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

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Law School Dean's 2014 Predictions for Legal Education

Brooklyn LogoBrooklyn Daily Eagle, BLS Dean Nick Allard Makes 2014 Predictions:

The year 2014 will be a rebound year for law schools, their students and the profession, says Dean Nick Allard of Brooklyn Law School. Here are his predictions:

1. Ten years from now, people will look back at 2014 and say it marked the start of the new world of law: a renaissance where the respect and reputation of lawyers and law schools began to rise by measurable benchmarks.

2. Significantly, in 2014 the ABA will lead the way to restoring the national reputation of law as an honorable, noble profession. ...

3. In 2013 only 11 law schools (including Brooklyn Law School) had more entering students than the previous year. In 2014 there will be more than 20.

4. In 2013 there were nine law schools with two-year JD options, including Brooklyn Law School. In 2014 at least 10 more will adopt some form of accelerated JD option, and in five years more than 50 law schools will offer them.

5. 2014 will be the year law schools begin to attack not only the quality issue - that is the value proposition of a JD -- but also the affordability issue. Law schools will finally begin to attack their irrational and inequitable business model by taking on the heretofore unmentioned elephant in the room, the huge amounts spent on merit scholarships that drive tuition up paid by students who do not receive the scholarships.

6. On the job front, the employment rates reported in 2014 will be substantially higher than in 2013.

(Hat Tip:  Matt Leichter.)

Legal Education | Permalink


Considering the misfortune that OVER HALF of Brooklyn Law School’s graduates don’t find the employment for which they either (1) sacrificed potential earnings, (2) accepted significant quantities of non-dischargable debt, or (3) both, it seems quite clear that Dean Allard’s priorities are misplaced.

Maybe Dean Allard should reprioritize placing students into attorney positions. Rather than finding more ways to expedite Brooklyn’s process of producing graduates (the majority of which would’ve been better off not going to his law school in the first place) through such shameless PR campaigns, he could reprioritize providing education of appropriate duration and rigor to place his students into the careers for which they attend his school in the first place.

Jobs for graduates*. Imagine that!

Until JD supply is dimished to JD demand, the problems will continue. Denying this obvious market condition, and pretending that facilitating JD production through 2-year programs will be beneficial for students is deceptive. If you aren’t placing 50% of your students into quality careers, you don’t deserve to shorten your curriculum and increase output.

It doesn’t take a quality control expert to figure out that when the product (graduates) doesn’t have what it takes to meet expectations (prove themselves to employers as capable of being a net benefit to the firm through the graduate's employment) production SHOULD NOT be increased.

…just my modest suggestion…

* or, say, 50% of graduates, surely that’s reasonable, right?

Posted by: anon | Jan 1, 2014 11:11:47 AM

Allard is living in the twilight zone. Law school grads, as with other professions, are being commoditized en masse. The ABA is doing nothing to restore credibility, and the law school bloodletting has just begun. Until supply and demand achieve equilibrium, this situation will remain the norm, especially with unrealistic faculty salaries and a glut of questionable mid-level administrators eating tuition dollars. We could realistically close twenty percent of the law schools in this nation and still have a surplus of graduates for the jobs available.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 1, 2014 5:33:38 PM

Don't bogart that joint, dude

Posted by: JayGo | Jan 2, 2014 6:13:20 AM

Looks like Brooklyn Law is trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to prospective students.

Posted by: ANTONIO | Jan 2, 2014 4:48:29 PM

Has anyone yet noted just how dismal BLS's employment numbers are in real terms?

100 of 466 graduates in the most recent ABA placement data are in the “Unemployed - Seeking” category. That’s 21.5% of the class, and those are the graduates who haven’t already given up on their job search or taken a retail job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the unemployment rate in the larger economy at 7%. That means that BLS graduates are 3 times more likely to be unemployed than the general population.

The median entrance stats for the Brooklyn Law C/O 2012 were an LSAT of 162 and a GPA of 3.46. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but is the appropriate data).

What does all this mean? BLS is taking 0Ls who are ostensibly non-dummies, and sending them on their way with MASSIVE amounts of debt. Further, BLS is sending them on their way less likely to find employment than if the graduate was to take that job as a barista in the first place.

These folks had options. That they bought the BLS snake oil is sad. That they could have gone elsewhere (considering median entrance statistics) with acceptable placement rates is a travesty. Empirically, BLS is counterproductive to one’s probability of finding employment; both as a practicing attorney, and even as a barista.

TL;DR: “BLS" is to one's resume as a scarlet letter is to 17th-century Salem.

Posted by: anon | Jan 3, 2014 6:01:36 PM