The New York Times reported yesterday on the ABA’s “Task Force on the Future of Legal Education.”
I’m not sure why we need a “task force” to tell us that there are too many lawyers and many law schools are too expensive. Why not a “strike team” or an “action group”? Other professions call stuff like this a “conference” or a “meeting.” Lawyers have a task force that will take 2 years to issue recommendations. Couldn’t it be done in, I don’t know, two hours?
Some of the ideas the task force kicked around and my take are as follows:
Reduce law school to two years.
My Take: This will not solve anything. Law schools will just use that as an excuse to keep raising tuition.
College juniors go straight to law school.
My Take: Having
dumber less educated lawyers is not the answer to anything.
Simplify bar exam, relax accreditation standards to allow for more experiential learning.
My Take: Uh? I don’t even know what most of that means.
Establish limited license legal technicians that are glorified paralegals.
My Take: In big law they call these “associates.”
I’m not saying the legal profession doesn’t have its issue–it does. But come on. Have you or a loved one spent any time in a hospital lately? Hospitals leave you with the feeling that outside ICU, the sick would die from neglect if they didn’t have family members present to care for them. And who knows what’s going on in ICU, since family members only get to visit for a few minutes every several hours.
And what about doctors’ offices? Do people really need to sit in a waiting room for an hour so the doctor can prescribe a Z-pack for a sore throat?
But I don’t see talk of changing the way doctors are educated or reforming the health care profession. Why is that? Because the industry remains sufficiently lucrative for everyone to make a buck? As opposed to the legal profession, where law degrees qualify you to be the the most educated delivery guy at Papa Johns.
Rather than focus on educating lawyers, I’d like to see the ABA stay focused on figuring out ways to make resolving disputes more efficient. That’s the big problem with the legal system. It’s not very efficient for the parties.