Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Lawyers

Much ink has been spilled over whether the legal profession is a monopoly – including some by lawyers themselves – with critics maintaining that barriers to entry serve to insulate attorneys from market forces that other businesses deal with on a regular basis. But, as we all now know, all is not well with the legal profession of late.

Now, the most recent shoe to drop: The number of college graduates taking the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, has dropped precipitously. The number of test-takers has fallen 9.1% since June of last year, and a whopping 33.9% from just four years ago. It’s been more than a decade since the numbers were this low.

The decline certainly can be traced to the fact that prospective lawyers-to-be follow the news and talk to their friends. They know that law school graduates in the past few years have encountered a dismal job market that one critic summed up succinctly: “Law school is too expensive relative to job outcomes.”

This has led to a good deal of soul-searching regarding the future of both lawyering and legal education. That’s a good thing because it never hurts to reassess an industry in a rapidly-changing world. Adapting to market conditions is essential to a free market, even if we’re talking about the legal profession.

Still, there always will be those who complain that there are too many lawyers and too many law schools. But maybe those critics can find some comfort in the fact that the legal profession – like all other professions – is subject to the vagaries of the marketplace after all.

Posted: 7/24/2014 1:11:16 PM by Editor | with 0 comments

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About This Blog

Thanks for stopping by On the Merits, the first blog from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics. On the Merits will take a close look at significant legal stories with an eye toward addressing the legal myths and misconceptions that turn up in news stories, movies, TV programs, websites, anonymous emails and other forms of mass communications. Our goal at On the Merits is to provide readers with a thoughtful examination of what the media and others are saying about the legal profession and to apply the frequently-absent context of how the legal system actually works.

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