July 2, 2013

"The legal profession is 'right-sizing,' and law schools should follow suit."

Argues David Lat, rejecting the alternative of keeping up the present incoming class size by lowering admissions standards. The shrinkage model is painful:
Last week, we heard reports of one law school basically axing its entire junior faculty. All of the untenured professors received notice that their contracts might not be renewed for the 2014-2015 academic year. Ouch.

63 comments:

El Pollo Raylan said...

It was a good run, but it's over.

Nursing schools are expanding.

Nomennovum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nomennovum said...

First thing let's do, let's right size all lawyers.

SteveR said...

Bubbles burst, **it Happens!

Matthew Sablan said...

Let's just sue the law schools; it's like creating demand for your own product!

prairie wind said...

Layoffs happen all the time. The first one is always the worst.

YoungHegelian said...

Thanks to tenure, an academic downsizing like this is going to replicate downsizing in a government environment: all the tenured deadwood will be locked in place, boring their students, with their thumbs safely up their asses until the mortician pries it out. The up & comers among the junior faculty, hungry & working hard to make a name for themselves, will be scattered to the four winds, probably to be lost to the teaching side of the profession forever.

MadisonMan said...

You'd think they'd get rid of the worst teachers, not the youngest.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Last week, we heard reports of one law school basically axing its entire junior faculty.

There should be a contingency plan to ensure continuity. But watch a wave of boomer retirements eat all the seed corn.

Gahrie said...

Oh the humanity!!!!

Somebody has to do something!!!

I know, we'll have the government start a works program, and hire all the extra law school graduates.

Inga said...

Lawyers in private practice have been downsized already.

MadisonMan said...

And wouldn't it be a competitive edge to say that you've axed unproductive faculty, retaining instead the cutting edge ones that know how to teach?

Why go to Tier III University, where tenured professors hired back in the 1990s still wonder what a computer is? Sure you save a couple bucks, but come to Tier II University instead, where all our faculty have entered the 21st century!

Inga said...

Or should I say right sized. The military is doing right sizing also.

Lem said...

I thought it had something to do with cap-sizing... but the term I was thinking is righting.

The act of reversing a capsized vessel is called righting.... not to be confused with strong-arming the right into accepting things they would not otherwise go for.

Lem said...

You'd think they'd get rid of the worst teachers, not the youngest.

In the current climate, that process sounds like it would be riddled with unforeseen foreseen perplexities and complications.

traditionalguy said...

It is ironic that 6 years ago following the sudden loss of business for lawyers many lawyers were quick to send in credentials to land part time teaching gigs at small colleges in Business Law and Criminal Justice classes at night school at adjunct campuses away from the home campus. ( or is that Campii?)

The last gasp of Government Money balloons, as Instapundit points out, has been the Federally guaranteed tuition loans and grants.

Now all Federal Gold goes into the Nationalized Health Service monster appearing everywhere.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

prairie wind said...

Layoffs happen all the time. The first one is always the worst.

Actually, the one in which you get laid off is always the worst.

LarsPorsena said...

Inga said...

Or should I say right sized. The military is doing right sizing also.

7/2/13, 11:56 AM
--------------------------------

Any right-sizing at EPA, IRS, HUD, SBA, OHSA, etc...?

Drago said...

Inga: "Or should I say right sized. The military is doing right sizing also."

What an absurd comment.

Obama is simply doing what Clinton did: cut the military to maximum limit possible (given current political constraints) and spend the money elsewhere.

To "rightsize" the military, you have to identify and categorize all threats and contingencies and then identify the resources required to meet those threats.

That is not happening.

We are shrinking our military while the threats and our obligations remain, at best, constant or, at worst, increasing.

But of course, you have a daughter in the military, or so you claim, thus you are clearly qualified to discuss the "rightsizing" of the military.

LOL

Baron Zemo said...

Finally some good news.

Methadras said...

You couldn't right size enough lawyers out of existence.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The weird thing about law school is the very best students are the ones least inclined to actually practice law.

Kind of makes you wonder what's going on.

Inga said...

More soldiers will face early outs. Army Times

If you were in the military you would've known this Drago.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

hyperlink to army times article"

edutcher said...

Hmmmm....

Inga said...



No, the American military is being gutted, just the way it was the last time the She Devil of the SS supported a Welfare State imposed that broke the country.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Inga- I think you missed Drago's point.

