Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

November 7, 2012

Law school grads find supply exceeds demand for new lawyers

Erwin Chemerinsky is a noted constitutional law scholar who has devoted his career to legal education. He is also the founding dean of the law school at the University of California at Irvine. Chemerinsky's new school opened in 2009, amid the financial crisis and a related — and perhaps permanent — sharp constriction in the job market for new lawyers.

Though the University of California has four well-established law schools, Chemerinsky says UC-Irvine's program fills an unmet need. Irvine, he says, "puts far more emphasis on preparing students to be lawyers at the highest level of the profession than perhaps other law schools."

To do that, Irvine needed top-flight facilities and professors. Price, seemingly, is no object. UC-Irvine, a public university, offers the second-most-expensive legal education in the country. At more than $77,000 a year including living expenses, a JD from Irvine tops the bill from Harvard, Yale or Stanford. Only the University of California at Berkeley, at almost $78,000, costs more.

Chemerinsky seems untroubled by this, arguing in an interview that Irvine is no more expensive than Stanford or the University of Southern California, really. He highlights the success of his first class of 56 students, which graduated in May. Nearly 80 percent have already found full-time jobs as lawyers. Excellence costs, he says, and, by implication, excellence pays.

"If we are not going to be subsidized by the state" at previous levels, Chemerinsky says, "and we are going to be a top-quality law school, there is not an alternative in terms of what it is going to cost. Everybody wishes it would be less expensive. But there is not a way to do it without compromising quality."

There are a few other recent statistics that Chemerinsky and his colleagues at the nation's law schools might want to bring into sharper focus.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page