Thursday, January 31, 2013

NYT: Law Schools’ Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut

Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
This year's law school applicant pool is 30% smaller than last year's and nearly 40% smaller than in 2010, according to an article in today's The New York Times.  While I can understand the elasticity of demand based on macro-economic considerations, I firmly believe that applicants to all graduate programs, including law schools, must separate their beliefs about employment prospects from their  intellectual and professional passions.

My career has seen much evolution since I graduated from law school, but despite the changing focus and job environment, the intellectual process of law school and the training and refinement it provided remain invaluable to me. While I experienced a very comfortable job environment upon graduation, the economy cratered only a few years after, only to rebound and fall several times thereafter. Applicants to law schools must know that the job market may contain volatility, but also, and perhaps more importantly, that there will always be a need and role for qualified, passionate and intelligent lawyers. That is just as true today as it has always been.  A focus on just the availability of a big corporate law firm job after graduation robs the decision of whether to go to law school of much of its other essential considerations.

That said, we must address the broader issues of the financing and cost of modern American education so that bright students of all economic backgrounds are able to pursue and obtain the highest level and quality of education available anywhere in the world. That availability will define and reinforce America's greatness in the next century. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Senate Approves Sen. Kerry for Secretary of State

Congratulations to Sen. Kerry on his confirmation as our next Secretary of State. He enters service in his new role as the geopolitical situation remains complicated, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. I am hopeful that he will put his significant experience to good use in furtherance of President Obama's foreign policy. Best of luck, Sen. Kerry.