, but its efficiency is so bad that the LSTC recommends defunding and strengthening Northeastern and, to a lesser extent, Boston U.  Moreover, while Harvard has national output and these schools have a somewhat regional function, Boston simply is not large enough to support five or more law schools.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for New England Law School, Western New England Law School, Suffolk, and UMass-Dartmouth, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Boston College: 225
Boston U.: 210
Harvard: 580
Northeastern: 150  [1165]
  • Michigan
Detroit may once have been large enough to warrant support for two law schools in addition to the University of Michigan.  It is not anymore.  Wayne State is a public option with superior numbers to Detroit-Mercy.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Thomas Cooley and Wayne State, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Michigan:  325
Wayne State:  125
Michigan State:  180  [630]
  • Minnesota
A state tailor-made for two law schools, particularly given its centralized population.  Right-sized, Mitchell-Hamline would be a valuable asset to the state and Minneapolis community.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for St. Thomas, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Minnesota:  200
Mitchell-Hamline:  180   [380]
  • Missouri
A relatively difficult state.  By population, it needs only two to three law schools, but both St. Louis and Kansas City are large enough to support schools, and the largest school in St. Louis places nationally/regionally rather than predominantly in eastern Missouri itself, as only 30% or so of Wash U. graduates stay in Missouri.

Still, both Wash U. and Mizzou have an excess that can likely meet demand in St. Louis.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Saint Louis, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Missouri:  120
Missouri-KC:  100
Washington U.:  200  [420]
  • New York
A tough state.  Many of the lesser regarded schools actually have stronger output than one would expect.  They're not ideal, but they're far better than California.  Ultimately, the LSTC recommends defunding NYLS as an obvious choice, defunding Touro and Syracuse as very close calls, and retaining funding for CUNY and SUNY-Buffalo as public options in major metropolitan areas.

The most damning fact about Syracuse is that less than half of its 2016 graduates reported jobs in New York state, which is extremely low for a school located so far away from a neighboring state.  It seems like more of a relic from the rust belt era than a school in an area with bona fide need for a private law school.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Touro, NYLS, and Syracuse, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

NYU:   450
Columbia:  380
Fordham:  305
St. Johns:  200
Brooklyn:  260
Hofstra:  175
Pace:  150
Cardozo:  270
CUNY:  100
Albany:  135
Cornell:  200
SUNY-Buffalo: 140   [2865]
  • North Carolina
Campbell is retained despite its poor employment output numbers solely because the three higher ranked schools all place nationally or regionally, with even North Carolina placing only 58% of its graduates in the state.  More than anyone, Campbell has been a victim of Elon and Charlotte opening.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Charlotte (already probably done), Elon, and N.C. Central, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Duke:  225
North Carolina: 185
Wake Forest:  185
Campbell:  75   [670]
  • Ohio
Ohio leads the nation in relics of the rust belt.  Despite having a population over ten million, half of the state's institutions place poorly.  The difference between having one Chicago or New York and multiple mid-level markets like Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati is massive.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Akron, Toledo, Capital, Dayton, and Ohio Northern, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Ohio State:  185
Case Western:  95
Cleveland-Marshall:  95
Cincinnati:  105   [480]
  • Oklahoma
Oklahoma is smaller than Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado, Alabama, Louisiana, and Kentucky.  While it can supply excess graduates to Texas, it should not be more than a two-state school.

Tulsa is the odd duck.  It's not a large enough city to support a law school by itself, its output is small, and Oklahoma City is older and in the larger state capital.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Tulsa and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Oklahoma:  100
Oklahoma City:   75   [175]
  • Oregon 
 Like Alabama, Oregon has a state flagship, a large and mediocre lower-tier school, and a small and mediocre third tier school.  Salem may be the capital, but Portland is a real city and should have preference in having a law school.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Willamette, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Oregon:  60
Lewis & Clark:  80   [140]
  • Pennsylvania
Like New York, Philadelphia's schools have surprisingly high employment numbers.  As a result, the main four schools are recommended to continue receiving federal funding.  Pittsburgh, however, does not need a second law school, nor does Central Pennsylvania need a second or third.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Duquesne, Widener-PA, and PSU-Dickinson, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Pennsylvania:  240
Villanova: 130
Temple:  145
Drexel:  125
PSU:  75
Pitt:  120   [835]
  • South  Carolina
South Carolina is a growing state with five million people.  It can justify a second law school.  This will surprise some, but the LSTC encourages federal backstopping of Charleston School of Law.

