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United States: The end of the law school boom?

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  • United States: The end of the law school boom?

    If BigLaw is Changed For Good, What Happens to Law School?


    To the degree we’ve talked about the effect of the recession’s impact on law schools, the discussion has focused mostly on the fact that applications at many schools are up. To many, even if the legal industry is suffering alongside many others, the let’s-go-back-to-school strategy represents a risk worth taking: Three years down the line — who knows? — maybe everything will look the way it did in 2007.

    But until now, we haven’t read a piece that takes a harder look at what might become of the legal academy if BigLaw undergoes dramatic and permanent changes, as many suspect it might. Earlier this week, however, over at the Conglomerate blog, University of New Mexico law professor Erik Gerding offered up a little “what if?” piece, in which he hypothesized about potential changes to the law-school world if and when law-firm hiring practices prove inexorably changed.

    In Gerding’s opinion, a permanent dip in law-school hiring would:
    likely mean the end of the law school boom - with its expanding law faculties and the bumper crop of new law schools. Like it or not, the business model . . . of many law schools is heavily dependent on students getting high paying law firm jobs to pay off high law school tuition. Law firms are also prime benefactors of law school endowments. Without corporate law consuming law school graduates by the dozens, law school will face massive economic pressure.

    At this point, Gerding’s only getting started. The new pressures, he writes, on schools will cause them to “improve the training of law graduates so that they are ready on ‘day one.’” In our mind, that means a more practical-based education, something many have been advocating for years.

    That said, will law schools have the resources to provide this type of education? Gerding isn’t so sure:
    Law teaching is likely to become a lot less genteel too. Without law firm largesse, law schools will no longer be insulated from many of the pressures felt by other academic units on campus. Expect greater use of adjunct faculty and graduate students to teach . . .

    Furthermore, he writes:
    Expect a greater disparity among the tiers of law schools with even more intense pressure on deans to prevent their law school from falling off a given tier. It is hard to see how many law schools will be able to sustain their current tuition rates given the job prospects of their graduates.

    LBers, to be honest, we don’t know if all of Gerding’s predictions will come true, but they do make some intuitive sense. Fewer people will go to law school, and law school will be, well, different. Perhaps the focus will be more on teaching students on how to draft interrogatories than on reading John Rawls. If we’re reading Gerding correctly, law school may become less fun, but perhaps more useful. Thoughts?
    Welcome to our discussion forum!

  • #2
    Re: United States: The end of the law school boom?

    This issue is not only in law education but also almost in every stream of education and the student in this modern universe must have to struggle four to five year in every stream that one particularly adopted for his future even then after 4, 5 years of experience he become a master of his work and can get satisfied job with handsome salary. So keep going on to your stream for making your good career and be patient for success. And last important thing that when you join any company you must have persistency for 2,3 years than you become a recognised experience employee and can make strong resume for next job.

    Regards Thrust law group
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