Home > Uncategorized > The Last Psychiatrist: Are Law Schools Lying To Their Applicants?

The Last Psychiatrist: Are Law Schools Lying To Their Applicants?

Why do law schools bother to fake this data?  If it was “80% employed” vs. “90% employed,” who would notice?

They fake it because that pointless data gets handed over to the illusionists at US News along with other pointless data (expenditure per student, library facilities, max bench press) to generate a single overall ranking, which is just the kind of simplistic, pseudoscience objectivity that students, parents, and schools demand…

And now law school graduates are surprised to find they’re unemployed.  Law students had no real measure of their status as an applicant; no reliable descriptor of what kind of a school they went to (short of branding); and no reliable measure of their performance there.  “What do you mean I can’t get hired?”  They think to themselves,  “amn’t I bright? Hard working? Fluent in legal theory?”  And the employers respond, “how the hell would we know that?”…

Though his massive debt is in the first sentence, it isn’t until page 4 that you learn why he’s in debt:

WHEN Mr. Wallerstein started at Thomas Jefferson, he was in no mood for austerity. He borrowed so much that before the start of his first semester he nearly put a down payment on a $350,000 two-bedroom, two-bath condo, figuring that the investment would earn a profit by the time he graduated. …Mr. Wallerstein rented a spacious apartment. He also spent a month studying in the South of France and a month in Prague — all on borrowed money…

“Bank bailouts, company bailouts — I don’t know, we’re the generation of bailouts,” he says in a hallway during a break from his Peak Discovery job. “And like, this debt of mine is just sort of, it’s a little illusory. I feel like at some point, I’ll negotiate it away, or they won’t collect it.”…

While it looks like this is a story about law schools, it is in fact a story about debt– and who’s to blame.  By debt I’m talking American style debt, the kind that Greece and Iceland scooped up like a Komatsu front loader only to discover they couldn’t print money like we can.

So now we have a rewrite:  You’re promised the American dream.  You borrowed against that dream, but now the dream is gone and the debt remains.  Someone’s to blame.  That’s the story of housing in Florida.

Put that way, of course it’s the law schools’/mortgage brokers’ fault…

The lawyer answer: we need more regulation.

If you want one single sentence that summarizes precisely what is wrong with the interpretation of what is wrong with law schools, it’s this one:

Today, American law schools are like factories that no force has the power to slow down — not even the timeless dictates of supply and demand.

If something is immune to the laws of supply and demand, it’s usually because someone deliberately set it up to circumvent those rules…

Law schools can charge anything they want because everyone has enough money to pay for it- today.  As long as there are guaranteed government loans available for this, there is no economic incentive to lower the costs.  And as long as the price is zero, demand will always be infinity.

via The Last Psychiatrist: Are Law Schools Lying To Their Applicants?.

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