February 17, 2014
More price competition between law schools
This time in and around Kansas City.
February 11, 2014
A dozen years out, most law school graduates glad they went
Once again, we may be certain that actual evidence will have no effect on cyber-ranting, but it hopefully will have an effect on rational observers; among the preliminary results:
Graduates of the top 10 law schools who worked full-time earned median pay that was $73,500 more per year than graduates of Tier 4 schools. And among graduates of Tier 3 schools, grades made a big difference. In that group, those with the highest grade point averages had median pay that was $121,500 more than those with the lowest grades....
The 2012 respondents were largely happy with their decision to attend law school. Asked to rate their satisfaction with their decision to become a lawyer on a 1-to-5 scale, the average was 3.92. Asked whether law school was a good investment on a 1-to-7 scale, the average was 5.5. Asked whether would go to law school if they had it to do over again using a 1-to-7 scale, the average was 4.91.
The findings show a movement from private practice to business since the first wave of the study. The percentage of respondents working in the business sector was 27.7 percent in 2012, compared to only 8.4 percent in 2003. At the same time, the percentage of respondents in private practice was 44.1 percent in 2012, compared to 68.6 percent in 2003.
The median remaining educational debt for the survey respondents in 2012 was $50,000, compared to $70,000 in 2003. Nearly 48 percent had no debt remaining in 2012, compared to only about 16 percent in 2003.
February 10, 2014
Harry Arthurs (Osgoode) on the impossibility of producing "practice-ready" lawyers
Arthurs, former Dean of Osgoode and one of Canada's most eminent legal scholars, gives a talk well worth watching by anyone genuinely interested in what reform of legal education can and cannot do.
UPDATE: Steve Diamond (Santa Clara) comments, and also provides a link to the manuscript version of the talk.
Simkovic & McIntyre review of Tamanaha
February 03, 2014
On "financial exigency"
Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara) comments.
January 31, 2014
Signs of the times: Albany Law School declares financial crisis...
...and is threatening to fire faculty, including possibly tenured faculty. It is not clear, however, that there really is a financial crisis there (follow the link to the Albany AAUP website). Albany did, however, suffer an S&P downgrade last year. Any firings of tenured faculty are likely to result in costly lawsuits, given the evidence in the public domain.
Note that Albany Law School is a freestanding law school, and is not part of the State University of New York system. It is also one of four law schools in "upstate" New York (the others are Syracuse, SUNY-Buffalo and Cornell, though Cornell is not sending graduates primarily into the upstate markets). The New York City area is served by Columbia, NYU, Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, NYLS, St. John's, Hofstra, Pace, Touro, Seton Hall, and Rutgers-Newark (not to mention the many schools farther from New York that send large numbers of graduates there).
January 30, 2014
More factual problems for law school bashers: law students are not unhappier now than they were before the recession
An amusing, but related anecdote: a former student told me he tried to challenge one of the hysterical scam bloggers about his claim that "a very large percentage of alumni wind up out of the law within a few years and much of the remainder had higher earnings potential at 35 than they do at 55" and that "most BigLaw associates are gone by year 5 to lower-bracket employment options." The challenge consisted of: what is the evidence for these claims (since none had been cited or linked)? The scam-blogger didn't even approve the question for the comment section, and no answer has been forthcoming. Hardly surprising, since the law school bashing has become an utterly fact-free pastime (at least when it doesn't devolve into cyber-harassment and sexist abuse.)
January 28, 2014
The latest in idiotic journalism purportedly related to law schools
It's James Stewart's absurd New York Times piece on a former Dewey partner filing for bankruptcy; Adam Levitin (Georgetown) destroys it. At moments like this, one can only quote Karl Kraus: "No ideas and the ability to express them: that's a journalist."
California bar passage rates...
UPDATE: Blog Emperor Caron breaks out the data in a chart. Here's how the school's rank by percentage of first-time test-takers who passed the bar between 1997 and 2011 (the number in parentheses is the rank for the period 2007-2011, which gives a sense of which schools have improved their performance, and which have not):
1. Stanford University (1)
2. University of California, Berkeley (3)
3. University of California, Los Angeles (4)
4. University of Southern California (2)
5. University of California, Hastings (7)
6. University of California, Davis (7)
7. Pepperdine University (5)
8. Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (6)
9. University of San Diego (13)
10. University of San Francisco (9)
January 24, 2014
July 2013 California bar exam results
Here. Good news esp. for Loyola-LA, Chapman and Western State (among others), less so for Irvine, Hastings, McGeorge, and Thomas Jefferson (among others). Here's the breakdown by percentage of first-time takers by school who passed: