Reading Law") to become a lawyer. So, long story short, the best way to fix law school is by eliminating it as a requirement to sit for the bar, and harkening back to those days when working as an apprentice attorney was enough.
I'm not saying that we must close all law schools down. What I propose is that we allow people to apprentice for a few years, even without pay, then sit for the bar exam. If they pass, spectacular. If they don't, they may have suffered without pay for three years--but at least they didn't pay for thee years of tuition to do it.
And for those students of the law who suffer from delayed adolescence (a/k/a "fear of the real world"), the law schools should be available to "prepare" you for the bar exam. And to that point, the law schools will have to reform vastly to do this very basic task. Currently, you attend law school for 3 years for $120K, then you must pay an additional $3525.00 for a review course or you won't pass on what you learned in law school alone. Oh, you weren't aware? The law review class that you take after law school better prepares you for the bar exam than any of the classes you took in law school. And this is coming from someone who strictly took "bar" classes. I'm sure that you have run across people who "studied by themselves." From what I've seen, those people fail more often than not. So, under my model, to stay open--law schools will have to more closely resemble Barbri. Or even better, you can skip law school all together and just take Barbri and apprentice with someone.
Am I being harsh? I don't think so. When it comes down to it, you're not paying law schools to prepare you for the bar exam--Barbri does that. You aren't paying law schools to help you find a job--they certainly don't do that. You're paying for the experience--which is extremely grueling by the way. I certainly didn't have any fun. Did you? So, that leaves us with paying a law school large sums of money so that you don't have to go out into the world and earn money. My guess is, if capitalism were allowed to reign free, the schools who don't provide the sought after service, a career in the law, will either come down in price or close. The others will improve their programs and produce better attorneys than any apprenticeship program can.
So, if you're so inclined (i.e. idiotic) to pay for law school under my new-if-Angel-ruled-the-world-model, feel free.
In case you were wondering, the "Reading Law" way to becoming an attorney is still available in a handful of states: California, Maine, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming and Washington. Let's reverse the trend of eliminating it as an option and bring it back as the primary way of becoming an attorney.
I have been accused of being a liberal many times. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I believe that there should be as many options as possible for citizens. I believe that the government should not subsidize or provide assistance to students seeking student loans. I believe that the inflation in tuition is a direct result of government programs designed to educate Americans. I believe that banks should bear the risk in lending money to students who choose worthless degrees. And when they loan money to someone with a worthwhile degree, they should charge a substantial amount of interest. Lastly, I believe that all Americans should be entitled to bankruptcy--as it's just as much the creditor's fault as it is the debtors. Both parties should live with the consequences of their foolhardy decisions.
Lastly, I very strongly hold that college education should not be a requirement to finding a professional job, and that college has become the new high school--since high school so ill prepares our youth to enter the work force.
In short, our unique blend of capitalism with socialist infusions of government guaranteed money is more evil and more detrimental than capitalism or socialism, or even communism, alone. All that we have achieved is plenty of welfare for the rich, and nothing comparable for the poor. We will all be masters or wage slaves at the end of the day, choose your path wisely. And try walking your path with a crowd. Makes the trip a bit easier. See you out there for the big protest on October 6, 2011!
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