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The Am Law School 200 -- Too Many Law Schools?

We've all heard of the Am Law 200. Well now, welcome to a new version:  the Am Law School 200. The Associated Press reports that the American Bar Association last week granted provisional approval to two North Carolina law schools, giving the United States the dubious honor of becoming the first nation in the world with 200 accredited law schools.

Unfortunately, when it comes to law schools, more doesn't necessarily mean better, at least insofar as law students are concerned.  For universities, law schools are a financially attractive proposition, with large classes and limited need to offer financial aid.  But more law schools means more competition for high-paying jobs and more opportunities for students to borrow money to attend.  In fact, the AP story reports that students typically borrow an average of $87,907 to attend private law schools and $57,170 for public schools.

The two most recently accredited law schools are both located in North Carolina, which the article notes has the fewest lawyers per capita of any state.  Of course, with two new law schools, that statistic is likely to change.

By the way, back in May, New York Personal Injury Attorney Eric Turkewitz discussed his home state's plans to add three more state law schools.  While Turkewitz doesn't see a need to increase the number of law schools, he finds value in the New York plan to the extent that it would create new public law schools, with affordable tuition for state residents.  Turkewitz proposes that rather than build new schools, the state might consider converting private schools to public in order to make the law more accessible to talented people of lesser means.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on June 17, 2008 at 03:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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