He is not disputing that the army is shrinking. His argument is that right-sizing is not just shrinking the army, but adjusting the size based on the actual needs.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Inga said...

hyperlink to army times article"

7/2/13, 12:27 PM
__________________________________

Any early-outs for any other parts of the Federal Government?

Inga said...

Pentagon May Oust Troops Involuntarily to Meet Reductions in Budget Plan

Peter said...

'prairie wind' said, "Layoffs happen all the time. The first one is always the worst."

In a rational workplace, the first layoff is the easiest- because it gets rid of low performers. It's the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, ... that truly become depressing as it becomes evident that there's just no end in sight. At this point survival will depends more on luck (what you happened to be doing at the moment when the list is compiled, perhaps) than skill and talent.

But (of course) that's a rational workplace. Law schools will probably just go by rank. Even though it can take a whole busfull of low-ranked faculty to equal the cost of a single tenured-but-burned-out one.

Something to keep in mind: there's always a market for good plumbers.

Lem said...

Inga has learned to link everybody!

Congratulations Inga.

Now that you are linking, I want to warn you about knowing when to say when, whenever you want to link too much and you don't know when to stop, just remember what happened to Dante at The Garlic Harvest Cafe ;)

ken in sc said...

I was in the last draw-down of the military. Fortunately for me I was eligible for full retirement. Some people were not. They were screwed, and not in a good way.

Lem said...

Link responsibly.

elkh1 said...

Law schools should double their efforts to push politicians to pass gigantuan laws that nobody understands, like Obamacare and Rubionesty so everyone must sue everyone else to get to the gist of the law. With those suing back and forth, appeals back and forth, to the Supremes, remand to the lowest court, back and forth,... We'll need more new law schools to supply the demand for all the lawyering.

Inga said...

Lem, I learned to link two years ago, why haven't you noticed I use hyperlinks most every time I link? Wake up!

edutcher said...

Ha!

cubanbob said...

What needs right-sizing is the federal government starting with welfare.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

They should be getting rid of tenured professors. You know, the ones scamming the taxpayers to give out worthless degrees to students who will never be able to pay back their loans.

Maybe they could start with that in Madison. Tenure is forever until it isn't.

FleetUSA said...

Actually, it would be better if all the faculty felt the pain equally. Especially those over 60.

deborah said...

I read somewhere, maybe Althouse posted it, that in some place tenure is already being revoked.

ironrailsironweights said...

I'm happy that people are finally getting the message and are staying away from law schools. Normally, the "I'm a special snowflake - nothing bad will ever happen to me!" syndrome would keep the law schools packed no matter how dismal the job prospects. Somehow, things have changed.

Peter

Robert Cook said...

"We are shrinking our military while the threats and our obligations remain, at best, constant or, at worst, increasing."

What threats and obligations are those, and how are they remaining contant or increasing?

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "What threats and obligations are those, and how are they remaining contant or increasing?"

Well, that's just it isn't it?

In 1930's Britain there was an entire political party who didn't think those Nazi's were really serious, thus the British military wasn't exactly "ready" when the inevitable happens.

But, back to your question specifically, there are threats that you and I might be aware of due to the news reports and there are threats beyond that as well.

Further, it is highly unlikely that you and I will agree as to what constitutes a threat.

Even if we did agree on a "real" or "emerging" threat, that doesn't mean we would agree on the prescription for how to deal with it.

We could probably spend a significant amount of time talking about "threats" and capabilities on the national level related to our geopolitical interests (i.e., what are China's long term objectives with Taiwan and establishing seapower and aerial superiority/supremacy in that sphere) all the way down to "massively" asymmetric threats like a "MANPAD" in the hands of terrorist sitting at the end of the runway in Newark.

The list is just about endless.

One of the more fascinating times in my career was reviewing previous threat assessments going back along way with the benefit of hindsight to see how accurate the predictions/prescriptions were.

One observation that leaps out: Western nations universally underestimate or "refuse to recognize" emerging threats.

This makes sense since it's difficult to for politicians to convince free peoples to "sacrifice" for the possibility of something "bad" happening down the road.

This is human nature.

Strelnikov said...

When our class was being sworn in, we were listening to an old fart atty drone on and on. When he started to comment that some wanted to close the door because there might be too many lawyers, my friend John leaned over to me and whispered, "I'd like to push some of these of guys out the back."

Drago said...

Inga: "If you were in the military you would've known this Drago."

LOL

Inga gets it all wrong again.

Inigo Montoya: "Inga, you keep using this word "right-sizing". I do not think it means what you think it means."

Ignorance is Bliss: " His argument is that right-sizing is not just shrinking the army, but adjusting the size based on the actual needs."

