This is the height of idiocy, the willful sticking of one’s head in the sand, hoping when they peek out the world will be just as they remembered in the good ‘ol days.
Imagine if you will two horse traders during the the first decade of the 20th century saying, ‘You know, we’re not selling as many horses as we used to because there are just too many horse traders.’ This discussion takes place on a busy street where crowds of people are awed and enthused as they see one or two of these new-fangled contraptions called the automobile weaving in and out between the horse and buggies and pedestrians. The conversation continues, ‘now if we can just shut down those horse dealers who are already in trouble, make it a little harder for them to succeed, regulate them right out of business, we can corner the horse market for ourselves.’ These same horse dealers aren’t paying attention to the fact that using horses as a primary means of transportation is just not cutting it anymore. People want to go further in faster time than any horse can reasonably transport them and without their high maintenance costs.
That’s why this idea put forth through a survey of law schools is so deliberately naive, self-serving and ridiculous that it makes my skin hurt:
65 percent of schools surveyed agree it “would be a good idea if at least a few law schools closed.”
No, we do not have too many law schools. We have too many law schools operating under an antiquated model and that is why we are turning out too many under-educated lawyers who cannot qualify or compete in a changing market. This creates a glut of debt-ladened, disillusioned students ill-equipped to fend for themselves. Closing schools doesn’t solve the problem. It just reduces the number of debt-ladened, disillusioned students still ill-equipped to fend for themselves. Changing the education model and method of delivery of this education will fix the problem. But…these schools want to keep selling horses to people who want and need cars in order to be gainfully employed and the only solution they are presenting is cut down on the horse traders so they can protect themselves with the least amount of effort.
Until they start selling cars, people are going to stay away from law school as a bad bet for their hard earned dollars and valuable time. More and more alternatives for delivering legal services to consumers will infiltrate the market putting further pressure on the existing lawyers who don’t know how to function or price their services in this ever-changing profession causing them to ultimately leave the profession. And the problem will remain unsolved by the law schools. Wake up people. Evolve the law school model to address the education deficit or loosen the regulations for legal education to allow a responsible, innovative response to the educational shortfalls!