Put that coffee down. Coffee's for LLMs-only. You think I'm f***in' with you? I am not f***in' with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Law School. And I'm here on a mission of mercy.
Just got some unsolicited mail the other day. LLM program, yeah, whatever, seen ‘em come, seen ‘em go. Real Estate Law? Hmm…well, more practical than most LLMs, I suppose. So I look closer at the bountiful claims.
Courses take a “transactional approach”? Instructors use “actual real estate forms,” as opposed to “casebooks with appellate decisions”? Students gain an understanding of “business objectives”?
Wow. On paper at least, this is a far cry from “Legal Indeterminanacy in Nietzchean Transgendered Moral Positivism concerning Post-1860 Notions of Property Rights,” or some such “Law and fill-in-the-blank” lecturing. Actual practice-ready materials, with actual people with actual day-to-day legal issues thrown in to boot.
While not all higher education should be of the oh-so-dreaded “vocational” variety, with its plebeian concerns and travails as some would say, having the pendulum swing back the other way a little bit is a welcome change. I view this as an indication that a small mental shift is taking place, given all the negative press, costs, and deplorable outcomes for law graduates. Now, if we could get some of this practicality in the JD program itself…
However, this also smells like teen spirit and desperation – “Be Ready for the Real Estate Industry Rebound!” they proudly proclaim. As law school enrollment drops, LLMs and other revenue drivers are on the rise, and that is what this is actually all about. “What’s it gonna take to earn your LLM-business today?” Not an actual sea change in the mentality and approach of the legal education industry, but an attempt to appear relevant and marketable to new students, freshly-minted JDs and experienced veterans alike, to make up for funding shortfalls.
One reason of many why this is suspect is that the Real Estate Industry in nowhere near rebounding. Ultimately this is a topic for debate in another forum, but all you have to do is look at Bloomberg, ZeroHedge, and the like to see that the “smart money” is already exiting the real estate market in the so-called “recovery,” now that a second real-estate bubble has started to rise. See, for example, here and here. Many economists don’t think we will see actual, fundamental rehabilitation in real estate, commercial or residential, for many, many years, and even then it will continue to be a slow climb.
But hey, a Real Estate LLM sounds legit, right? Get in on the “rebound,” everybody!
As with all things, proceed with extreme caution, especially where Law School is concerned. They have tipped their hand once already, so remember who you are gambling with.