Monday, October 26, 2015

Is There a Right Way to Respond to the "Law School Debt Crisis" Editorial?

Professor Bill Henderson has posted a response to the New York Times editorial I mentioned a couple of days ago.  (here)

Excerpts:

"Amidst all the other newsworthy topics, the New York Times editorial board made law school debt the lead editorial for today's Sunday edition. And the story line is not good."

"I think it is important for the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) to take some decisive action in the very near future.  In this blog post, I explain where the money comes from to keep the law school doors open and why, as a consequence, we need to pay closer attention to the public image of legal education.  I then offer some unsolicited advice to the AALS leadership."

"What's the solution?

Legal education has a cost problem, but so does the entire higher ed establishment. Here is my unsolicited advice.

The leadership of the AALS needs to take a very strong public position that the trend lines plaguing higher ed need to be reversed.  This is not risky because it is so painfully obvious.  The AALS should then, in conjunction with the ABA, send a very public delegation to the Dept of Education. The delegation should be given a very simple charge:  Help the DOE

  1. Outline the systemic problems that plague higher education 
  2. Articulate the importance of sound policy to the national interest
  3. Formulate a fair and sustainable solution. 

I have faith that my legal colleagues would do a masterful job solving the problems of higher education.  And in the process, we'll discover that we have become the architects of a new system of higher ed finance that will be fair and equitable system for all stakeholders, including those employed in legal education.  That's right: act decisively to ensure a fair and equitable deal.  The only drawback is that it won't be the status quo that we'd instinctively like to preserve."

(Scott Fruehwald)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2015/10/is-there-a-right-wat-to-respond-to-the-law-school-debt-crisis-editorial.html

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