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Profiles American law schools and offers statistics on each, including degree requirements, costs, and placement services, along with information on taking and preparing for the LSAT, choosing a law school, completing applications, and professional options.
On the surface, law schools today are thriving. Enrollments are on the rise, and their resources are often the envy of every other university department. Law professors are among the highest paid and play key roles as public intellectuals, advisers, and government officials. Yet behind the flourishing facade, law schools are failing abjectly. Recent front-page stories have detailed widespread dubious practices, including false reporting of LSAT and GPA scores, misleading placement reports, and the fundamental failure to prepare graduates to enter the profession. Addressing all these problems and more in a ringing critique is renowned legal scholar Brian Z. Tamanaha. Piece by piece, Tamanaha lays out the how and why of the crisis and the likely consequences if the current trend continues. The out-of-pocket cost of obtaining a law degree at many schools now approaches $200,000. The average law school graduate’s debt is around $100,000—the highest it has ever been—while the legal job market is the worst in decades, with the scarce jobs offering starting salaries well below what is needed to handle such a debt load. At the heart of the problem, Tamanaha argues, are the economic demands and competitive pressures on law schools—driven by competition over U.S. News and World Report ranking. When paired with a lack of regulatory oversight, the work environment of professors, the limited information available to prospective students, and loan-based tuition financing, the result is a system that is fundamentally unsustainable. Growing concern with the crisis in legal education has led to high-profile coverage in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and many observers expect it soon will be the focus of congressional scrutiny. Bringing to the table his years of experience from within the legal academy, Tamanaha has provided the perfect resource for assessing what’s wrong with law schools and figuring out how to fix them.
The most authoritative guide for law students-now revised and updated. Richard Montauk, an administrations insider and lawyer, demystifies the law school application process and provides the tools to ace every step along the way. Based on (and including) exclusive interviews with admissions officers, Montauk delivers a candid view of what leading law schools look for in an applicant. He also gives applicants solid advice on developing marketing strategies, writing winning essays, maximizing financial aid, and updating credentials to better match that ideal profile.
While emphasizing that lawyers fulfill a vital but often misunderstood public function in society, The American Legal Profession: The Myths and Realities of Practicing Law by Christopher P. Banks dispels some of the common misconceptions about the legal profession to show that the reality of being a lawyer is much different from what many students believe it to be. Many students know little about what law school is like or how it differs from undergraduate study, and this book corrects common myths about graduating law school and life after passing the bar. This brief primer is a nuts-and-bolts analysis of what it is really like to go into the legal profession, from start to finish, giving students considering a career in law a realistic overview of their potential legal careers.

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