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NY Law Dean Responds to Times Critique, Cites ‘Lifelong Value’ of Legal Education

Posted Jul 19, 2011 3:43 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Replying to a Sunday New York Times article on law school economics that obviously hit a nerve, the dean of New York Law School today said that prospective students are not, as the article seemingly implies, "sheep who do not know that we live in challenging economic times."

Many read the Times, writes Dean Richard Matasar in a lengthy response posted on the New York Law School website. Plus, they get realistic advice not only from the law school but from family, friends and others who point out the risk of taking on likely six-figure educational debt, especially given the uncertainty of a challenging legal job market.

But those who opt to attend make an informed decision to go to law school anyway, Matasar says, pointing out that the job one gets immediately after graduating from law school isn't the sole measure of the "lifelong value" of a legal education.

"Legal education," he writes, "provides lifelong skills that give graduates the ability to represent others and help with their problems over a 40- [to] 50-year career—one which gives graduates autonomy and freedom to learn and continue to grow throughout their professional lives."

Hat tip: Above the Law.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com (Sept. 2009): "Was It Worth It? With Debt of Up to $250K, Some Law Grads Are Dubious"

ABAJournal.com (Dec. 2009): "Unable to Find Legal Job, Blogger Posts Bah Humbug Tale on YouTube"

ABAJournal.com (Oct. 2010): "Bleak Job Market and High Debt Isn’t Deterring Would-Be Law School Applicants, Survey Says"

ABAJournal.com (Oct. 2010): "Law Schools Grow as Jobs Shrink, Producing Irate Unemployed Lawyers"

ABAJournal.com (Jan. 2011): "Law School ‘Wonderland’ Stats Show 93% of Grads Employed, Despite 15K BigLaw Job Cuts"

ABAJournal.com (June 2011): "ABA Legal Ed Section to Discuss More Detailed Reporting of Post-Law School Jobs, Salary Data"

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