The negativity surrounding law school continues to gain steam. Bar exams are erratic, jobs are scarce, debt is sky high. It is to the point where admitting to considering law school will lead to people looking at you as if your dog just passed away. They assume something is clearly not right and they want to help…they just don’t know how.
Enter Dr. Daniel Porterfield, president of Franklin & Marshall College. He maintains, despite an 11% unemployment rate for the class of 2013 and a 36% decrease in law school applicants since 2010, that intelligent and hard working people should still attend law school. What’s more, Porterfield contends our country desperately needs it.
According to Porterfield, democracy requires sound legal principles to operate. Capitalism needs checks and regulations to establish and maintain free trade and reduce monopolies. If we have learned anything from the Ferguson, Missouri protests, it is the nation demands a transparent legal process. Every new advance needs legal regulations. Technology and the Internet pose huge legal implications. As does health care and insurance companies. Smart and capable lawyers are vital to the sustainability and success of a free country based on a democracy.
Legal education also provides opportunity to help oneself and others. Arguably no other form of education could impact as many people. Law school is in need of mentally and emotionally intelligent individuals. Porterfield argues that instead of responding with a “what a shame…” to a bright and talented undergraduate saying she wants to go to law school, we should offer support.
This does not guarantee each and every law student will have an impactful career. Or even end up in the job that was desired. But, as Porterfield posits, who is anyone to squelch the desire of another to study law? The question is, is it worth the potential risk and definite investment?
DON’T MISS: LAW SCHOOLS WITH DECLINING ENROLLMENT