The high cost of attending law school amidst a belt-tightening economy raises many questions about the value of a tuition dollar—among them, what does one actually learn for $150,000? A recent story in The New York Times takes up the matter of how practical lawyering is—and, more pointedly, isn’t—taught by full-time academics, and how those costs weigh on students, firms, and in-house legal departments. David Segal, who writes often on the economics of law school for the Times, reports that:
The essential how-tos of daily practice are a subject that many in the faculty know nothing about—by design. One 2010 study of hiring at top-tier law schools since 2000 found that the median amount of practical experience was one year, and that nearly half of faculty members had never practiced law for a single day. If medical schools took the same approach, they’d be filled with professors who had never set foot in a hospital.
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