I do not really know how much rational criticism there is to the creation of Florida Space Coast School of Law. A limited number of law school detractors seem to be dominating Google on the subject. There might be legitimate and rational reasons to oppose the formation of the law school, but all we get online are knee jerk reactions by those who hate the whole of our legal education system.
1. There are already too many lawyers;
2. There are already too many law schools in Florida; and,
3. The name is stupid.
I am not necessarily buying all of it. Well, except for maybe that the name is stupid.
Frankly, there are just not enough details to know the potential good or bad of such a law school. I would posture to say that whether such a law school is a good choice for those applying to law school has nothing to do with the number of attorneys in the country, the number of law schools in Florida, or really the proposed name of the law school.
For example, one of the leaders of this law school movement is from Florida Coastal School of Law, and the organizers keep referring to the the backers as "investors". This makes me think the law school will be for profit. If so, although it does not necessarily have to be (think Google), I would argue that this mitigates against the advantages of the law school as presented. It is just hard to be an "investor" in a for-profit law school, and not try to bilk every law student out of as much money as possible. It is capitalism, baby!
But, from what little is known, the good part is that someone is thinking about starting a law school that cuts costs and typical law school tuition by 30% to 35%. That is, if true, substantial and admirable. It will also do a lot to reform the system.
About 40% of our lawyers will be retiring within the foreseeable future, legal education is a bigger field than some people think and, as a result, there are simply not too many lawyers. Admittedly, our existing law schools have not done enough to make graduates practice ready, and they are terrible in helping to place lawyers in jobs but for Big Law. The overwhelming majority of law jobs are not posted, and they are especially not posted at law schools.
Are there too many law schools in Florida, or too few?
Who cares, it is Florida. Law schools and the practice of law is getting past such regionalities. Besides, we do not have too many law schools so much as we have too few that are dedicated to the right principals.
We have too many law schools lying about their LSAT averages, and the employment rate and earings of their graduates, while at the same time using this data to charge the living daylights out of their students in terms of tuition, which is supported by career-altering student loans.
There is or can be a better way, and it only takes one law school, new or otherwise, which can get ABA approval, to start the trend.
I have said for a long time that law applicants need to throw U.S. News out the window. Ranking systems are detrimental to your financial health. Provided you have options as to which law school to attend, you should choose the law school that is the lowest cost, and which has a good bar passage rate. Lack of debt and the ability to pass the bar should be criteria enough for the law school applicant.
I have personally thought about this for a long time. I would not mind trying to start a basic, low cost law school just to prove it can be done.
Florida Space Coast might be a good thing or a bad thing, but this should not be judged simply because there are people who believe we do not need another law school. We will just have to wait and see.