A very cool idea from a couple of Yale law professors: Along with being totally candid with applicants about LSAT scores, grades, passing the bar, getting a job in a terrible legal market, and of course your school’s prestige or lack of same, and the effect of this on employment prospects, all law schools should “offer to pay off part of their first-years’ loans should these students realize that their prospects of successful legal careers are slim.”

Disapproving Yale professors fret about how the school would afford this idea. Yale’s endowment sputters along at around twenty billion – a big fat nothing compared to Harvard’s almost forty billion. They also think it would encourage students to drop out. They also fear it would lower their salaries.

None of the other professors says this last thing, of course. About salaries. But people who are still pulling down $300,000 or so in the worst market for their students in years have got to be keeping an anxious eye on the bottom line.

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8 Responses to “‘If schools are providing their students with a quality education, Ayres said, they should have nothing to fear in offering to cover part of their students’ loans should these students decide to quit.’”

  1. Mr Punch Says:

    Last time I looked, Yale’s endowment per student was more than Harvard’s – nothing like Princeton’s of course, but still ….

    Actually, a great part of the issue for (the better) law schools is that the legal profession has changed much faster than any professional school ever could — in effect a complete revolution in career paths within large law firms (where most Yale grads go) within about five years.

  2. david foster Says:

    What would be the logic, if any, for this applying only to law schools, rather than professionally-oriented programs (computer science, engineering, business, etc) in general??

  3. Shane Street Says:

    Why limit the scrutiny to professionally-oriented programs?

  4. GTWMA Says:

    Shane, you just made a lot of English and Psychology Department Heads suffer strokes.

  5. Shane Street Says:

    GTWMA: Qui? Moi? Farthest thing from my mind…
    Meanwhile, I hear Elizabeth Warren is making good bank while fighting The Man from Harvard.

  6. GTWMA Says:



    I agree that if we are going to go down that path, we ought to go the full measure. But, I’ve always believed a university education is about much more than getting a job. It’s about becoming a better person.

  7. Shane Street Says:

    UC system students are floating a plan where they would pay no tuition but some percent of their income after graduation for some period of time. Would have to find a link…..it’s interesting, and I thnk the economics could work in such a way as to make even state schools essentially independent of state funding.

  8. GTWMA Says:

    I think that’s a much better idea than some I’ve seen.

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