Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Does easy credit drive up the cost of law school tuition rather than ABA regulations?

A couple of weeks ago, David Segal of the New York Times published a widely circulated article blaming the plethora of ABA accreditation requirements on the high cost of legal education. In this recent article from the AmLaw Daily, Matt Leichter of the Law School Tuition Bubble blog argues instead that it's the ease with which students are able to borrow money to finance their legal education that drives up the price of tuition.

. . . . Universities are outright rentiers. They have easy access to debt-revenue, so they take it. Sure, the ABA’s accreditation standards romanticize elite industrial-era law schools, but until the boards of trustees of America's [pick most law schools] challenge themselves to kick their Direct Loan habits, they’ll simply charge more—and take more—because they can, irrespective of what U.S. News or anyone else thinks of them. The only thing left to surprise us is on a moral level: How can university administrators sincerely believe their own justifications for economic rents?

Then check out this post by Scamprof Paul Campos called Adventures in Lemming Psychology in which he posits that students will continue to line up for all that easy credit especially when a lousy economy limits other options.  (Bonus - read the post to learn the origin of the popular myth that lemmings hurl themselves off cliffs - in truth, they don't). 

(jbl).

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2011/12/dpes-easy-credit-drive-up-the-cost-of-law-school-tuition-rather-than-aba-regulations.html

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