Wednesday, July 24, 2013
There has a large number of posts over the last couple of weeks, including on this blog, concerning the Economic Value of a Law Degree by Michael Simkovic and Frank McIntyre. In this study, the authors "estimate the mean pre-tax lifetime value of a law degree as approximately $1,000,000." While many authors have praised this article, there have been a number of critics.
This week, Michael Simkovic is discussing his article on Brian Leiter's Law School Reports. In particular, he is responding to critics of his study, such as Brian Tamanaha, Elie Mystal, and Joe Patrice. At this point, I think Simkovic is winning the argument. I think that the reason for this is that he and his co-author did such a thorough study and seem to have anticpated criticisms in the original article. In addition, I agree with Brian Leiter that some of the criticisms "that have been put into circulation by people who most likely did not read the paper, or, if they did, plainly didn't understand it."
This article is changing the debate on the value of a law degree. However, law schools cannot just sit back and think that everything is now okay. Law schools still have much to do to improve legal education and make it more valuable for law students.
P.S. The ABA Journal also has an article concerning the debate on Simkovic's article. (here)