As we all know, the legal profession is passing through hard economic times. What is less well known is that some scholars anticipated these hard times, and many others have tried to understand its causes, its underlying dynamics, and the prospects for the future. In 2009 and 2010, there were very few useful academic works on the subject. Now there are dozens of articles. Frankly, this work varies widely in quality, and the answers to the most important questions are still speculative. Nonetheless, this material is very helpful in at least getting a handle on what has happened and what is happening now, and some tools and vocabulary for thinking about the future.
Along with examining economic changes in the legal profession, this seminar will examine the effects of these changes on legal education and the movement for legal education reform—some of which is now having a palpable effect upon legal education here at UCLA.
Each member of this seminar should expect to read a substantive article in preparation for each class; different assignments will be made to different members of the class, and we will discuss over a dozen significant works over the course of our five dinners.
Professor Sander is an economist as well as a law professor, and has been writing about the “market for lawyers” off and on since the beginning of his career.