March 12, 2011
The "Legal-education Industrial Complex"
"Critics of the legal-education industrial complex would probably like to see some radical changes in the U.S. law school system. They’d probably want a few dozen law schools to shut down entirely, to reduce the glut of lawyers in this country" writes ALt's David Lat in A Trend in the Making: Shrinking Law Schools?
Lat's commenary echoes back to of President Dwight D. Eisenhower exit speech on Jan.17,1961, and intentionally so I think. But many law librarians are probably too young to recall it. In his speech, Presidemt Eisenhower warned Americans about the dangers of "military-industrial complex." Just substitute key terms in his speech, below, for the "legal-education industrial complex."
Lat writes: "Alas, expecting ... changes [in the legal-education industrial complex] isn’t terribly realistic. Law school deans and law professors aren’t going to willingly reduce their salaries or send themselves into unemployment — and why should they?" Like Eisenhower's warning, nothing changed in the "military-industrial complex." In fact, it only increased during the Cold War.
Due note, the "military-industrial complex" we take for granted originated in the early days of World War II as America geared up its industrial base by way of defense spending. The current "legal-education industrial complex" really took off to respond to demand for more attorneys, a demand that some now question. [JH]
March 12, 2011 | Permalink