Friday, September 2, 2011

Do You Really Want to Go to Law School?

Last October, a Boston College law student worried about paying back huge educational loans made headlines asked for a full refund if he dropped out. Unfortunately for him, the school had a "all sales are final" policy. Since then, there have been allegations that law schools in general are cooking the books in terms of job placement, and there are even some lawsuits pending against them from disgruntled students.

Against this backdrop, a tenured law professor has started a blog called Inside the Law School Scam which has captured a lot of attention from students, lawyers, and faculty alike. Although we're oversimplifying, "Law Prof" (who has since revealed his identify) argues in part that law school is way too expensive given the dismal career prospects in the current and future economy. He has caught a lot of flak from other academics who are of course quite satisfied with the cushy status quo.

Are law school administrators running a bait and switch? Consider the following issues which are explored in the blog:
  • tuition is sky high
  • student loans have become unmanageable
  • lawyer unemployment is rampant
  • professors are overpaid and underworked
  • law schools provide minimal vocational training
  • Full-time professors themselves have limited practical knowledge
  • Individual law schools are manipulating/glorifying post-graduate employment statistics
  • the taxpayer will ultimately be stuck with the tab for defaulted student loans
As one of the commentators wrote, "In law school, you 'do not' learn how to actually practice law, draft motions, pleadings, even a simple entry of appearance." 

To make matters worse, some lawyers from fancy schools who have snagged a high-paying job with what the site calls "BigLaw" are nonetheless unhappy with their career choice.

The postings and comments make for compelling reading. Check it out.