Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market  (Read 1588 times)

StevePirates

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
    • JollyLawger
    • Email
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 02:30:38 PM »
I am of the opinion that you can't have too many law schools, or new lawyers.  If people really want to practice law, let them.  I think the CA method of letting everyone try and letting the bar sort it out works well.  I think it's better to have more failed lawyers, than to limit the number of people who can practice.

The alternative, in my mind, would be to switch to a solicitor/barrister system.  We've got paralegals who do so much legal work as is, that might not be a horrible idea.  But as long as we define the "practice of law" the way we do, and require licensing under a unified bar, I think that the more the merrier.

bl825

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
  • There are just so many reasons to smile.
    • View Profile
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 02:34:33 PM »
I am of the opinion that you can't have too many law schools, or new lawyers.  If people really want to practice law, let them.  I think the CA method of letting everyone try and letting the bar sort it out works well.  I think it's better to have more failed lawyers, than to limit the number of people who can practice.

The alternative, in my mind, would be to switch to a solicitor/barrister system.  We've got paralegals who do so much legal work as is, that might not be a horrible idea.  But as long as we define the "practice of law" the way we do, and require licensing under a unified bar, I think that the more the merrier.

What exactly would be a "failed lawyer?"
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

Ninja1

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3089
  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 02:34:44 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised if the mass accreditation of mostly bad law schools in recent history is an effort to McJob/Wal-Job the legal profession. The guys at the top still get rich, in fact, richer than ever before, and they do it by farming out the work to undercompensated but desperate associates that need to pay loans. Based on the volume of work they can push, they can actually undercut most of the rest of the legal profession in terms of price per billable hour and make it up on the volume.

Think of it like big law, but without the monetary rewards for the thrall.  

Also, I suspect that academia itself is involved, as I can only guess at the number of law professorships, dean positions, and general help positions that have been created by bad law schools in the last ~10 years. There's a lot of "academics" out there that probably would have had to go back to, I don't know, actually practicing law if not for their new jobs.

So, in short, saturation conspiracy theory.

Now, that being said, given the highly generous (all things considered) loan forgiveness program that exists now, this could really not be the case. Maybe it's just that as society gets bigger and more complex, you get more laws and more law enforcement, and you need more lawyers to push the paper. But still, I'm saying conspiracy until I see otherwise.

It's also possible there's a rational market based explanation that as long as there's a demand for something, someone will step into the vacuum to fill it. As long as people keep wanting to go to law school but can't get into anywhere decent, someone will keep building 3-year bar review schools to let them in, take their cash, get them to pass the bar, get accredited, and the cycle will continue ad infinitum barring an ABA crackdown.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

Ninja1

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3089
  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 02:37:52 PM »
If tuition isn't forced down by the Cooleys of the world, no proliferation of law schools is going to take care of it.

Suing the ABA is laughable- do you see anyone suing the AMA? The ABA should be doing precisely what the AMA does.

Total agreement.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

StevePirates

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
    • JollyLawger
    • Email
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 02:57:41 PM »
What exactly would be a "failed lawyer?"

In my mind, one who cannot make a living practicing law.

nealric

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2261
  • a.k.a. Miguel Sanchez
    • View Profile
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2009, 03:23:32 PM »
Quote
If people really want to practice law, let them. 

My beef with that is you end up with the dregs degrading the profession in a desperate attempt to get by. By this I mean taking really specious longshot tort cases that should never be litigated or opening shady paper mill practices (i.e. immigration firms that don't file the papers they should or workman's comp firms that do nothing but fill out claims forms).
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

bl825

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
  • There are just so many reasons to smile.
    • View Profile
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2009, 04:02:43 PM »
What exactly would be a "failed lawyer?"

In my mind, one who cannot make a living practicing law.

To restate some things that nealric has already broached, the lawyer who fails ends up hurting a lot of people on his or her road to realizing that he or she cannot make a living practicing law.  I've heard too many stories about people whose lawyers screwed up their cases to believe that we should just let everybody take a shot and see how they do.  :(

Please note: this post does not express a position in terms of how we should restrict access to the profession. 
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

vap

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1310
  • Attorney
    • View Profile
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2009, 04:23:51 PM »
Restricting government loans seems like a bad idea to me.  Although tuition might come down some, you would ensure that only the wealthy could attend law school.

Pop Up Video

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 7275
    • View Profile
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2009, 04:53:52 PM »
Restricting government loans seems like a bad idea to me.  Although tuition might come down some, you would ensure that only the wealthy could attend law school.

In practice, I think you are right. Over the long-term tuition may come down significantly enough to be accessible to not just the wealthy (at least at some schools), but I guess it's hard to know how far away the long-term is. Quite the pickle we're in.

StevePirates

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
    • JollyLawger
    • Email
Re: ABA Accreditation = Saturation or Protectionism of the Legal Market
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2009, 05:02:39 PM »

To restate some things that nealric has already broached, the lawyer who fails ends up hurting a lot of people on his or her road to realizing that he or she cannot make a living practicing law.  I've heard too many stories about people whose lawyers screwed up their cases to believe that we should just let everybody take a shot and see how they do.  :(

Please note: this post does not express a position in terms of how we should restrict access to the profession. 

Then raise the Bar so to speak.  J.D.s are worthless outside of their ability to help you land a job.  Bar admission should be the final arbiter, and if too many people are passing the bar and harming consumers, then raise the bar requirements. 

On a completely different tract, plenty of damage done by attorneys at the top end of the spectrum as well as the bottom end.