The state of legal education in the USA

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Post on 23-Aug-2014

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This is a presentation I gave to the University of Auckland Faculty of Law on May 19, 2014, on the state of legal education in the United States.

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  • The State of Legal Education in the USA Stephen M. Bainbridge William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA 2014 Cameron Visiting Fellow, University of Auckland Faculty of Law 1
  • Legal Employment Before Financial Crisis: Growth Plateaus
  • Demand for Legal Services, 1960 = 1 3 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 1945 1947 1949 1951 1953 1955 1957 1959 1961 1963 1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015 2017 2019 Legal Services as % GNP Federal District Court Filings Per Capita Source: Richard Sander, UCLA
  • Supply of Lawyers versus Demand for Legal Services, 1960-1 4 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 1945 1947 1949 1951 1953 1955 1957 1959 1961 1963 1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015 2017 2019 Legal Services as % GNP US Lawyers Per Capita Model of Licensed Lawyer Per Capita Source: Richard Sander, UCLA
  • The Recent Past: Declining Opportunities The Future Looks Grim Legal Employment: Post 2008 Financial crisis
  • Latest UCLA Data 6 76%
  • Tuition Debt Financial Trouble 7
  • Effect 8
  • Client pushback on costs continues Increasing reliance on non-lawyer legal service providers Paralegals Self-help (e.g., Legalzoom.com) Outsourcing to legal support service companies in low wage English-speaking countries (especially India) Market growing at 30% per year since 2009 Probably a Permanent Shift 9
  • In rough order of probability: 1. More transparency from law schools on employment data 2. More experiential learning a. Clinics b. Simulations c. Externships 3. More online educational opportunities 4. Tuition freezes 5. Reduction in class sizes 6. Reduction in faculty size 7. Reduction in size of law school administrations 8. Law school closures 9. Third year apprenticeship 10. Two year J.D. 11. Three-Three Degrees (3 years undergraduate; three year law school) 12. Making law an undergraduate major Reform 10
  • For More Information 11 Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America Walter Olson Don't Go To Law School (Unless): A Law Professor's Inside Guide to Maximizing Opportunity and Minimizing Risk Paul Campos Failing Law Brian Tamanaha