Frontline echoes The Legal Satyricon

By J. DeVoy

For several years, this blog has been shrieking about the utter worthlessness of higher education — or at least that its purported benefits are oversold.  Finally, the mainstream media has begun to notice.  Tuesday’s Frontline episode, College Inc., was no exception.

The upshot: For-profit colleges enroll 10% of all students.  Yet they receive 25% of all Federal aid – subsidized by you, the taxpayer – and their graduates are responsible for 44% of all student loan defaults.

This issue is creeping into the legal academy as well.  Florida Coastal Law School – which curiously promotes “tradition” on its website despite being in existence only since 1996 – is owned by the for-profit InfiLaw group, which establishes law schools across the country.  Realistically, these schools do not offer their students the prospects they envision.  We at the Legal Satyricon come from all walks of life and education, and we’re not playing the elitism card here — just calling it as we see it.

4 Responses to Frontline echoes The Legal Satyricon

  1. Skepticalinq says:

    I had no idea anything like this was happening on a post-graduate level. I have noticed, however, the troubling trend of schools formerly know as secretarial schools & trade schools (student loan mills) getting accredited as “colleges” and even “universities” thus qualifying for even more govt funded financial aid for their students. That has lead to stories like this one:

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/05/drake_college_to_stop_recruiti.html

  2. “Realistically, these schools do not offer their students the prospects they envision.”

    Not sure what you mean by this.

    One thing I’ve learned in my practice is that the law school makes very little difference.

    While I’m sure there’s a big difference between your average HLS student and your average fourth-tier law school student, I have met outstanding lawyers from “terrible” schools and (at least one) middling lawyer from Harvard.

    Many of the best lawyers I know attended fly-by-night law schools.

    Your law school education really has very little bearing on actual practice – 99% of everything you need to know is learned on the job.

    Just food for thought.

    • J DeVoy says:

      I agree with you about the attorneys these schools produce. I don’t see there being any dispute, however, that Harvard helps its students lead the careers they desire by virtue of its placements in private practice, clerkships and academia. Starting position matters and is something independent of one’s skill as a lawyer, as new attorneys have no skills or legal experience. That’s why I chose the words “the prospects they envision,” rather than “the opportunity to become good lawyers.”

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