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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, December 2, 2013

WSJ: Is Now a Good Time to Apply to Law School?

ApplyingWall Street Journal Law Blog:  To Apply or Not to Apply? That’s a Tough Question, by Jacob Gershman:

As law school class sizes shrink and the legal job market shows signs of life, some industry observers are wondering whether it’s a smart time to apply to law school. It’s a debate that pits optimists against pessimists, both of whom make good points.

University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo proclaims himself squarely in the first camp. ...

For those with a more skeptical outlook, the response to such speculation is that we really don’t know how many and what kind of jobs are going to be out there four years from now. “Changes in the quality of law positions, however, may counterbalance any optimism bias. Staff attorneys, contract attorneys, and document reviewers have replaced many conventional associates,” writes Ms. Merritt on her blog.

Matt Leichter, author of the Law School Tuition Bubble blog, adds another note of caution, writing, “Because of the large backlog of JDs out there, secure jobs and compensation are along way off, even if the number of graduates falls below the number of jobs created annually.”

So is it a good time to consider law school? The jury is still deliberating.

Legal Education | Permalink


Consider waiting until after the legal education price wars have run their course.
For example, University of Iowa Law School had initially proposed reducing nonresident tuition by 16% for 2014-5. The Regents just extended the same percentage reduction to Iowa residents as well. As other schools start matching (or exceeding) Iowa's move, applicants will be able to get better deals for their money.

Note that the Iowa plan would apparently slash revenues by about $1 million. As many schools may find themselves needing to engage in yet deeper rounds of belt-tightening, the discussion surrounding legal education reform will get more interesting.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 4, 2013 3:36:57 PM