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Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

NYT’s ‘Room for Debate’ Considers Law School



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The latest “Room for Debate” feature in the Times is about law school, a topic that paper has taken a surprisingly strong interest in this year. I’m among the contributors; my argument is that the bar exam should be open to anyone, not just those who have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school. That would lead to far more competition by opening up non-law-school modes of legal education.

Several of the other participants laud the splendid training that law school can provide, but law school itself is neither necessary nor sufficient for such training. The fact that law school can have good outcomes is no reason to enshrine it as the only permissible pathway into legal practice.

In a Cato Policy Analysis, I made the case for a complete deregulation of the market for legal services. The benefits of government licensing and regulation are minimal to nonexistent, while the costs are real and significant.



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