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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Steinbuch Reviews Brian Tamanaha's New Book, Failing Law Schools

FailingRobert Steinbuch (Arkansas-Little Rock) reviews the new book by Brian Tamanaha (Washington U.), Failing Law Schools (University of Chicago Press, 2012) in the National Law Journal:

Tamanaha does not seek to indict law schools. He seeks to reform them — a goal that he has pursued for many years. As a law professor, I find many of his arguments persuasive. ...

Tamanaha offers several reform suggestions, such as allowing schools to have two-year J.D. programs, stripping the ABA of its inappropriate and harmful monopoly over law school accreditation and limiting the maximum federal aid available to law schools — as well as tightening the requirements therefor. Tamanaha speaks truth to law school institutional power and has done so throughout his career.

He names names and identifies schools in a noble effort to tell the story of how legal education arrived at its current position. Failing Law Schools is a must-read for all legal academics, prospective law students and anyone else interested in law schools.

Other reviews of Failing Law Schools:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/08/steinbuch.html

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Comments

Meh. "Failing Law Schools is a must-read for all legal academics, prospective law students and anyone else interested in law schools."

10 other reviews already. It is only a must read if you have been on Mars for the last 5 to 7 years.

Posted by: tax guy | Aug 15, 2012 4:50:59 AM

If Tamanaha thinks law schools are such a scam, why does he keep teaching?

Posted by: michael livingston | Aug 16, 2012 2:31:58 AM

Because Tamanaha doesn't actually believe his own arguments.

This book could have been a law review article or series of blog posts and posted online for free download. More people would read it. And "articles for all" is certainly more consistent with Tamanaha's declared "law school for all" ethos than a book with a pay wall. It's only a book because Tamanaha wants to get paid.

You see, as a law professor, Tamanaha isn't paid enough. So "all legal academics, prospective law students and anyone else interested in law schools" should pay him.

Of course, every other law professor in the country is paid too much.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 16, 2012 6:08:12 AM

"Because Tamanaha doesn't actually believe his own arguments."

On what are you basing this assertion?

Tamanaha will hardly make any money on this book, and anything he does make will be donated.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 17, 2012 7:42:16 PM

A lot of oversimplification in the article. One of the biggest reasons for tuition increases at law schools at public universities is that the amount of state funding. or the lack of it. State law school I went to in the late 1980's state covered 75% of law schools costs, tuition, about 25%. Now the law school gets no funding from the state. This translates into a 300% increase in tuition, even if the school had kept its operating costs fixed for the last 25 years.

The article makes no comparison of tuition increases in law schools versus other advanced degree programs. Is it higher or lower than for other programs.

Also the article does not compare employment rates now versus in the past. Back when I graduated a significant portion of graduates did not go into law, about 20% went into other professions, most of which utilized the legal training but were not "lawyers".

Posted by: Best Law Schools | Aug 31, 2012 12:35:05 AM