But although I have certainly written my fair share of posts decrying the unconscionable conduct of law schools and their legal establishment enablers, I don’t really consider myself one of those “blessed” scambloggers.
Nevertheless, to his point, maybe — enough already. I’ve wearied of the ineffectuality — nay, the uselessness of complaining about how at best, law schools owe students the truth about the job market and at worst, law schools should let up just a little in the way they’ve been screwing over their students.
But most of all, the nasty over-the-top ranting hasn’t seemed to work. Law school chieftains, ABA-hacks and their deluded defenders have yet to be shamed into reform. It’s easier to blame the complainers.
Futile magical thinking.
In the absence of an overdue “Caveat Emptor” message to aspiring lawyers, it’s simply magical thinking to wish “that moral suasion would prompt law schools to alter their ways.”
Never mind that in the meantime, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the economy will create 21,800 new jobs for lawyers annually until 2020 while greedy law schools annually churn out 44,000 new graduates with only a tinker’s damn of hope of a decent-paying job.
Indeed, the past few days there’s been yet another instance of how fertile the ground is of oversaturated graduate desperation and how rank the resulting opportunism. A Connecticut law firm advertised on Craigslist for a new lawyer-in-training willing to pay them “a monthly fee” to “learn by watching the day to day practice of law.”
“ARE YOU RECENTLY ADMITTED TO THE BAR, OR AWAITING BAR RESULTS, BUT NEED EXPERIENCE FOR THAT FIRST JOB?
“General practice attorney with more than twenty years of experience is willing to train a small number of recently admitted attorneys, or those awaiting bar results. For a monthly fee, you will be able to shadow the experienced attorney, and learn by watching the day to day practice of law. Observe the following types of proceedings, as they occur; Civil Short Calender motion arguments, foreclosure mediation’s, pre-trial conferences, Workers Compensation and Social Security hearings, real estate closings, discovery proceedings and compliance, research and general office operations. Once admitted to the bar, the goal is to have you handling matters with and eventually without supervision. We reserve the right to limit participation in any or all activities, and all appearances are subject to the client and presiding judges approval. Admitted attorneys will be paid referral fees, if your referred case settles. Please submit resumes by responding to this ad.”
Anonymous view from the bench.
And then just a few days ago, a federal judge — who from such a rarefied and protected perch of lifetime tenure, one might have hoped would have bravely deigned to rush in where angels fear to tread and fearlessly proclaim their well-reasoned criticism of current legal education.
But no. The judge instead asked law professor gadfly Paul Campos to post the unsigned view from the bench “On the Failures of Legal Education.”
So gripe all you want new lawyers. Regardless of law dean lip service, there’ll be no reform from within. Law school is a shameless cash cow. As the incognito federal judge explained, “Law professors are among the highest paid academics, and enjoy the newest buildings on ever-enlarging campuses. Law schools employ many part-time adjuncts who teach large enrollment classes for meager fees, generating even more profits for the law school budget, and less teaching time for the tenured faculty. Overhead costs for laboratories, equipment and floor space are nearly non-existent.”
No, it’s going to require a draconian market correction. Only marketplace discipline and then just maybe a sequestration-compelled Congress — will finally constrict the unrestricted student loan pipeline on which law schools have gorged these many years. Only then, will a metamorphosis succeed where all the pissing-and-moaning has not.
Photo Credits: “I’m mad as hell,” by David Drexler, david drexler, at Flickr via Creative Commons-license requiring attribution; “electric cattle prod,” Wikipedia Commons, public domain.