Law School Discussion

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Author Topic: Law School is not a Scam, but it is incredibly inefficient  (Read 743 times)

jack24

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Law School is not a Scam, but it is incredibly inefficient
« on: October 10, 2011, 05:27:16 PM »
I didn't want to say that law school is a waste of time or that it sucks, because my purpose here is not to talk people out of going to law school.  Law school was really pretty easy (to be average) and I think most people can find legal jobs (although the selection is obviously worse now than five years ago). 

My purpose here is to talk about how stupid the current system is, and how much money law schools waste.

Solutions:

1: Cut Professor Pay
Are they overpaid?  No, the current teachers are not overpaid.  Still, I would probably fire all of them if I had my way.  Law schools are paying near-market rates for ivy league educated professors who have limited real-world experience.   Cut professor wages to $75,000 a year and open the applications to all T2 and T3 schools.  I'm sure there are some argument about preserving the pure law that comes from the Ivys, but the effectiveness of a law professor is not really correlated to his education.  As a matter of fact, the effectiveness of a law professor is almost impossible to measure because of the curve and lack of any objective testing in law school.  The par passage rate is a poor indicator as well because law schools don't usually teach to the bar and most students take a prep course.  Many schools do this already with legal writing and part-time professors, and some of them are very qualified.
Long story short, my school would have saved a ton of money if they did this, and they would have had about 1000 applications for every open professor spot.    If a law school believes it needs Ivy league teachers, it can charge students more for those credits.

2: Cut The amount of professors by 75%
You may all love the socratic method.  Maybe you think it's the best thing ever.  However, you really don't need this beyond the first semester or year.  Every law school should team up with three other law schools and classes should be broadcast by video like barbri does it.  If a law school really believes they need live lectures, they can charge students more for those credits.   

3: Combine law school with another department on campus. 
Of course this wouldn't work for some independent law schools, but my campus had plenty of room for 450 law students without building a 50 million dollar law school.  The library could easily be integrated, and the empty classes in the history or whatever department can be used to teach classes. 
If a law school needs to be independent, it can charge students more.

4: Teach bar prep the last semester of law school.
Yeah, I loved taking clinic hours and obscure electives my last semester, but it would have been nicer to just knock barbri out.   Maybe the states could even move the bar exam up to june 1st, and license attorneys two months earlier.

5: Leave all administrative bull crap to the university or the professors.
Why pay a career services department?  Just make that part of a professor's job description.
Why pay an admissions department?  Just pay students a little to do the grunt work and pay a professor to oversee it. 
If a law school wants a career service department they should just endorse a third party to do it, and let students who want to use the services pay extra to sign up.

6:  Charge tuition per class, not per student. 
If a school charges $1500 for a 3-credit class, it should just charge $45,000 for the entire class ($1500 * 30 students).  If 60 people sign up, it should be $750 per student.  If students want to save money by going to a big class, they should be able to do it.  If they want a more "intimate" class it should cost more.   You may argue that this would cut out the "niche" classes.  I'm fine with that at this level. 




 

justanothersucker

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Re: Law School is not a Scam, but it is incredibly inefficient
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 05:15:52 PM »
all of academia is a rip financially, that is why the govt had to pass the tuition reform laws earlier this year. At least now we have a bandaid over the open gut wound.  :P (that plus income based repayment for the "nando's" out there trying to live off ITT tech jobs with JD level debt)

Thane Messinger

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Re: Law School is not a Scam, but it is incredibly inefficient
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 07:28:24 PM »
Solutions:

1: Cut Professor Pay



This comment is being sent to your faculty. 

The real problem isn't so much that only Ivy graduates are hired (Top 5 mostly, and Top 2, really), but that most law faculty have precious little practice experience.  Many things can be said about this (and have been said).  As you mention, the pedagogical effect for the bulk of students (say, 99.5%) who will not be professors is, at best, mixed.


2: Cut The amount of professors by 75%



Deans don't often dirty themselves with the messy world of evidence and private-investigation ID gathering, but in this case they might make an exception.   


4: Teach bar prep the last semester of law school.


Did you take this from a certain book?   = :   )

justanothersucker

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Re: Law School is not a Scam, but it is incredibly inefficient
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 07:05:43 PM »
Don't most law schools offer bar prep as an elective anyways, either as for credit or a free noncredit option(seminar style)?