Yesterday, a story from the ABA Journal reported that the McGeorge School of Law had cut its enrollment by 40 percent. That massive sea change was accompanied by staff layoffs at the California school.
Of course, no one course of treatment will be adopted by all the law school patients. A local response to the economic downturn is for an Arizona law school to create its own law firm.
Previously we’ve read about ASU Law School’s plans to launch a firm populated with recent law school graduates. You can read more about it here.
I had mentioned ASU’s initiative back in April. As the law firm gets closer to openings its doors, I’m still wondering what Arizona lawyers think of it.
This past week, one lawyer penned his support for the project in the Arizona Republic. As Mark Briggs opens:
“Something in the legal world is broken. Law schools are creating more lawyers than there are good jobs, and many of these new lawyers have over $100,000 in student-loan debt. It is a tough problem, but ASU is about to try an innovative solution.”
“Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law plans to create an “Alumni Law Group,” which will employ 30 new graduates and will cost approximately $5 million a year to launch. ASU believes it will be self-sufficient in five years.”
“While some have criticized ASU’s plan as merely a ploy to improve the law school’s rankings by boosting its graduates’ employment rates, I think it is a concept well worth trying for several reasons.”
Briggs then offers three reasons he thinks the effort will succeed. And no, it’s not a softball piece; he also critiques what he believes was the law school’s error in being “overly optimistic in admitting far more students than there are jobs in this market.”
You should read his complete op-ed here. And then sound off below with your own viewpoint on the law firm project.Follow @azatty