Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Flawed Law School Model

I have referenced the law school "scam" and the failed/flawed law school model many times, but now I think I should discuss in further detail what exactly I mean when I reference these.  Here are my thoughts (in no pariclar order of importance). 

Law school does not prepare students to be small business owners.

At orientation, there were many speakers who described the rigors of a legal education, the stress that comes with applying to the Bar, the "many doors" that JD's open, all peppered with jokes about the fancy cars that most lawyers drive. What none of these speakers mentioned is that most attorneys, especially in the current job market, are basically on their own. They did not tell me that career services would not help those students who were ranked below the top 33% of their classes, and would instead tell them they would need to hang out their own shingles. (True story: an unfortunate classmate of mine had a 3.0 GPA, and was ranked just in the middle of the class. She was paying out-of-state tuition, and had racked up $160,000 in loans, when she went to career services for help in finding a job. She was told to hang out her own shingle, even though she had no business training and the law school did not offer a course in operating one's own practice.) I was lucky enough to find a decent-paying job upon graduation, but if I had not, I would have been in the same boat as many of my classmates, forced to run a small business with no training and no idea how to even practice law.