Online JD - University of Hawaii at Manoa

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by sanantone, Jul 30, 2023.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Dustin likes this.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Boy, the ABA went from hating DL to embracing it practically overnight.
    TEKMAN and Dustin like this.
  3. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    That is amazing. I'm less sure how good an idea it is, though.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Right. It has the potential to create too many lawyers. Nothing personal, Nosborne. A few dozen, perhaps, for every available position for a recent law grad.
    Result: "Hey, Barista! Latte 911!"
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2023

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I am waiting for Harvard, Yale, and Columbia offer J.D. or LLB in Law online. :D
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Very expensive it looks like. 1900 per credit for non-HI residents and I can't find the exact number of credits in this JD but assuming it's around 84, that's 156K.

    I considered going to law school as a backdoor to joining the military but decided it was too big a risk for another denial since I wouldn't want to practice law as a civilian.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Economically speaking, there's no such thing. It just means that it will push down the price of legal services. I can live with that.
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    There is. It would consist of a pool of legal professionals who can't find a position in the field they've trained for, at great expense. And those who ARE working in their profession --- they'll charge what they charge. A surplus does economic harm to individuals - and no good to the public.

    What you're claiming will NEVER happen. A surplus of DENTISTS wouldn't reduce charges either. It doesn't reduce the expense of setting up a practice, supplies, paying staff etc. No reason for those in practice to reduce fees. The demand for their services won't necessitate that. Plus, they'd likely be in trouble with their professional associations, if they did.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2023
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Now where is that danged waiter -- guy with glasses, the Law School grad? Oh, there! "Hey, Consigliere! ... Where's my latte!" :)
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2023
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I guess all those economists are just making it up, then.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    That is, newly graduated dentists, wanting to enter an overcrowded field. (I don't think their Professional Association would ever let this happen -- but if they did....)
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No. I think you are. This isn't a glut of cauliflower or used cars. It's people. Protected by a professional association -- i.e the cost of their services is maintained and mandated. In economic terms, price-inelastic. Perhaps artificially, but still.

    How many times have stories of large numbers of law grads who don't get to enter the profession surfaced on DI? Is somebody making those up too? The only people who deny that -- run the Law Schools.
  13. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Economically, supply and demand is straight forward. And that has already happened. The glut of lawyers in the US has kept the starting salary for about 50% of lawyers (the ones who don't get into BigLaw) at $45-65K since 2012 (which, adjusted for inflation is quite the hit):

    On the other hand, a newly minted lawyer who can't find a law job will eventually find themselves working somewhere else to pay their bills. I think Johann raises a good point about the social cost of people training into a profession where there are no jobs, though. At some point, you hit saturation in a market and a cheaper lawyer is still one lawyer too many. Pharmacists are also having the same issue, with the proliferation of private pharmacy schools.
    sideman likes this.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It depends.

    If the supply goes up, the price should come down. But that's IF the supply goes up. If, instead, an increase in graduates does NOT result in an increase in practitioners, then the supply will remain steady, the price will too, and the excess practitioners who can't find a position will have to go elsewhere.

    So, the question is, how hard is it to practice after graduation? Are there limited "slots" one can assume? Or is it wide open for anyone?

    When I decided to become an independent consultant in my 3rd act, I didn't have to get over any significant hurdles. No licensing exam. No serious expenses in start up. I could just do it. (The real expense threat is opportunity cost--what you give up in order to set up and operate a practice). I was just one more consultant out there.

    But if entry into practice is constrained--limited licenses available, huge start-up costs, limited number of jobs (and a limited ability to go into business for one's self), etc.--then the number of practitioners would stay steady even if the number of graduates increased.

    I'm not sure which category the law falls into. Will an increase in graduates also increase the number of practitioners (and, thus, causing the competition to lower prices)? Or does an increase in law graduates simply increase the number of people who cannot get (or create) a job as an attorney?
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Ultimately, everything that involves choices is people. Labor economics is still economics, and like anything else, labor has a price.

    The ABA has historically artificially inflated the cost of legal education and metered entry into the profession by suppressing distance learning, but that's not even close to the same thing as "the cost of their services is maintained and mandated". But if there's an actual statutory price floor for legal services, by all means share it and I'll change my tune.

    There's more to law than Big Law. Not getting the position you wanted at someone else's firm is not at all the same thing as not getting to enter the profession, especially in a profession comprised largely of solo practitioners and small partnerships.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    B-flat is a good key, Steve. There is, in 34 States, anyway. Here:
    I'm talking about graduating - then not being able to enter. No BIG lawyer job. No LITTLE lawyer job. No legal-related job. The stats are out there. These are a bit old, but there are plenty of sources.

    "According to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), only 63% of law graduates from the class of 2015 obtained full time, bar passage required employment.[1] Almost 11% of 2015 graduates were unemployed despite a U.S. unemployment rate of 5%..." Whole thing here:–law_school_employment_in_the_United_States

    I believe that 63% includes anyone who went into sole practice. That's F/T employment, for sure. And, right out of Law School and presumably with school debt, it's hard to start - and hard to sustain. So. one third of the grads found no place as practising lawyers.
    Schools keep churning them out, it'll get worse.

    Sorry it's turning into a "Contradict Steve Foerster day." Wasn't planned that way.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2023
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yeah - it is. You keep the number of lawyers down -- each one has enough work and the demand for service from a limited number is such, that a certain price can be asked - and met. That's basically why the ABA does what it does. Limiting entry ensures steady work for lawyers and good income. The ABA and the State Bar Associations took economics, too.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Economics? Remember when you had to find the "maximum revenue point" using price and demand curves? That's what the professional organizations do. They set prices of members' services and influence the price of school. That helps the profession's total "take" and sets professional entry numbers at a perceived optimum. It's good for their existing members AND the new ones who surmount the barrier. A well-oiled and controlled machine. We don't all necessarily like it, but we should know how it works.
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Not so fast! That's from 1972. Minimum fee schedules were ruled unconstitutional in 1975:

    Your own citation also refers to a study that showed that earning a law degree led to a lifetime income boost of one million dollars. Not too shabby.

    Not at all, my friend, I'm enjoying the debate.

    I suppose we can all agree that being in a cartel is nice work, if you can get it!

    Anyway -- and you'll like this part! -- here's where I'll at least partially concede. You said, "Schools keep churning them out, it'll get worse." That's very true, in the sense of worse for lawyers, especially new ones. And one would normally expect that in that case it would put downward pressure on the price of law school, so that graduates would be in a better position to accept low paying positions in PD offices or non-profit organizations.

    But that pressure assumes a free market, which we don't have either when it comes to providing legal education or paying for legal education, since Title IV finding drives up tuition rates. So even though "too many lawyers" is an opinion, I was discussing it in the context of a free market, and not considering that there's so much market distortion that there are surely more lawyers than there would be otherwise. So I must agree that that supports what you're saying.
    Johann likes this.
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not shabby at all. But what about the 30+ percent of those law grads who can't "get in the game." No million for them -- unless they go to an Android Bootcamp or something.
    Oops. Sorry. Missed that. My bad.
    Thanks, Steve. I appreciate this.

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