Adding to the criticism of the law school industry is Ben article "Law School Marketing and Legal Ethics," forthcoming in Nebraska. It can be found at the URL below.
Judgment day is coming for our cushy corner of the universe, pushed along by declining enrollments and a J.D. job market that can absorb fewer than 60% of current graduates. While some of the j'accuse polemics may be overwrought and occasionally even unfair, much is deserved. Ben assembles the evidence with care and makes his case.
Here's the abstract:
Law schools have misled prospective students for years about the value of legal education. In some cases, law school officials have engaged in outright deceit, knowingly spreading false information about their schools. More commonly, they have presented statistics—especially those concerning the employment outcomes of law graduates—in ways nearly guaranteed to confuse readers. These deceptions and sharp practices violate the norms of the legal profession, a profession that scrupulously regulates the advertising of legal services. The deceptions also violate ethical rules prohibiting lawyers from engaging in dishonesty, misrepresentation, and deceit.
This article exposes how pitches aimed at prospective students, including the seemingly straightforward recitation of statistics on law school websites, still paint an unduly rosy picture of the legal employment market . Focusing on Rule 8.4(c) of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the article explains that law school officials have exposed themselves to professional discipline, which may offer a solution to the pervasive problem of misleading law school marketing.