Sunday, September 9, 2012
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."