“Law professors are among the best paid in the academy, with sparkling credentials, and are sought after not just as leading academic and legal figures but also as public intellectuals, as consultants, and for important state and federal government positions.”

June 10th, 2012

Yet law schools are failing abjectly in multiple ways.

Kindle just auto-delivered Brian Tamanaha’s new book, “Failing Law Schools.”

These parts will be of some interest to me:

In part 1, I reveal how legal educators have utilized regulatory mechanisms time and again to further their own interests. I go on, in part 2, to describe what law professors do and how much we get paid and explain why the practicing bar and judges complain that law professors are out of touch and do a poor job of training lawyers.

What I write in these pages will affront many of my fellow legal educators. I reveal the ways in which we have repeatedly worked our self-interest into accreditation standards, from unnecessarily requiring three years of law school to writing special provisions to boost our compensation. We teach less and get paid more than other professors, and we earn more than most lawyers, yet we still complain about being underpaid relative to lawyers. I question the amount of money that goes into academic research. I challenge the efforts of clinicians to use accreditation standards to get job protection, and I question the economic efficiency of clinical programs. I identify schools that have dismal rates of success among graduates in landing jobs as lawyers, and I identify schools that publish highly unreliable salary numbers. I specify a set of characteristics of law schools that prospective students should be wary of attending. I argue that law schools extract as much money as they can by hiking tuition and enrollment, while leaving students to bear the risk, in the first instance, and taxpayers thereafter. And I propose changes to accreditation standards and the federal loan system that, if enacted, would drastically alter the situation of law schools.