The Week: The Case for Killing Law School (or at Least Making It Shorter), by Matt Bruenig:
Law professors Erwin Chemerinsky and Carrie Menkel-Meadow recently took to the pages of The New York Times to argue against proposed reductions of legal education requirements. They claim that making it easier to become a lawyer "is a terrible idea" that would result in lawyers being poorly trained, not to mention less well-rounded citizens.
Having just wrapped up three years of law school, I can say with some certainty that this is bunk. In reality, reducing barriers to entering the legal profession would probably have very little effect on quality, while also blowing up one of the biggest upper class rackets in our society.
In 2012, the median income for lawyers in this country was around $113,000, more than triple the national median income for all occupations. Why such high pay? In significant part, it's because we have made becoming a lawyer exceedingly difficult, which has the effect of driving up the prices lawyers can charge for their services.
The big scandal in all of this is not that law students are somehow getting a raw deal because of the debt they undertake in their arduous path through the credential gate. It's that the whole system wastes a ton of money that could be spent on more useful things than lining the pockets of lawyers and law professors.
By making it easier to become a lawyer, we could undermine this malicious dynamic. Make law schools two years instead of three. Or better yet: Get rid of law schools altogether and make law an undergraduate degree. Eliminate the bar exam or, if you'd like, make passage of it the only requirement to practice law and get rid of all the rest of the qualifications. One way or another, we should do what it takes to flood the market with legal credentials and drag lawyers down into the pits or financial normality with the rest of the middle class.
This sounds extreme, but it's actually what almost every other profession is like. And they seem to work just fine. Why must lawyers be special? Do they really need more training than professionals in countless other professions? Having just gone through this training myself, I am skeptical, to say the least.
Matt Leichter, ‘Liberal’ Law Grad Thinks Unemployed Law School Debtors Not Poor Enough to Matter:
Matt Bruenig adds himself to the list of liberals who believe that lawyers are cheaters who get a free lunch while in the real world law graduates are joining the unemployment line. The kicker is that Bruenig himself just graduated from Boston University School of Law.