« on: January 17, 2012, 07:44:24 AM »
The Wall Street Journal OpEd is suggesting we bring back the Bachelors in Law and get rid of the ABA law schools, I agree:
JANUARY 17, 2012
First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Law Schools
Allowing undergraduate law majors to take the bar exam would increase the number of attorneys and lower legal fees..
By JOHN O. MCGINNIS
AND RUSSELL D. MANGAS
Over three years, tuition at a law school can exceed $150,000. Even this princely sum does not capture the full cost. During the time spent at these schools, most students could have earned substantial income. A recent analysis by Herwig Schlunk of Vanderbilt University suggests that for bright students with attractive career opportunities, the total cost of law school is closer to $275,000.
The high cost of graduate legal education limits the supply of lawyers and leads to higher legal fees. And higher fees place legal services out of the reach of middle-income families at a time when increasing complexity demands more access to these services. In short, the current system leaves citizens underserved and young lawyers indebted.
Some have argued that to reduce costs states should simply drop their educational requirements, policing lawyer quality through bar exams, if at all. But the requirement of a legal education can serve important public needs.
First, most citizens, particularly the less educated, do not know much about law and have difficulty evaluating the skill of individual lawyers. Some education in law makes it more likely that a lawyer will be competent. Second, educated lawyers provide a public good. In the United States, most important political questions become legal questions. Educated lawyers can supply a deeper social understanding that informs political policy-making.
Here is a straightforward solution: States should permit undergraduate colleges to offer majors in law that will entitle graduates to take the bar exam. If they want to add a practical requirement, states could also ask graduates to serve one-year apprenticeships before becoming eligible for admission to the bar.....
Full article in today's WSJ.