March 13, 2013
Legal Education: Law Profs Express "Concern" to ABA Task Force While Law School Transparency Launches Reform Central
1. That which affects one's welfare or happiness.
2. The expression of solicitude, anxiety, or compassion toward a thing or person.
In The Economics of Legal Education, a letter submitted to the ABA Task Force on Legal Education last week, 67 law profs suggest the following possible and sometimes conflicting reforms based on their collective concern over the current economic state of the legal academy:
- reducing the undergraduate education required for admission to three years;
- awarding the basic professional degree after two years, while leaving the third year as an elective or an internship;
- providing some training through apprenticeship;
- reducing expensive accreditation requirements to allow greater diversity among law schools;
- building on the burgeoning promises of internet-distance education;
- changing the economic relationship between law schools and universities;
- altering the influence of current ranking formulas; and
- modifying the federal student loan program.
Obviously not a template for restructuring the legal academy. For more, see The Economics of Legal Education: A Concern of Colleagues (March 2013) and then compare that to the Core Issues section of Law School Transparency's Reform Central.
The future of legal education is uncertain. High prices, poor job prospects, and dwindling salaries will force legal education to undergo significant change. A variety of stakeholders, many of whom are invested in the traditional law school model, will shape the substance of and timeline for reform. LST will contribute to the reform by holding other stakeholders accountable, by making relevant data and information easy to consume, and by pursuing policies that aim to make legal education better and more affordable. Reform starts with transparency and will end with a total reimagination of the modern law school.