If you listen to law school deans, you would think training as a lawyer is the greatest thing since sliced bread. 

At least that’s my take away from the Nathan Koppel Wall Street Journal article Best Defense? Seeking a Haven in Law School (19 Mar 09). Koppel quotes law school deans who extol the virtues of legal education and writes:

“School administrators seize on the versatility of a law degree in asserting that [a JD] is still a sound investment. Lawyers, they say, will play a central role in navigating a variety of issues, such as the use of natural resources, cross-border trade and government stimulus spending, which likely will play a central role in the economy for years to come.”

That may be true for some but see Is the Versatility of a Law Degree Just a Myth? (NLJ, Dec 2008) and The Value of a JD and Musings on the Structure of the Legal Market, an e-mail exchange between Doug Cornelius and me.

As I often say in these posts, prove it with data. The NLJ article says “But even in good economic times, the advantage of a juris doctor degree in landing a job in another field may well be overblown.” And as the WSJ article points out, getting a high paying job if you graduate from a lesser law school is no sure thing. Do law school deans have the data to show otherwise, especially in what may be a new, bad economy?