Law Students

Most ABA Law Schools Losing Money
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Paul Campos, of Lawyers, Guns and Money, has done a curious survey of law school revenues – curious in his use of inflated language – and discovered that up to 85 percent of ABA law schools are in fact losing money. Not that they admit it. Campos had to ferret the facts by reviewing schools operating revenue records of tuition and gift income. Mostly, tuition is the thing to watch, and Campos noticed this perplexing pattern: higher ranking means higher tuition, and the higher tuition, the more the school feels the need to spend it to remain competitive.

This pattern naturally leads to a popping of the bubble, the sort of law-school collapse we’ve seen these last few years. Enrollment is down nearly 25 percent since 2010, and tuition the same, and schools have been hiking costs to compensate, a move that government lending has had to go along with, having no choice.


All this leads to is artificially inflating the value of the law degree, which is becoming more pretentious and useless each year, as many JDs have mastered the bar – no easy feat! – only to find themselves underemployed or unemployed completely.

Such patterns of law school mushrooming and collapse, fed by rank obsession, has only intensified the lull in JD hiring. It’s not healthy, it’s not smart, and it’s not working. What we need is a compensation within the schools that answers the market, not that attempts to beat the market by stacking up their sense of importance on mounds of cash.

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