One business seems able to weather any kind of economic climate it finds itself in. What business is it? Law School. The New York Times recently ran an article about the economics of law school. It’s a fascinating article as it highlights the fact that law schools seem to defy economic principles – despite the fact that the job market for law school grads is weakening, law schools are raising their tuition rates. One might suspect that such a scenario would lead to less students applying to and attending law school, but this is not the case. Rather, law schools have shown little problem attracting students, with some schools even raising class sizes. In fact, many law schools are doing so well financially that they pay a “tax” to the university they belong to that serves to subsidize other aspects of the university that are unable to pay for themselves. Many have questioned what responsibilities a law school must have to protect its students – after all, is it ethical to increase the number of students when the job market they face upon graduation is worse than any other time in recent history, all the while charging them more than ever to attend? From the years 1989 to 2009, the cost of tuition has gone up 71 percent for college, while the cost of tuition has gone up 317 percent for law school. Law school rankings and bond rating agencies are listed as two causes for the behavior of law schools as they try to maintain a strong bottom line and gain greater prestige. This all leads to two questions – should law schools be looking out for the best interests of their students, and given the current scenario law school students find themselves in, is it worth it for them to attend?
Source: New York Times