You make some good points, but lawyers are harder to outsource than computer programmers or numerous other professions. If you need to appear in court outsourcing becomes impractical and basically impossible if they are not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction. Plumbers, electricians, and so on have competition and many of them don't like their jobs either. I strongly if you want to be a lawyer then go to law school, if you want to be a plumber go that route. Experiencing it first hadn is important and a good idea for law schools would be to require people to work in law firms for 100 hours or something so they can see what goes on. Or at least require you to complete some pre-requiste courses to show your serious about it. The point of people get a B.A. art in being unable to land a job then going to law school is a problem. Something could be done about it.
With that said I don't think law school is that much worse than anything else. I don't think architects get on the job training I find it very unlikely any architect learns how to design and complete a building while in school. I'm sure they draft a blue print go to a construction site etc, just as in law school you draft memos and attend court hearings, but that will not prepare you to handle a case from start to finish. Even medical school you don't graduate then conduct brain surgery you go through a grueling residency making 40-50k and usually the residency is not in a place you want to live. It is competitive and even when you complete your residency you aren't chief of surgery immediately.
The police academcy does not teach you everything you need to be a cop. I could go on and on and that reality is that no form of education can teach you how to do anything, because there is no SINGLE WAY to do anything. If you to doctors they will have their own opinions, because they have different ideas, if you go to a lawyer they will approach cases differently, an architect will design a building differently and so on. Is law school perfect? No it is not. Maybe you should have to learn to file a complaint etc, but my school offers a class like that and I have worked for a few judges and know how to do a few things. Certainly not an expert and I would have a different style than the next person.
Law school is not great, but it is not much different than most forms of education because school can only teach you so much. As for the cost law school really is about the same price as anything else. http://www.usfca.edu/tuition2011/
Undergrad tuition is 1,280 per unit assume you make 14 units per semester that equals 17,920 full year 35,840
Law school tuition is 38,720 per year.
That is one example granted schools vary.
UCLA architecture degree costs 22,000 per year
UCLA law costs 44,000 per year that is more, but apparently architecture school lasts longer and you need to complete hours before becoming an architect. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_does_it_take_to_become_an_architect
(Don't know how accurate this website is, but I don't imagine you get an architectural degree then people rush you do build a library or skyscraper. This says it takes 18 years to become a full licensed architect again how accurate answers.com is that ishttp://www.aia.org/professionals/idp/index.htm
details it a little better.
I guess your tuition to get the architecture degree is cheaper, but still a long road at UCLA.
If you went to an in-state law school like University of Florida, Florida International University, etc you would pay less than the UCLA architect. Tuition at Florida Law School is 14k http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Publications/2011OG/aba5812.pdf
You can find cheaper law schools, cheaper architecture, cheaper nursing schools etc, but more or less it is all very very expensive. I don't think law school is much worse off than other forms of higher education. Most of my friends are not in law school I had a lot of friends before I entered and they had many different majors and incurred a lot of educational debt some are doing well some are not. My pilot friends complain the most saying it is almost impossible log hours to fly, which you need to become a pilot. How accurate or inaccurate that is, but it their complaint. I had computer science friends who said it is so competitive, but some people found jobs others didn't. I feel like everyone in whatever profession they are in says how hard it is and does not look outside of their own situation. I think this is the takeaway:
Higher education is expensive, a college, masters, or doctoral degree does not guarantee you a job, to get a job worth having you are going to compete with lots of people. When you graduate in any field you are not going to be immediately ready to handle that profession. Someone is either going to mentor you or you will go out on your own and make mistakes, learn from them, and hopefully nothing goes horribly wrong. This problems are not law school specific they apply pretty much universally to all career fields.
Again I plead if there is a degree that guarantees me a job at graduation, with a high salary, no competition, and is not illegal please tell me. Or write a book about it and make yourself some money. It is something many people want the answer to, but as far as I know there isn't an answer. Education is expensive, getting your career started in anything is difficult, if you start a career it is going to be competitive to keep your business afloat.