No Golden Egg After Law School

slide0001_image002Tax Law Professor and TaxProf blogger, Paul Caron has compiled recent articles and conference lectures that question the judgement of students who spend $120,000 for an education that provides them with only a 10% chance of getting a return on their investment.  Some are now starting to judge the institutions that deceitfully recruit students to do so.

Some highlights:

Forbes:  The Great College Hoax

By the time they graduated [from law school] in 1995, the couple was $194,000 in debt. They eventually married and each landed a six-figure job. Yet even with Kellum moonlighting, they had to scrounge to come up with $145,000 in loan payments. With interest accruing at up to 12% a year, that whittled away only $21,000 in principal. Their remaining bill: $173,000 and counting.

Kellum and Coultas divorced last year. Each cites their struggle with law school debt as a major source of stress on their marriage. “Two people with this much debt just shouldn’t be together,” Kellum says.

AALS Committee on Research Program (Jan. 9, 2009), Citations, SSRN Downloads, U.S. News, Carnegie, Bar Passage, Careers: Competing Methods of Assessing Law Schools (podcast):

Bill Henderson (Indiana):

  • 25:30: “Employment outcomes do not turn on your U.S. News ranking.”
  • 25:55:  At 50 law schools, 20% of the students are either unemployed, flunked out, or are unknown, yet the ABA and LSAC disavow the use of data to rank law schools.

Richard Matasar (Dean, New York Law School):

  • 1:21:20:  “We should be ashamed of ourselves.  We own our students’ outcomes. We took them. We took their money. We live on their money to pay to come to San Diego. And if they don’t have a good outcome in life, we’re exploiting them. 

Meanwhile, Slate offers some advice on how to avoid the Law-School Debt Trap.


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