Law School — Not Just Oversold, but Deceptively Oversold

In today’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I comment on the recent, wonderfully iconoclastic New York Times piece on law schools.

Students are lured into law school in much the same way they’re lured into college — easy government money to pay for education that is supposed to lead to great careers. But just as there aren’t nearly as many high-skill, high-pay jobs for BA holders as we are led to believe, there are not nearly enough legal jobs for all the people who are getting J.D.s. To keep the good times rolling, some schools utilize deceptive tactics to make it seem as though graduates are very likely to find lucrative legal jobs. Many won’t.

The root of this problem is state regulation mandating that prospective lawyers must go through an approved (i.e., long and costly) educational experience known as law school. There is no reason for that mandate. Legal education ought to be opened up to free-market competition and discovery.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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