November 21, 2009
The Law School Shakedown Cruise
Posted by Erik Gerding

I've spend a good chunk of my guest-blogging stint making dismal predictions about the future of law schools. In reply to Usha's post, the first thing I thought about is how these predictions will affect me. I waited a long time to become a law professor, and I'm having a ball. So clouds darkening the horizon are unnerving for many personal reasons too.

I'm also not so sure blogging about the problems in legal education is a great career move for the untenured. To wit, late last Friday afternoon my dean knocks on my door and says "I've just read your blog . . ."

Actually, it was a pleasant conversation and he thinks New Mexico is in relatively the same position that Georgia is. As long as tuition stays in line with students' job prospects, law schools will weather the storm. That's not to say there will be smooth sailing. New Mexico still depends heavily on subsidies from the state legislature. And I am seeing my students face greater competition for New Mexico jobs from out-of-state students.

So, to continue the drinking and nautical metaphors, when the weather turns, it's okay to have a drink, but then we should start planning for the icefield. I'd rather not ride out the storm in the same boat with the prime minister in the old Canadian joke: "he was called to the bar and never came back."

Financial Crisis, Law Schools/Lawyering | Bookmark

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