The LSTC recommends allocating federal loan funding as follows:

South Carolina:  125
Charleston:  65   [190]
  • Tennessee
Memphis is a borderline candidate, but retains federal funding due to Vanderbilt being a regional placer and Tennessee being of comparable size to Indiana or Missouri.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Lincoln Memorial and Belmont, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Tennessee: 110
Vanderbilt:  170
Memphis:  60   [340]
  • Texas
Houston and Dallas are the 4th and 5th largest metropolitan areas in the country.  It's a growing, large state, and so the only school suggested for defunding is Texas Southern, which has awful employment numbers.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Texas Southern and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Texas:  280
SMU:  170
Texas A&M: 100
Houston:  155
South Texas:  165
St. Mary's:  120
Texas Tech:  120
Baylor:  120   [1230]
  • Virginia
With the exception of George Mason adding a law school in the 70s to assist supplying Northern Virginia, Virginia has not needed a new law school since 1870.

The LSTC recommends ceasing federal loan funding for Liberty, Regent, and Appalachian, and allocating federal loan funding as follows:

Virginia:  300
William & Mary:  170
George Mason:  95
Washington & Lee:  85
Richmond:  100  [750]

V.   Conclusions

By the LSTC's calculations, the above allocations would permit federal student loan backing for 20,590 students each year, which provides a roughly 3% cushion for students who drop out or otherwise do not complete the program in a timely fashion.

Obviously, the numbers would need to be evaluated frequently to adjust allotments upwards or downwards.  But enacting this scheme would "right size" law school on a national level while strengthening remaining institutions.  It would result in the practical closure of 65 law schools and retain 135.

Contrary to the people who exclaim that we should, or should not, close X number of schools, the above is a real strategic plan that takes into account a number of different factors and, in fact, should be promoted by the surviving schools since it would strengthen the labor market for their graduates.

The largest metropolitan area without a law school in the event of that mass closure would be Charlotte (22nd) followed by Orlando (23rd), Providence (38th), and Jacksonville (40th).  Given that these places have failing law schools presently, this does not represent a large concern.  If anything, Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta may need an additional institution, but two of those three have a really lousy last-place choice right now and life should go on just fine if they shutter. Ditto Phoenix or Detroit.

The "best" law schools to close in terms of employment score would be PSU-Dickinson, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, St. Louis, Belmont, Maine, Duquesne, and Tulsa.  The "worst" law schools by employment score to survive are St. Thomas (Miami), Howard, U. of San Diego, Indiana-Indianapolis, and Santa Clara.  As these are all located in larger cities and should benefit from the closure of other schools, these do not present a concern, either.

Tuition amounts are obviously another matter, but limiting federal loan recipients to the parameters above would be a crucial first step in "right sizing" law school output and encouraging a healthy replenishment of lawyers long term.

Lord knows they're not going to do it themselves.

8 comments:

  1. Throwaway AttorneyJune 5, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    A more reasoned and intelligent analysis than anything the ABA will ever produce.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice effort, but I think that the undue emphasis on states' borders has led you to some very unfortunate decisions. You know damn well, for example, that Charleston and Hamline|Mitchell should be shut down. You endorsed them only because of an a priori view that South Carolina and Minnesota each needed two law schools. Minnesota would do very well with just one (it and the neighboring states need at most three or four among themselves), and South Carolina could simply rely on the many in North Carolina and Georgia. There's no point in supporting a Tier 6 toilet just because it happens to be there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. RE: Texas

    You left out University of North Texas law school in Dallas, a recent upstart law school into which the state sank $100 million. We don't need a new law school in Texas. Needs to be defunded and the building sold to recoup some of the wasted tax $$.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't appear on the spreadsheet from where I pulled the list of schools.

