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Legal education certainly has its shortcomings, and the job market presents challenges. Nevertheless, I suspect that many people who would like to become lawyers are hesitating to apply to law school because of inaccurate negative propaganda and because of incomplete information. Lots of the employment data is distorted because it falsely assumes that all the good jobs for lawyers require bar passage; in fact, there are lots of great jobs in law and policy-making that are not traditional law practice jobs. More important, prospective law students don't seem to know yet that whatever the tuition and the debtload, that under the new "pay as you earn" loan repayment assistance program, loan payments can be made modest and manageable and a large percentage of the student loans will be forgiven. Just as we need to educate prospective law students that rankings do not equate with educational quality or professional prospects, we need to get the word out that the student loan debtload of graduating law students is no longer the scary monster that it was before the College Cost Reduction and Access Act and the Obama administration's expansion of the loan repayment program.
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Nov 18, 2012