The New York Times reported on Wednesday that law school applications are nearing a 30-year low, citing high tuition, overwhelming debt, and bleak job opportunities. The Legal Whiteboard reported on Tuesday that Washington & Lee law school has a surplus of applicants in response to its offering a practical curriculum in the final year of law school – including “real client experience” and law firm experience rather than classroom instruction. Both articles recognize that law students are “voting with their feet,” by walking away from the traditional law school curriculum and toward a more practical one.
What does this mean for legal consumers? Perhaps this is the beginning of law school reform, which could translate into legal practices reform in years to come. If so, students will come out of law school with practical experience (much like medical internships and residencies), and will be more able to provide quality and knowledgable legal advice and representation at a reasonable rate.
LPR hopes that this new curriculum takes hold and that all law schools follow suit. Next up, law school classes to teach client-side manner.
- Washington & Lee Is the Biggest Legal Education Story of 2013 (taxprof.typepad.com)
- A novel concept: Law school graduates ready to practice law, and serve as law clerks (judicialclerkreview.wordpress.com)
- Money concerns drive drop in law school applications (staradvertiser.com)
- Law School Applications Crater (abovethelaw.com)