Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dueling Law Schools: La Verne vs. UC-Irvine

The Am Law Daily posted "A Tale of Two (California) Law Schools" by Matt Leichter yesterday.  Leichter compares the two law schools most recently receiving ABA provisional accreditation, University of La Verne and University of California at Irvine, and concludes:

There are two lessons the University of La Verne and UC-Irvine provide us. The first is that there is no "responsible" way to create a law school that doesn't involve creating unemployed graduates. Either the law school will take in students it knows will either not find law jobs or won't even pass a bar exam (La Verne), or it will force another law school somewhere else to do the same (UC-Irvine).

The second and more significant lesson, which is more closely associated with UC-Irvine than La Verne: We are slowly approaching the endgame for public law schools. Once state governments no longer consider training lawyers a public good, by cutting subsidies, public law schools mutate into vestigial state structures whose agendas are orthogonal to any public purpose, unless using their students' tuition for other university programs counts. They should either be privatized or closed.

I am not entirely convinced by Leichter's arguments but I find them to be interesting and worth further thought.  I also learned a new word -- "orthogonal."

Craig Estlinbaum

Law Schools, Lawyer Employment | Permalink


Forget about public universities considering training future lawyers to be a public good. Society is indisputably pulling the ladder out from younger generations. It is an inexcusable, greedy transfer of wealth occurring. The IN-STATE tuition for the UCI Law School is forty-six thousand dollars and change (not including living expenses, because baby boomers didn't eat food when they were walking both ways uphill in the snow to get to class in Irvine).

Even at the undergraduate level, the University of California (which in its original charter had the goal of providing a first-class education at no cost to the student until Ronald Reagan changed that as governor) now charges in-state residents at twenty-three thousand dollars a year. When I graduated Cal just nine years ago, the tuition was around three thousand a year. A 7 fold increase over a ten year period would make even Shylock from Merchant of Venice uncomfortable.

Whether it is the unmitigated greed of a higher education cabal (seriously- look at the University of California endowment, amd then ask on what basis they deem it necessary for these tuition increases) or the lack of support from state legislatures, those in charge are causing financial ruin for thousands of lives each year. I won't even delve into the exploitation the unaccredited places like LaVerne are engaging in, because this post is already long enough.

Posted by: Sujan Vasavada | Sep 10, 2012 9:56:37 AM

When I have to look up a word, e.g. "orthogonal" it usually means the author is trying to impress others with her vocabulary.

Posted by: Mike Pinkerton | Sep 10, 2012 11:21:50 AM

Post a comment