A law degree is no job guarantee
The New York Times - 09/02/2015
To the Editor:
Steven J. Harper unfairly assesses the number of American law students based on employment statistics rather than on the more salient fact that so many Americans cannot afford legal services. No one would say we had an oversupply of medical students if millions of Americans resorted to self-medication and treatment because they could not pay for a doctor. More of our citizens are representing themselves in court on important matters, like divorce, than at any time in recent memory.
Law schools throughout the country are responding with incubator programs aimed at helping law graduates open small law practices to serve clients of modest means. And studies show that a law degree remains a sound investment even if graduates take more time to find a first job or if that first job does not require passing the bar.
Perhaps instead of painting with a broad accusatory brush, Mr. Harper should offer his own solutions for expanding legal services to all. That’s the valuable mission of the many law schools he castigates so cavalierly.
The writer is dean and a professor at Northeastern University School of Law.