Law school death spiral

As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Emory law prof Dorothy A. Brown has joined the chorus: "While faculty could be part of the solution to legal education’s woes, we are actually the problem."

Her Washington Post article, "Law schools are in a death spiral. Maybe now they’ll finally change.", contains some great quotes:

  • Law schools are currently in a bidding war for the students with the highest LSATs and GPAs because U.S. News heavily emphasizes those factors in its rankings.
  • poorer law students lose out on scholarships and end up paying full tuition, financed through student loans, subsidizing their richer classmates.
  • While law firms can fire lawyers, law schools cannot cut their largest expense: faculty.
  • Legal scholarship is in a terrible state, with counter-intuitive incentives for faculty. Status comes with publishing, but more publishing means less teaching and interacting with fewer students.
  • very few articles are cited for their ideas.
  • Law schools are run by the faculty for the faculty.
  • In three years, a top law school will close. Then watch how quickly things change.