Thursday, January 31, 2013

And it's only TTThursday!

Steeeerike One

"Avoiding law school in droves" - National Law Journal - January 28, 2013

Steeeerike Two

"Law Schools’ Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut" - NY Times - January 30, 2013

Steeeerike Three

Yer out!

This has been a glorious week for everyone whose business model doesn't depend on scamming law students. Two scambloggers not-easily-dismissed publications pointed out that law school applications have cratered, falling at an increasing rate, with around 54,000 lemmings applying this cycle. It took years, but the general public has finally caught on. To put things in perspective, there are around 45,000 seats at ABA schools, meaning that if you can fog a mirror then you will be accepted at one or more fully-acredited insTTTiTTTuTTTions. I am not kidding in the least.

The ABA must be so proud of itself. Anointed by the Department of Education, it has allowed this "profession" to approach a 1:1 ratio of applicants to seats. Sort of like cosmetology school except cosmetology school is a lot cheaper and state regulators more vigilant. The biggest percentage drop comes from the highest LSAT scores as the best and brightest flee and free up seats for mouthbreathers.

Some of the talking heads interviewed expect some law schools to close and most of the rest to shrink. My opinion is the academy can't bail water fast enough to save itself. It will take exactly one marginal school failing to make applicants and current students realize they need to take financial viability into account in deciding where, or even if, to matriculate. That will lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy where schools perceived as weak in fact become weak and wither and die. The push to lower cost of attendance, likely by eliminating the third year of school, will only magnify the damage. Besides students, some other interested parties will be auditors and creditors. It's hard to borrow money if you're not considered a going concern. Oh, and just like karma, those cross-default clauses are a bitch.

Knowledge is power.

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