Sunday, July 28, 2013
Bloomberg Law interviews Stephen M. Sheppard,
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, William H. Enfield Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law:
[F]undamental tenets of the law school reform movement are flat-out wrong.
- Reformers say there are too many law school graduates. Sheppard
says America is producing fewer lawyers than we used to, compared to the
total number of college graduates.
- The cost of legal
education isn't too high, because that's what the market will bear. "I
reject the premise that American law students are too stupid to know the
cost of their degree," he says.
- It's not the fault of
law schools that they produce more graduates than there are jobs. "The
idea that we must have jobs for our students is not only a mistake, it's
a dangerous mistake," he says.
- Criticism of legal
education has become a "self-fulfilling prophecy," scaring away
prospective law students even though they could find good jobs as
attorneys, he says.