Some Thoughts on the Future of Legal Education: Why Diversity and Student Wellness Should Matter in a Time of "Crisis"

Kevin R. Johnson
Published in
Buffalo Law Review and Sacramento Lawyer

Some vocal critics have loudly proclaimed that the challenges of law school economics have reached “crisis” proportions. They point to the well-known facts about recent developments in the market for law schools. Law schools have experienced a precipitous drop in applications. The global recession decimated the legal job market. To make matters worse, rising tuition has resulted in increasing debt loads for law graduates.  In light of the changes in the legal marketplace, stabilization of the budgetary picture is currently the first priority of virtually every American law school. Faculty members have been let go. Staffs reduced. Enrollment of students — and the collection of tuition revenues — have critical budgetary consequences.  

This Essay contends that law schools should strive to address the noneconomic as well as the economic problems with modern legal education. In a time of considerable change, this is a most opportune time to consider and implement deep and enduring improvements that benefit students as well as the entire legal profession.

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