Paul L. Caron

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Brooklyn Dean:  Donald Trump Is Causing A Legal Education Renaissance, Just As Woodward & Bernstein Inspired A Generation To Pursue Journalism Careers


Following up on my previous posts (links below):  The Hill op-ed:  An Unexpected Trump Effect: Lawyer as Hero, by Nicholas W. Allard (Brooklyn):

Almost single handedly, President Trump has made lawyers the breakout stars in the early days of his new administration.

Legal experts in immigration and refugee law, international trade, religious freedom, and the constitutional powers of the executive branch have, seemingly overnight, become regular guests on network and cable news, quoted on front pages of national newspapers, and gained thousands of followers on social media.

Law schools can seize this moment and, like the generation inspired by Woodward and Bernstein to pursue careers in journalism, lead the renaissance in legal education that would revive a profession in need of an injection of youth, idealism, and high-tech savvy.

Lawyers are playing a central role in this grand national civics class that we have been called to attend. With in-depth legal knowledge and an encyclopedic sense of history, these men and women — judges, law practitioners, scholars, and law students — have raised our collective consciousness (with the help of musical theater’s Alexander Hamilton) about the important role lawyers and the law have played in the founding of our nation and the ongoing stability of our system conferred by the adherence to the rule of law. ...

Since the 2008 financial crisis, law schools have taken a hit in applications, and the numbers of students choosing to study law decreased dramatically. But at Brooklyn Law School last year we started to see a significant uptick in applications — an increase of more than 12 percent over the previous year — and we are on pace to exceed that this year. ...

Law schools must seize this opportunity to trumpet the good news that, just as lawyers were instrumental in our nation’s beginnings, they are absolutely essential today to the defense of our rights, the pursuit of justice, and the preservation of our Republic.

(Hat Tip:  Rebecca Kysar.)  Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

Update:  Above the Law, Law Dean Sees Opportunity in Rising Popularity of Lawyers, Thanks to Donald Trump

Legal Education | Permalink


We should also recall that Steve Bannon, the chief political strategist behind the immigration ban, is a Harvard Law School trained lawyer. Lawyers are deeply involved in creating Trumpism.

Posted by: gary minda | Feb 26, 2017 10:31:46 AM

A few celebrity wannabe lawyers appear on TV and suddenly the profession has a new lease on life. Sorry, I don't buy that. Most law has nothing to do with that.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Feb 25, 2017 2:51:15 PM

Because what the legal profession needs is more people in it.

I am glad all those unemployed lawyers from a few years (and now) have plenty of jobs to choose from

Posted by: momo | Feb 25, 2017 11:37:03 AM

Good for Trump for getting qualified students to apply to law school. It's not like corrupt law schools and deans stealing money from unqualified candidates were able to do so.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 25, 2017 8:30:53 AM

Heh. Meanwhile in reality, from

"Right-leaning policy thinkers push agenda to simplify loan system, inject bigger role for private lenders... But instead of a return to FFEL, they propose curtailing that government role by eliminating the Grad PLUS and Parent PLUS loan programs, two uncapped federal lending programs....Groups like Heritage argue that the availability of government financing for higher education through programs like PLUS is actually driving increases in college tuition -- an example of the so-called Bennett hypothesis. Private lenders, Burke said, would also be able to differentiate interest rates depending on a student’s planned major or course of study if the law was changed to permit that."

Yes, I'm sure law school applications will continue climbing when we revert back to the "This $70k/year legal education will be financed by $20k/year Graduate Staffords + $50k/year in private loans, which have no income-based repayment options and the availability of deferral/forbearance is mostly at the mercy of the lender." I mean, who wouldn't want to make $2000 or $2500 monthly aftertax student loan payments on a $40k small firm, PD, ADA, non-profit, etc. salary? Heck, how manageable is that kind of payment even on the ~$63k NALP median starting salary? For that matter, legal educators, what would you tell your low-SES, sticker-paying students to do the academic year following the repeal of GradPLUS?

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Feb 25, 2017 8:03:21 AM