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Failing Law Schools

ISBN-10: 0226923614
ISBN-13: 9780226923611
Edition: 2012
List price: $25.00 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: On the surface, law schools today are thriving. Enrollments are on the rise, and their resources are often the envy of every other university department. Law professors are among the highest paid and are sought after as public intellectuals,  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 6/15/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 216
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.056
Language: English

On the surface, law schools today are thriving. Enrollments are on the rise, and their resources are often the envy of every other university department. Law professors are among the highest paid and are sought after as public intellectuals, advisors, and government officials. Yet behind the flourishing façade, law schools are failing abjectly. Recent front-page stories have detailed widespread dubious practices, including false reporting of test scores, misleading placement reports, and the fundamental failure to prepare students to enter the profession. Addressing all these problems and more in a ringing critique is renowned legal scholar Brian Z. Tamanaha. Piece by piece, Tamanaha lays out the how and why of the crisis and the likely consequences if the current trend continues. The out-of-pocket cost of obtaining a law degree at many schools now approaches $200,000. The average law school graduate’s debt is around $100,000—the highest it has ever been—while the legal job market is the worst in decades, with the scarce jobs offering starting salaries well below what is needed to handle such a debt load. At the heart of the problem, Tamanaha argues, are the economic demands and competitive pressures on law schools—driven by rankings like those of theU.S. News and World Report. When paired with a lack of regulatory oversight, the work environment of professors, the limited information available to prospective students, and loan-based tuition financing, the result is a system that is fundamentally unsustainable. Growing concern with the crisis in legal education has led to high-profile coverage at theWall Street Journaland theNew York Times,and most expect it soon will also be the topic of contentious congressional debate. Bringing to the table his years of experience from within the legal academy, Tamanaha has provided the perfect resource for assessing what’s wrong with law schools and figuring out how to remedy the situation.

Preface
Acknowledgments
Prologue A Law School in Crisis (Circa 1997)
Temptations of Self-Regulation
The Department of Justice Sues the ABA
Why Is Law School Three Years?
Faculty Fight against Changes in ABA Standards
About Law Professors
Teaching Load Down, Salary Up
The Cost and Consequences of Academic Pursuits
More Professors, More Revenues Needed
The US News Ranking Effect
The Ranking Made Us Do It
Detrimental Developments in Legal Academia
The Broken Economic Model
Rising Tuition, Rising Debt
Why Tuition Has Gone Up So Quickly
Is Law School Worth the Cost?
Warning Signs for Students
Alarms for Law Schools
Going Forward
Epilogue: A Few Last Words
List of Abbreviations
List of Law Schools Referenced
Notes
Index

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