Phi Beta Cons

How Bad Are the Law Schools?

In today’s Pope Center piece, Suffolk University law professor Charles Rounds writes about another law professor’s book (Brian Tamanaha’s Failing Law Schools) that levels serious criticism at American legal education. As Rounds sees things, matters are far worse than Tamanaha thinks.

Law schools are a protected cartel. If it weren’t for state laws requiring that people who want to enter the legal profession must graduate from an accredited law school before sitting for the bar exam, law schools would be put to the test of the market — and many would fail under their current operating models. Prospective lawyers would not be captive for three years, taking a great many courses of little or no utility, if they were free to customize the kind and duration of their education in the law.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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