Well, it looks like the scamblogs were wrong.
And it's high time we admit it, frankly. After years and years of railing against the "law school cartel," we need to own up to our decisions and our circumstances. We chose to go to law school. We chose to react to the marketplace as we found it. We chose to complain about circumstances in hindsight, rather than "doing the hard work of working hard." The charade must come to an end, and it has been a long time coming. Time to face the music.
As Brian Leiter notes:
"When a lot of effort and money is invested in an endeavour, but one doesn't get the exact results that one wants, it is natural to blame others - at least for awhile. The Professoriate tried multiple times to engage with the scamblogs forthrightly and honestly, as we have no desire to see a schism develop between graduates and practitioners, one the one hand, and the academic ranks on the other. What is most important is the free exchange of information so that both sides are changed for the better. However, our overtures were rejected.
While we empathize with the plights of some graduates, the scamblogs and other detractors continued to sidestep the basic fact that outcomes are actually quite good, if not ideal, for the majority of graduates. Perhaps some will have to engage in a little delayed gratification, but there are certainly worse fates when everyone makes over $150,000 coming out of law school. But when people have already decided the outcome before coming to the debate, or choose to be ungrateful for the opportunities they have been afforded, little can be accomplished, unfortunately."
Stephen Diamond concurred, stating:
"As applications and LSAT scores continue to rise in the aggregate, law schools are forced to be more and more selective when granting law degrees. While this sounds like an ideal result, one would rather not have to turn people away at the door as it smacks of elitism. At the same time, we counsel students to take a long, hard look at law as a career and a calling, as well as the employment statistics, as we do not want to see disappointed, disaffected law graduates coming out of our institutions. Granted, the outcomes are generally very positive for the majority, but producing too many lawyers who don't want to be lawyers after the fact helps no one and injures society in the long run. The Scamblogs continue to refuse to face facts and thereby dissuade students for the wrong reasons."
Peter Alexander added:
"One 'mistake' that law schools made was lowering tuition in order to make law school more accessible, and Deans and Professors in turn took modest pay cuts and tightened their belts for a time as a show of solidarity. We are acutely aware and concerned about how student loans can affect someone in the long term, although that is more of an theoretical concern given demand for lawyers in the marketplace. However, prior actions generated an unanticipated externality in that demand for law school actually went up, and now many schools are facing the daunting prospect of whether to expand their programs and facilities. It's difficult to be in the position of dissuading people from doing the very thing you endorse, as we want to 'protect' the legal profession, not from diversity as some charge, but from saturation."
Well, there you have it. Demand for lawyers is up, salaries are high, student loans are low, and the Law Schools actively try to limit the rate of lawyer production. The problem isn't "everyone else", it's YOU.
In other news, Happy April Fool's Day, everyone! We'll see you next time - same place, same channel.