Friday, August 28, 2015
Steven J. Harper, Former Biglaw Partner, Notes That There Are Too Damn Many Law Students and Not Enough Attorney Jobs
Scintillating Op-Ed: On August 25, Steven J. Harper ripped into the law school pigs, in a New York Times opinion piece labeled “Too Many Law Students, Too Few Legal Jobs.” He comes out swinging. Take a look at this opening:
“Ten months after graduation, only 60 percent of the law school class of 2014 had found full-time long-term jobs that required them to pass the bar exam.
Even that improvement over the class of 2013 (a 57 percent employment rate) came with three asterisks: Last year, the American bar Association changed the job-reporting rules to give law schools an extra month for the class of 2014 to find jobs; graduates employed in law-school-funded positions count in the employment rate; and the number of jobs that require bar passage fell from 2013 to 2014.
Amazingly (and perversely), law schools have been able to continue to raise tuition while producing nearly twice as many graduates as the job market has been able to absorb. How is this possible? Why hasn’t the market corrected itself? The answer is that, for a given school, the availability of federal loans for law students has no connection to their poor post-graduation employment outcomes.
Students now amass law school loans averaging $127,000 for private schools and $88,000 for public ones. Since 2006 alone, law student debt has surged at inflation-adjusted rates of 25 percent for private schools and 34 percent for public schools.
In May 2014, the A.B.A. created a task force to tackle this problem. According to its recent report, 25 percent of law schools obtain at least 88 percent of their total revenues from tuition. The average for all law schools is 69 percent. So law schools have a powerful incentive to maintain or increase enrollment, even if the employment outcomes are dismal for their graduates, especially at marginal schools.
The underlying difficulty is that once students pay their tuition bills, law schools have no responsibility for the debt their students have taken on. In other words, law schools whose graduates have the greatest difficulty finding jobs that require bar passage are operating without financial accountability and free of the constraints that characterize a functioning market. The current subsidy system is keeping some schools in business. But the long-term price for students and taxpayers is steep and increasing.” [Emphasis mine]
In sum, the swine have: (a) continued to pump out FAR TOO MANY GRADUATES for the available number of attorney job openings each year, while (b) lowering admi$$ion “standards” further and (c) raising tuition rates to outrageous levels. What “honorable men and women,” huh?!?! They have been able to do so, because of the federal student loan system. Plus, the ABA cockroaches don’t give a damn about the students.
Other Coverage: On the same day, the Irreverant Lawyer posted an entry, which was entitled “Too many law students and the still unrestrained law school scam.” Check out the following portion:
“Harper, a former big law partner, has like Professor Campos, opined extensively on the same topics, including in his 2013 book, The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis and more recently in his law review article, Bankruptcy and Bad Behavior – The Real Moral Hazard: Law Schools Exploiting Market Dysfunction.
The themes are familiar ones, including the law school market dysfunction and how “Current federal student loan and bankruptcy policies encourage all law school deans to maximize tuition and fill classrooms, regardless of their students’ job prospects upon graduation.”
And as Harper explains, a “law school moral hazard” has been created where having incentives to do so, persons take more and more risks because someone else will bear the burden of those risks. He says this moral hazard has combined “with prelaw students’ unrealistic expectations about their careers to produce enormous debt for a JD degree that, for many graduates, does not even lead to a JD-required job.”
Meantime, as Harper and Campos are so good at reminding, for law schools this just means pay no mind as their beat goes on.” [Emphasis mine]
Steven Harper had a career in Biglaw practice. The man has impressive credentials and accomplishments. He doesn’t need to point out the fact that law school is a scam. Yet, he continues to barbecue the rodents to a crisp. It is nice to see men such as him and Paul Campos shine a light on the cockroaches.
Conclusion: In the final analysis, the law school pigs only care about one thing: getting their filthy hooves on big-ass bags of federal student loan dollars! The fact remains that these “educators”/academic thieves DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about their pupils or recent graduates. These young people are a mean$ to an end. By the way, it should have dawned on you during orientation. If these people love the “honorable profession” so much, then why the hell are they not practicing law for a living?!?!
At this point in time, if you are still considering attending law school – and you have no shot at landing at places such as Yale and Stanford – then you are an ideal candidate for a brain shunt. Each year, ABA-accredited diploma mills KNOWINGLY admit too many students and pump out far too many graduates. Do you want to be another statistic, Stupid? Is it your personal goal to be financially ruined for life, for no good reason?
Posted by Nando at 4:31 AM