University of St. Thomas School of Law
You are on tape telling Minnesota Lawyer that there may be too many lawyers in your state. Let’s go to the 4:00 mark, shall we?
“Not every lawyer in America, or not every lawyer in Minnesota, should be practicing law. And some of them are getting forced out. And they probably should be, for the same reason that the coffee shop down the street may not be - maybe there are too many coffee shops in that four-block area. And we don’t lose a lot of sleep over the concept that businesses come and go because the market economy plays it out as it should be.”
Why didn’t you put this in your school’s marketing materials to prospective students?! And I am thrilled to hear that you don’t lose sleep over this. Just get them in the doors, charge them up the nose in tuition, pump them out, and let the “market” sort out the mess, right?!
At the 1:04-1:41 portion of this interview, you show that you clearly do not care about your students’ level of indebtedness. Regarding those students who are borrowing heavily for a third tier legal education, you had this to say: “I still think that’s a pretty good deal. If you ask yourself ‘Are you prepared to invest $75,000 or $80,000 in a career that might extend for 40 or 50 years.’”
Well, Thomas, it looks like this would be a very conservative estimate, on your part. After all, for the upcoming 2010-2011 academic year, tuition for a full-time student at the University of St. Thomas School of Law will amount to $36,022! And we shouldn’t forget the required fees – in the amount of $290.
Now, maybe my math is not that sharp, but $36,000+ a year in tuition would amount to more than $108K, correct? Let’s not forget living expenses. According to this same link – under Indirect Costs – the school estimates that books, supplies, housing, meals, transportation, insurance and other miscellaneous expenses, will be $17,795 for the upcoming school year. That would take the total cost of attendance for the 2010-2011 school year to $54,107.
Plus, how many lawyers practice for 40-50 years? It seems that MOST lawyers burn out after a few years. You have a few old dinosaurs who cling around for 30-50 years, but they are the exception. The reality of the situation is this: most lawyers find that they do not like the practice of law (such as your “professors”); that they cannot make a living at it; and the rest are essentially not hirable.
Your analogy of the coffee shop closing down because there are too many cafes in a four-block area would apply to your third tier law school – if the school had to compete in a truly free market. Lucky for you, federal tax dollars are propping up this third tier commode.
Lastly, how the hell can you justify charging Ivy League tuition when you are AWARE that many of these students will be dumped into an oversaturated legal market?
Up yours, Hypocrite!
P.S. Here are some videos for you to watch, in the hope that you may grow a conscience. The first three feature UST students who cannot find jobs.
Check out this video of struggling, established solo practitioners in your state! At the 0:46 mark. Richard Hendrickson – a practicing lawyer for 29 years – states: “It’s tough, especially with all the new attorneys coming out.”
And your bright idea is to allow minority undergrads at UST admission to the law school – without taking the LSAT?!?! Many of the people admitted under this program will not ever get a chance to practice law. You will simply be sentencing more people to a lifetime of disillusionment, low wages, and a mountain of non-dischargeable debt.