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Kyle McEntee
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Jon, if you can persuade one of those people lawyers to write something for this forum, it will truly enhance the discussion.
@mls, thank you for the correction. I've changed it. My apologies to both Dean O'Brien and Professor Olivas for mixing that up. To answer your questions: - I received a high quality education. - It did not prepare me well enough to practice law. (With the caveat that I can only base this on how I feel now about my ability to represent somebody else's legal interests.) Quality education is not, unfortunately, necessarily synonymous with attorney preparedness. We need to reassess how we define 'quality' and also who gets to define it. That I would not be ready to practice law right away, and that I would need to take a bar prep course, are things I knew going in. But law school is the only option reasonably available to enter the legal profession. So I did it. In my case, I am entering one of the federal hardship programs because I will not be able to service my debts next month. I am more capable for having gone to law school and may not repay all of my principal -- that will depend on what my next 10-25 years look like professionally. But if I repay very little relative to my total debt, given my opportunity costs to go to law school, I probably will come out on top. But does the taxpayer? When dealing with this question, I think it's important to move the discussion from the micro to the macro. It doesn't matter whether some individuals were a good investment for the government. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't. What matters is the aggregate cost to the taxpayer. Presently, the cost of obtaining a legal education is obscene. The consequences go beyond individual cost-benefit analyses. Ability to eventually pay doesn't justify educational costs at these levels.
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Oct 28, 2011