"Two-Year Law School? Don't Rush the Paper Chase," by Martha C. Nussbaum & Charles Wolf (Bloomberg)
An opinion piece arguing that the University of Chicago Law School curriculum model developed a century ago by political science professor Ernst Freund, where law students do not simply learn practical legal skills but also economics, sociology, political theory and philosophy, is a model that is relevant and should continued to be followed in the face of a push today for a two-year practical curriculum. Nussbaum/Wolf argue that students now arrive at law school shackled in undergraduate debt and law schools were slow to offer financial aid because they were sending students out to remunerative careers. Nussbaum/Wolf claim that law school deans are working hard to raise money for scholarship aid that will help them get ahead of the curve so no law school curriculum adjustment is necessary.
Not to surprisingly, Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund distinguished service professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago and Charles Wolf in a University of Chicago law-school graduate and a shareholder at Vedder Price PC in Chicago.
"OU, Cooley plan helps students earn degree faster," By Diana Dillaber Murray (The Oakland Press)
Money Quote: "[Cooley's Auburn Hills campus Associate Dean John] Nussbaumer said no limit has been put on the number of students who will be accepted under the program [whereby a student spends three years at Oakland University plus three years at Cooley Law School and graduates from both in six years instead of the traditional seven years]."
"Will jobs be there for law school grads? Dean defends Indiana Tech's Plans to Open," by Rebecca S. Green (Journal-Gazette)
Money Quote: "Peter Alexander is tired of explaining it. But the question keeps coming up: Why does Indiana need another law school? Alexander is the dean of the newly created law school at Indiana Tech. And after a new set of statistics came out this month, showing again that there are, perhaps, more lawyers than needed, Alexander was again asked about it. He is adamant: It's not about the number of job openings versus the number of law school graduates. It's about the quality of the law school graduate. And Indiana Tech's new law school will turn out high-quality graduates, making them necessities in any market, he said."
At least this reporter put the Indiana Tech dean's feet to the fire, unlike the reporter in the Cooley piece who basically wrote a puffy ad for the school.
"Student Loans are Big Business for Government," by David Jesse (Detroit Free Press)
Money Quote #1: "The U.S. government projects to make more money off student loans this fiscal year than ExxonMobil, Apple, J.P. Morgan Chase or Fannie Mae made on their respective businesses last year, a new analysis shows."
Money Quote #2: "Jonathon Whaley's loan payments suck out about $750 a month from his bank account. The 25-year-old Grand Rapids resident is paying off both federal and private loans. His private loans charge him 4% interest. His federal loans charge him 7%."
"'Because the government has almost ensured anyone who applies will get the loan they need, schools have been able to drive prices up with no concern as to where funding will come from,' Whaley said. 'With prices skyrocketing, students are taking on way more debt than they can handle but have no other option to compete in the modern economy.'"
"Whaley, a compliance manager/attorney at an investment firm in Grand Rapids, took out about $250,000 in loans to finance his education at the University of Dayton and Ave Maria School of Law."
"'I was lucky to fight through a terrible job market and scrape by enough money to make my loans a burden and not a killer. However, I have dozens of friends who are not so lucky.'"
"'The government needs to remove itself from the student loan industries or else it will continue to destroy my generation.'"
"Faltering Economy in China Dims Job Prospects," by Keith Bradsher and Sue-Lin Wong (New York Times)
Money Quote: "A record seven million students will graduate from universities and colleges across China in the coming weeks, but their job prospects appear bleak -- the latest sign of a troubled Chinese economy....Graduating seniors at all but a few of China's top universities say that very few people they know are finding jobs -- and that those who did receive offers over the winter were seeing them rescinded as the economy has weakened in recent weeks."