Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Cost Benefit of Law School

It's a bit too late in time that NYT brings this issue up. Does law school pay off your student loans and the time you spend?

The Volokh Conspiracy comments on the NYT article. 

Most people who are insiders in the legal industry will agree on the implications of the NYT article. It should be noted that Japan's law school has turned out to be a failure. Korea introduced law school two years ago. Only a year left for the first graduates of the Korean law schools face the realities. Will they break even on what they spent in law schools? We will see.

Apart from ROI or break-even analysis of law school graduates, the Volokh Conspiracy's comment is worth reading from a different perspective. Does the society need many lawyers? Do people have to go to graduate schools to make the society better?

Often times, this question is out of the question. Does high education level in general promise high per capita GDP? This question is cast by Prof. Ha-Joon Chang, a Cambridge fellow. Higher average education means higher education cost. To make both ends meet, higher education must produce higher GDP. Highly educated people must contribute to the GDP by way of making the intangible social infrastructure better so that other people can make better output even at the same level of labor input.

But in reality highly educated people often times get involved in professions that are not directly linked to such functions, rather they have jobs in areas that mostly contribute to the individual income. It's a question of adequte distribution of resources.

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