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Author Topic: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?  (Read 1603 times)

eric922

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There seems to be a lot of complaints, but here and elsewhere online about the ABA in terms of high costs of law schools, the high number of schools vs job opportunities, and how many law schools twist their employment rates for graduates.   I'm just wondering do you all think it may be time for the government to start taking a more direct role in regulating the legal profession? It seems like the ABA has proven that they are either too incompetent or too unwilling to address a lot of the complaints being levied against them.

Julie Fern

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 08:52:18 AM »
first, do something mitt romney.

aglittman

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 08:02:00 PM »
OP:  in answer to your question, YES

Julie Fern

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 01:58:44 PM »
got news:  aba not responsible regulating legal profession.

livinglegend

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 04:52:32 PM »
What is it that the ABA has done wrong would be my question. There are only 200 ABA schools in a country of 300,000,000 people that doesn't seem to be excessive. Perhaps the cost of legal education is high, but there are numerous state schools that offer extremly low tuition. South Dakota, North Dakota, Florida International, CUNY, North Carolina Central, District of Columbia, West Virginia, University of Wyoming, University of Montana, to name a few all of which are under 12k a year with in-state residency.

There are quite a few law schools that charge far more in tuition, but nobody has a gun to a 0L's head requiring them to attend these schools. There are also plenty of jobs out there if one knows where to look for example the BYU Intercolegiate Job Bank has 1000's of job postings for recent grads and it is open to everyone username jobfind password fall2012 they change the password every few months, but if you e-mail them directly they gladly provide it for you.

I know numerous people who graduated from law school, passed the bar, and got jobs. I also know plenty of others who did not and for the most part it has a lot more to do with the individual than the school. One classic example is one guy got offered a job as a district attorney, but he failed his drug test is it is law school's fault that he was using drugs? To me that is the individual your law school does not control your personal life and if you want to be a D.A. and have a drug problem then it is up to you to fix it. A law school gets you a license to practice law what you do with that is up to you.

Groundhog

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 03:34:44 AM »
got news:  aba not responsible regulating legal profession.
Technically true, but I think we know that OP meant the ABA is the biggest gatekeeper to the legal profession in the sense of being the most commonly accepted accepted accreditation agency and setting the standards for law schools.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 01:41:14 PM »
I think Livinglegend makes a good point. Much criticism of the ABA is focused on the notion that there is a glut of lawyers, and that the ABA should be in the business of limiting the number of new law grads in order to alleviate this perceived glut. Much of this criticism comes from recent law grads who feel cheated, and think the ABA should have done more to dissaude them from attending law school.

A couple of points:

There isn't a long term over-supply of lawyers, there is a short term glut because the economy is in shambles. Previous to 2008, my lower tier alma mater had something like a 70-80% employment rate (within nine months of graduation). In the last five years that has drastically reduced, but it's not because the country is churning out any more lawyers now than in 2008. How many new law schools have been accredited since then? Maybe two or three? Until the economy recovers that won't change. But what can the ABA really do about that? De-accredit schools? Force schools to reduce class size? I'm not sure they have the power to do that.

It's not realistic to think that the ABA can develop policies which are pegged to economic fluctuations, and will reduce/increase the supply of law grads according to market needs.

Secondly, the cost of legal education has far more to do with the law schools themselves than the ABA. Some of the ABA accreditation criteria (tenured faculty, faculty pay, facilities requirements, etc) do indeed add to the cost of a legal education. However, these policies also add to the quality of an ABA accredited education, and that's why its seal of approval still carries weight in the legal world.

Other factors that are beyond the control of the ABA also contribute to the increasing cost. For example, in my state, California, the cheapest public law school is now almost $40,000 per year. Is that because of the ABA? No, it's because California is practically bankrupt and has no money for state universities.

Lastly, I meet people every single day who are successful graduates from T4 schools employed at small firms, solo offices, and government offices. Conversely, I also meet people who graduated from T1 schools and are unemployed. An individual who is smart, personable, and willing to take a low paying job so that they can build experience will be fine. That means doc review, DUIs, insurance claims, child custody disputes, and all of the other stuff that many T1 grads seem to think is beneath them.

At the end of the day, the ABA isn't your counselor or your life coach, it's just an accrediting/lobbying organization. 

 

Julie Fern

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 02:26:48 PM »
got news:  aba not responsible regulating legal profession.
Technically true, but I think we know that OP meant the ABA is the biggest gatekeeper to the legal profession in the sense of being the most commonly accepted accepted accreditation agency and setting the standards for law schools.

technically, op should say that.  otherwise, aba going take notice its critics not very precise.

jonlevy

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 06:21:30 PM »
The ABA does not have a lot of direct authority but they can be very influential. Unfortunately, they have missed the boat on multi jurisdictional practice, the internet, online schools etc.  They are the status quo so don't expect much of any use to come from them.  The good news is that their main backers, big law, will be as obsolete as the Hummer and TWA  in a another decade or so as nimbler forms of obtaining legal services take over.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Has the ABA proven incapable of regulating the legal profession?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 09:59:57 PM »
As someone told me recently, "Big firms are like the dinosaurs: too dumb to realize they're going extinct."