That’s the title of a new article from University of Baltimore Law Professor Richard Bourne, detailing the long slow train wreck that the combination of the rising costs of legal education and the stagnant-to-receding market for legal jobs has engendered. Like any train wreck, it’s not a pretty sight, but it’s one you really shouldn’t turn away from. You’ve probably read it in the pages of this website (and elsewhere) many times before, but it bears repeating again: before you make the decision to attend law school and become a lawyer, you must research the profession thoroughly and realistically. Find out whether it’s a career you would really enjoy pursuing, but also, find out whether it’s a career you can actually afford to pursue.
Bourne’s article is about the second part of that research: can you afford to go to law school? His perspective as a law professor is about how legal education needs to change, but along the way he provides a comprehensive overview of the changes the legal profession and the market for legal services have undergone over the last 30 years. It should be mandatory reading for aspiring attorneys.
The article is set to be published in the Crieghton Law Review later this year, but you can download an unpublished version of it here (PDF).