Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Law School Bubble Begins to Burst

Ethan Bronner's "Law Schools' Applications Fall as Tuition Rises and Jobs Are Cut" (The New York Times, January 30, 2013) points to why Law Schools are at the bleeding edge of cuts in higher education that seem inevitable in all sectors of the bubble we are in: Law Schools cannot keep afloat by enrolling international students.  As Bronner notes:

The drop in law school applications is unlike what is happening in almost any other graduate or professional training, except perhaps to veterinarians. Medical school applications have been rising steadily for the past decade.  /  Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, said first-time enrollments to master of business degree programs were steady — a 0.8 percent increase among Americans in 2011 after a decade of substantial growth. But growth in first-time foreign student enrollments — 13 percent over the same period — made up the difference, something from which law schools cannot benefit, since foreigners have less interest in American legal training.
Looking to foreign students to keep the money flowing in professional degree programs, however, is like looking to tar sands to keep us supplied with oil: both point up the unsustainable situation in which we find ourselves.  Eventually other countries will build a competing higher education system that will dry up that flow.

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