Or, maybe the problem is that law schools did promise their applicants a rose garden.
Maybe not in so many words, but there is a lot of commotion these days about what many believe is fudging by law schools on their employment numbers upon their students graduating.
I, myself, have complained for some time on a more anecdotal basis on what I see as blatant law school lying so as to improve their rankings.
For example, I can tell you when my daughter graduated from law school, the famed placement office at the University of Houston Law Center did nothing more than refer her to Martindale.Com to look for a job. They tauted the promise of their placement office going in, and then did nothing either during or at the end of law school to really help, other than their counselors drawing their paychecks (paid for by substantial tuition increases).
Not to long ago I complained in this blog of the president of Saint Mary's University School of Law telling the San Antonio newspapers one thing about its graduates ability to find jobs when opposing the creation of a new public law school, than what the law school was obvious reporting to the LACS.
(On a side note, if law schools are willing to find creative ways to fib about potential employment numbers, they are even more likely to find ways to fib about LSAT scores making the entire ranking process itself a sham).
The ranking process has created, in my mind, a terrible situation in which schools, wishing to compete, spend millions of dollars to fudge up their rankings (thereby causing an unnecessary increase in tuition, as well as student and graduate poverty), and create a kind of culture of lying, which is a remedy passed along to too many of its graduates.
Law schools need to be cheaper in tuition, and they need to be impeccably honest. They need to dedicate themselves to a value education (which includes very much the cheapest cost of obtaining a law degree), and they need to tell U.S. News were to stick their rankings.
1st Tier? 2nd Tier? 4th Tier? No tier? Who cares?
The only thing that matters and should matter is the costs to students to become lawyers and the bar passage rate. In short, are you more likely than not to stay solvent as a result of your education, and you will be able to practice law when you graduate?
So, I recognize and have agonized about the state of our law schools more than most. But, to those that use this as an excuse to say that a legal education is not worthwhile, you are simply wrong. I am equally as tired of seeing posts that suggest that a legal education or the legal profession, as a result, is a sham.
Law school is a valuable and beneficial education, even if you never end up practicing law. My sister, for example, has a law degree and works for the VA.
There are problems, not the least of which are law schools that refuse to accept good students just because they have not mastered the meaningless LSAT. Speaking of NYLS, Cooley and Thomas Jefferson, they provide access to motivated students who want to be lawyers. Did they over promise? Did they promise people a rose garden? Maybe. I do not know. Do they charge too much? That is a problem for most every law school these days. But, Cooley and New York Law School have good bar passage rates, which is a figure that cannot be easily fudged, and Thomas Jefferson competes in the state with the most difficult bar exam to pass.
These schools fill needs.
In law we learn that disclosure is everything, and that is obviously where the problem lies. Law is very much an entrepreneurial profession. Schools have become too much like late night infomercials in regard to selling their benefits. The actual benefits are great. You get a profession and possibly live a rewarding life. You get an opportunity to succeed -- not a guarantee.
Law schools do not necessarily paint too rosy of picture as they emphasize the wrong things. They sell everyone like they will be the upper 10% of the graduates in law school without giving them any of the tools or information to understand the likelihood of the possibility. Let's just say that 90% of all students cannot be in the top 10%. Law schools give too little training to the lower 90% on what it will take for each to start and build their own law practices or other entrepreneurial endeavor. Despite touting clinics, there is very little practical training in law schools.
In the meantime, although it dates me considerably, maybe everyone should listen to Lynn Anderson, below.