The Law School Debt Crisis

If fewer federal dollars were streaming into law schools’ coffers and more were directed to fund legal services organizations, the legal profession — and the American legal system as a whole — would be better for it.
Editorial (NATIONAL)

New York Times (NYT)
October 24, 2015

Tags: Access to Justice, Justice for All, Law Students



Perhaps the most galling part of this crisis is the misallocation of resources. Even as law schools are churning out unqualified graduates stuck under hopeless mountains of debt, millions of poor and lower-income Americans remain desperate for quality legal representation.

Public defenders around the country rely on minuscule budgets to handle overwhelming caseloads. In many cases, the lawyers are so overworked that they cannot provide constitutionally adequate representation for criminal defendants. Civil legal services that help people with housing, immigration and workplace issues are even more scarce, with hardly any public support.