Law Professors Question Sustainability of Legal Education, Urge Changes

March 8, 2013

Dozens of prominent law professors and deans have urged an American Bar Association panel studying the state of legal education to consider drastic changes to "alter the economics" of law schools, because "legal education cannot continue on the current trajectory." In a letter drafted by a group called "Coalition of Concerned Colleagues," the 67 professors and deans describe the litany of problems facing law schools and their graduates -- rising student debt, a dearth of jobs, and increasing socioeconomic and racial stratification within law schools -- and calls on legal educators to "grapple with these issues before our institutions are reshaped in ways beyond our control."

Among the possible solutions they cite: admitting students to law schools after three undergraduate years, awarding law degrees after two years of law school (and committing the third for electives or internships), diminishing the role of rankings, and expanding Internet-based legal education.

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