June 03, 2005

Summer, When Rising 2Ls' Thoughts

by PG

... turn to class selection. And this article, which I seem to be the only blogger to have missed when it first came out, is beginning to seem less a tale of absurd extremity by those silly NYU folks, and more like something that could happen at any law school. One point that wasn't covered in the piece, perhaps because it was not applicable to the particular courses for which Jay Wilson bid, is the stampede for courses deemed necessary to particular career routes. For example, I've heard Federal Courts is a quasi-requirement for a federal clerkship, which in turn can lead to hefty bonuses at some firms. So a student bidding for courses that eventually will reap him financial rewards is investing not only in his ivory tower education, but also in his future earnings.

This reminds me of something I read when I was taking a lot of interest in the Match (medical students into residency programs): certain specialties pay so well once one enters practice, that students would be willing to pay for slots in those residency programs. One may make a similar observation of law school admissions; graduating from certain schools, even if one didn't do very well, guarantees a job and so students are willing to pay very high fees for that diploma.

Of course, the residency programs select on the basis of grades and scores, not on students' bribery, and ditto for law schools, but the less noble level at which education is an "investment in yourself" does evidence itself. People who consciously choose to attend their state schools instead of higher-ranked but more-expensive private ones often cite the desire to avoid incurring so much debt and thereby being pressured into highly paid but unfulfilling work.

June 3, 2005 12:21 AM | TrackBack
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