Precisely.

Drago said...

Of course, Inga would have known this had she ever served in the military.

Inga said...

OK, I'm going to do an Edutcher here.... "no, you are wrong and I am right."

Drago said...

Inga: "OK, I'm going to do an Edutcher here.... "no, you are wrong and I am right."

You are clearly wrong.

Obama is downsizing the military.

The military brass and associated civilian leadership have identified the reductions necessary to meet budget requirements.

"Budget requirements".

Not "rightsizing" which requires a mapping of required resources to meet identified and emerging threats.

You are an ignoramus.

But because your daughter (if that daughter exists) is in the military, you think that somehow bestows knowledge upon you.

It doesn't.

But I really love how you were the first one to lob out the "if you were in the military you would know that" line....to me...someone with over 20 years of service.

But that just makes you a chock-a-block, run of the mill, standard issue lefty.

Inga said...

Another one of Edutcher's sons. Sweet.LMAO!

Inga said...

"But I really love how you were the first one to lob out the "if you were in the military you would know that" line....to me...someone with over 20 years of service."

7/2/13, 4:31 PM

So you CLAIM.

Inga said...

Another thought about WHO should be commenting on certain subjects here. You seem upset every time I comment on the military. It pisses me off too when males who don't have any experience with uteri, comment on women's issues. See how that works?

Marshal said...

Inga said...
Another thought about WHO should be commenting on certain subjects here. You seem upset every time I comment on the military. It pisses me off too when males who don't have any experience with uteri, comment on women's issues. See how that works?


So people without guns should not comment on gun policy? Childbirth and abortion effect everyone. This is just an attempt to delegitimize opinion rather than debate it.

Drago said...

Inga: "Another thought about WHO should be commenting on certain subjects here. You seem upset every time I comment on the military."

False.

Hilariously so.

But I guess you need that false assertion (based on your "feelings") to set up your next laughable line.

Inga: "It pisses me off too when males who don't have any experience with uteri, comment on women's issues. See how that works?"

LOL

"That" doesn't work.

Like your military assertions.

Drago said...

Early Inga: "If you were in the military you would've known this Drago."
7/2/13, 12:25 PM

Drago: "But I really love how you were the first one to lob out the "if you were in the military you would know that" line....to me...someone with over 20 years of service."


Later Inga: "So you CLAIM."
7/2/13, 5:30 PM

Inga never fails to fail.

Drago said...

Inga, you would have a lot more credibility if you didn't post multiple links to "downsizing" reports as opposed to reports that link requirements to resourcing, "rightsizing".

Well, who am I kidding.

No you wouldn't.

Inga said...

Drago, I can play the same game you are. Next time you DARE comment on a woman's issue, I will call you out on it, be assured.

Perhaps I will say, "Just because he has a wife, he thinks he knows something about women's issues". Do you see how that works?

Icepick said...

Is this where we're supposed to yammer about the Zimmerman trial?

Icepick said...

Or are we taking the day off?

Icepick said...

I mean, come on, we have an INSTAGRAM almost completely unrelated to the case to bitch and moan about!

El Pollo Raylan said...

Inga chides: Perhaps I will say, "Just because he has a wife, he thinks he knows something about women's issues". Do you see how that works?

I wouldn't recommend that as the logic will cut two ways and disqualify you from many topics. Oh and I believe men have a genetic stake in what implants in utero and so should have a say.

Inga said...

So, it's OK for Drago or other veterans to say I should not comment on military issues because I was never in the military? But I should not tell them that they should not comment on women's issues because they don't have a uterus?

Do you see the issue here? If I can't comment on a military issue without some dope telling me "she thinks she can comment on a military issue because she has a daughter in the military", it's only fair that I tell them "they think that they can comment on a women's issue, just because hey have a wife", or because "men have genetic implants in a woman's uterus"?

Nope it doesn't work that way, that's a double standard I won't tolerate. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Nope it doesn't work that way, that's a double standard I won't tolerate. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.

I don't care about your feud with Drago, Inga. And I'm not saying you can't comment on military matters. But the canard in the coal mine about excluding men from discussing abortion is an old feminist weapon used against all men by some women intended to suffocate discussion. So I reject it on those grounds.

Inga said...

Fine, reject it on those grounds, but I will remind those male jerks who continually say I have no right to speak on military issues, that they have no right to speak on women's issues.

I'm not trying to suffocate discussion, I'm trying to teach a lesson in fairness, which no doubt some will fail.