      I have been critical of new law schools across the board. However, if - IF - we were to make a list of areas that may justify a law school, both Dallas and the Rio Grande Valley would be in the top 5. You're talking about a state that has more than double the combined populations of New Jersey and Illinois putting out half the lawyers, with a 10% population growth rate.

      Delete
    2. Yes, that's a big if. I don't expect a single new law school to be justified in the rest of my life, so monstrous is the current overcapacity. Furthermore, law lends itself to remote study. On-line law schools will soon fill whatever need there allegedly may be in Bumblefuck, Texas.

      And if a law school were needed, it certainly wouldn't be a cUNT-style toilet that prides itself on admitting dolts for their "experience".

      Delete
  4. I strongly disagree that Loyola University Chicago toilet of law should remain open, while Northern Illinois should be closed. Compare the numbers between the two schools:

    Northern
    52/88 (59%) grads were employed in FT, LT, bar passage required jobs.
    14/88 (16%) grads were employed in FT, LT, JD advantage jobs.
    So 75% of grads obtained a FT, LT job related to law.
    5/88 (6%) grads were unemployed.
    FT resident tuition is $22,130. Living expenses are $19,316. Total cost is $41,446 per year.
    5% first year attrition rate.
    81% first time bar passage rate on the July 2016 Illinois bar exam.

    Loyola
    119/209 (57%) grads employed in FT, LT, bar passage required jobs
    32/209 (15%) employed in FT, LT, JD advantage
    So only 72% of grads obtained a FT, LT job related to law.
    18/209 (9%) grads were unemployed
    FT tuition is $47,416. Living expenses are $23,303. The total cost is $70,719 per year.
    The school has a 14.5% first year attrition rate (the vast majority were transfers to better schools).
    77% bar passage rate on the July 2016 Illinois bar exam.

    Loyola posted objectively worse numbers than a less expensive, fourth tier state school. I’m not arguing that Northern Illinois should remain open. I’m just arguing that Loyola, an overpriced scam law school, should be closed before Northern. The former dean of career services at Loyola, was fired several years ago because she was so corrupt. The school is making no effort to improve employment outcomes or bar passage rates. The new dean suggested that the school bar passage rate declined over 15% from the highs in the 2000s, because the state made the bar exam more difficult. There is no evidence the bar exam is more difficult. But there is plenty of evidence that Loyola significantly lowered admission standards. The school has returned to posting job stats the way they did before the law school reform movement. On the school website, they lump together all jobs and claim they have a high job placement rate. They have a fancy pie chart breaking down the jobs by law firm, business, and government. But then they have a disclaimer in small print, advising readers that more specific information can be obtained from their ABA disclosures. There you can see that many grads obtained part time, short term, and non-professional jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The LSTC reform proposal focuses on which existing law schools merit continued Federal loan funding. My reform proposal for that particular issue is much more comprehensive in light of the dismal entry-level employment situation.
    I propose a total moratorium on all new Federal law school loans for the next five years. Let's let the "market" sort out which schools should close based on the value (or lack thereof) of the degree they offer and the willingness of students to borrow money for it without any help from Uncle Sam.
    Without a Federal net, lenders will quickly realize their money is at risk when lent out for legal education. They will just as quickly devise underwriting standards for law school loans just as they have done for loans in every other industry.
    Lenders will look to which law schools produce graduates able to get jobs paying enough to ensure repayment of the loans. Those schools will continue to operate. The diploma mills that now exist only because of Uncle Sam's foolish generosity will quickly go out of business.
    After the five-year moratorium, the DOE will decide whether to continue the moratorium, extend it to other educational programs whose graduates do poorly in the job market, or make a different policy decision.

    ReplyDelete
  6. No. The article states that there is a practical need for 20,000 new lawyers each year. Respectfully, there is a practical need for 0 new lawyers each year. 20,000 new legal jobs each year could and would be filled immediately by the hundreds of thousands of unemployed lawywers already out there, along with the unemployed and lawyers who have given up on practicing law and taken jobs in other fields. If not one single new lawyer was minted for the next 5 years the legal job market would still be saturated by job-seekers with few jobs available.

    ReplyDelete