All things LSAT-and-law-school-related from the past week, for your niche media consumption delight. 🎓💼
Harvard Law professor: “Don’t baby law school applicants”
In response to the recent, controversial New York Times editorial entitled “The Law School Debt Crisis,” Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View columnist and professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard Law School, wrote this opinion in which he argued against what he called the paternalistic idea that law schools should “save” naive, less-qualified college graduates from themselves. According to Feldman, educational institutions should provide opportunity to students on the margins in pursuit of their dreams; writes Feldman, “Not every law school needs to subscribe to the technocratic-elite belief that all its handpicked students are excellent and should therefore be guaranteed success.”
In response to Feldman’s opinion, Slate’s Jordan Weissmann published the not-so-subtly-titled “Harvard Professor Explains Why It’s Totally OK for Law Schools to Suck Money Out of Unqualified Students.” According to Weissmann, “Feldman is very much arguing against a straw man,” because “nobody” has suggested that law schools adopt a minimum LSAT score for admission, or that institutions should have a 100% bar passage rate, but merely that they refrain from keeping themselves in business by saddling “obviously incapable applicants” with $100,000 worth of debt and no job prospects.
Who’s really at fault here?
A little bit of everyone, probably. The American Bar Association should be more rigid in refusing accreditation to schools that do not give graduates satisfactory preparation to pass the Bar or practice law. Law schools need to work with the Bar to publish accurate passage rate information so that students can be fully informed on the quality of school in which they are enrolling; they also need to refrain from admitting students whose applications haven’t demonstrated any likelihood of succeeding academically. Financial institutions should be more rigorous in administering student loans to those who seem clearly unlikely to ever be able to pay them off. Finally, students need to be more thorough in researching the current legal job market and assessing their own academic abilities before making such a significant and impactful (for better or for worse) investment.
But who cares about what law professors, business reporters and test prep experts think? It’s way more entertaining to hear from internet commenters. Here are the most popular ones that Feldman’s piece received:
What are your thoughts on the law school debt issue? Comment below!
Where will it all end? According to Forbes student loan expert Stephen Dash, the implementation of gainful employment rules and simple market forces have already begun to correct the behaviors of law school applicants.