Phi Beta Cons

Refining the Law-School Question

Robert, your post about law schools is apt — but Northwestern Law School dean David Van Zandt paints with a very broad brush when he claims that law-school graduates must start their careers at a salary of $65,000. More finely grained distinctions would be helpful.

The Pope Center provided some in 2008 with a study of North Carolina law schools by Andrew Morriss and William Henderson. They reviewed many characteristics of the five law schools in North Carolina for which there was historical information (North Carolina now has two additional law schools).

Schools differ in a variety of ways, including tuition (and thus the debt students must incur to complete school), the on-campus interviews they provide, the starting salaries their graduates obtain, and whether they provide better regional or national opportunities. A low-priced law school may not provide outstanding salaries initially, but the debt burden is going to be light. Such information is available for law schools; in contrast, for bachelor-level colleges, there isn’t much.

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

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