Don’t Know Much About Misery . . .

Those who think that lawyers are only interested in taking care of themselves should read the recent report from the American Bar Association on the status of legal education. It’s no secret in the legal profession that the most recent generation of law school graduates have been hit with a perfect storm of steep tuition, high student loans and an economic collapse that likely will change how legal services are delivered forever. 

The ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education is urgently arguing for changes in law school pricing and financing in addition to calling for an increased focus on training lawyers for delivery of legal services, more innovation, and other changes needed to help law schools adapt to a world where many basic legal services in the future may be provided by non-lawyers. 

Says the task force: 

At present, the system faces considerable pressure because of the price many students pay, the large amounts of student debt, consecutive years of sharply falling applications, and dramatic changes, possibly structural, in the jobs available to law graduates. These have resulted in real economic stresses on law schools, damage to career and economic prospects of many recent graduates, and diminished public confidence in the system of legal education. The predicament of so many students and recent graduates who may never procure the sort of employment they anticipated when they enrolled in their law schools has been particularly compelling.

Interestingly, the roster of task force members includes several law school deans, professors and lawyers who have, presumably, built their successful careers on the current system. This report is evidence of something rarely mentioned in the media: There are many judges, lawyers and professors who are motivated not by self-interest but by a genuine concern for the profession itself.  

Posted: 10/23/2013 3:17:48 PM by Editor | with 0 comments

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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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