Why The 'Law School Bubble' Is Worse Than The Mortgage Crisis

Paul Campos

Photo: Courtesy Paul Campos

Paul Campos acknowledges a certain “tension” between his dual roles as law professor and author of the blog “Inside the Law School Scam.”“Of course I feel conflicted,” Campos told Business Insider. “I should emphasise that when I started as a law professor [in 1990] it cost literally $3,000 to go to law school.”

My, how things have changed.

Tuition at University of Colorado where Campos teaches has climbed to $32,000 a year. Costs have risen even higher at elite universities, while the job outlook for most law school grads remains bleak.

Campos – whose book “Don’t Go To Law School (Unless)” comes out this week – says tuition has climbed so much because the government issues massive, unsecured loans to practically anybody who gets in.

At least during the mortgage crisis, borrowers who had taken out huge loans had houses that had inherent value, Campos says. Not so for unemployed law grads, who can’t even get rid of student debt in bankruptcy.

“We’re creating this indentured class of people,” he said.

As a law professor, Campos doesn’t think it’s his job to sell students on law school and will give them his honest opinion when asked about whether they should drop out.

If students find themselves in the middle of the class and don’t have much scholarship money, they should consider dropping out before they take out more loans, Campos said.

“The amount of debt that you’re likely to incur given what your job prospects might be adds up to an equation that doesn’t make sense,” he said.

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