Law schools to the right of them,
Law schools to the left of them,
Law schools in front of them
Volleyed and thunder’d
During the Great Recession and the pre-housing bubble one, no law schools have closed nor have any reduced their faculties. Because of their immunity to economic downturns it is worthwhile to now ask if there are too many law schools. Discussion of the number cannot be separated from the number of lawyers currently in the market, but I’ll work on it anyway. When I first wrote about the Juris Doctor’s alleged flexibility, I crafted a pool analogy, describing it so, “Imagine you’re filling a small pool with a garden hose. The pool is the legal profession; the hose-water is new JDs being added to it.” Adding to that analogy, the hose itself is the legal education system, specifically the number of law schools. Although calculating this relationship is useful, merely looking at the hose’s rate can tell us what to expect to happen to the pool irrespective of its water level. True, there may be areas deficient of legal services (I’m imagining the pool sitting on an incline where some parts overflow while others aren’t full), but no one seriously believes there are zero-zones. Certainly not for long.
The federal system makes it possible to see if some regions are filling quicker than others. Finding legal dry spots will be a goal for this blog. You can even think of it as another ranking system to see which legal markets are easiest to enter. (more…)