A Cost Way Too High to Pay: The New York Times on the Price of Law School Tuition

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The failure by the legal academy to recognize this reality may well contribute to its collapse.

Is there any rational basis for the outrageous cost of law school tuition? Not by any measure.

There are currently billions of dollars in defaulted law school tuition loans, much of it guaranteed by the federal government. At the same time, the number of law school graduates obtaining meaningful employment continues to plummet, while law schools continue to raise tuition and increase the number of seats for law students. Even as the number of jobs for recent law school graduates continue to plummet, starting salaries for lawyers are also on the decline to the point that recent graduates cannot afford to amortize their student loans and provide themselves with food, clothes and shelter.

In a classic game of passing the buck, the law schools blame the ABA for imposing costly requirements, law school professors disclaim any responsibility, claiming that to attribute blame to them is akin to blaming the proliferation of roaches because of the ban on DDT is akin to blaming the roaches, as Professor Larry Ribstein suggests. They also claim that the high cost of legal education is due to outmoded guild rules and that law firms need to justify high hourly rates to pay for recent graduates. Law firms blame the schools because new associates need to earn enough to pay for their student loans. Law firm clients are saying “whoa, this is none of our business; we’re not paying for training first and second year associates.”

This whole Alphone and Gaston thing is slowly crumbling, while nobody seems to be paying attention, as unregulated providers of legal services, not having even attended law schools or having been admitted to any bar, are gaining significant market share.

The entire existing eco structure is simply crumbling before our very eyes.

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Published In: Education Updates, Firm Marketing Updates, Professional Practice Updates, MLM Consulting / Network Marketing Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Jerome Kowalski, Kowalski & Associates | Attorney Advertising

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Jerome Kowalski
Kowalski & Associates

Jerry Kowalski is the founder of Kowalski & Associates, which provides law firm management... View Profile »


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