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Why do law schools have an admission quota?

  1. Apr 6, 2012 #1
    It seems to me like every citizen should be able to understand and interpret law, so I don't get why they limit the number of students in law schools. Surely the school administrators would be able to manage an increase in admissions. In other fields, the numbers are set naturally i.e. people leave if unhappy, but law schools seem to feel a need to make a selection prior to entrance.

    Why is that? I don't see how denying entry is beneficial to society. Isn't this contrary to the purpose of law itself? Surely, it's not an artificial limitation so as to adjust offer and demand for the graduating lawyers. They surely aren't that devious!

    Anyway, given the reason for it, why then isn't there a quota in physics, engineering, political science, history, philosophy etc.? Are all these program administrators missing something?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2012 #2

    russ_watters

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    Probably to limit the supply and keep prices up for legal services. Vets do the same thing.
     
  4. Apr 6, 2012 #3
    So then they are an oligopoly!
     
  5. Apr 6, 2012 #4

    D H

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    Where did you get the notion that graduate programs in physics, engineering, etc don't have quotas? Almost all schools have some predetermined notion of the number of applicants who will be accepted. There is an exception to this rule. They're called diploma mills.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2012 #5

    russ_watters

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    I think it is a little more formalized for certain fields, DH. It isn't the schools themselves, but the discipline:
    http://www.upei.ca/registrar/3_prof_degree_dvm

    That's Canada, but the US is the same way. You can't just set up a veterinary diploma mill.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2012 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    If you have classroom space for 100 people, why would you admit 1000?
     
  8. Apr 6, 2012 #7
    Diploma mills are when the school accepts a 2.0 applicant who can pay thousands in tuition.

    Art history undergraduate degrees at small colleges are diploma mills. Please know the difference. Law and vet school applicants can get rejected from average schools who have space and the applicants have 4.0s.
     
  9. Apr 6, 2012 #8
    Because 900 extra tuitions can buy the needed extra space.
     
  10. Apr 6, 2012 #9

    D H

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    No, they can't. That's a whole building, plus a whole new set of teachers and staff. Plus a boatload of students complaining that the vast amounts of money they spent to get that advanced degree was a waste.

    Schools are a limited resource, and so are good students. All those extra 900 students will do is slow down the more qualified 100.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2012 #10
    Or 9 extra schools if you prefer. Then we can see which graduated the slowest students.
     
  12. Apr 7, 2012 #11
    Going to law school is not necessary for obtaining a lay understanding of the law, it is necessary for becoming a lawyer. I am sure that there are several introductory courses at local colleges where one can learn about the law and basic legal philosophy and theory. Basic legal theory may even be taught in some philosophy courses.

    The average person has no need for an advanced education in law, just in case. The average person probably would find much more use in taking automotive maintenance and repair classes yet they still tend to pay someone else to perform even the most simple level maintenance.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/08/opinion/la-oe-greenbaum8-2010jan08
    According to this article the trend is opposite of the the impression the OP might give. It has been a typical joke for as long as I can remember that there are far too many lawyers. Things like "Ambulance chasing" came about because lawyers needed the work. In some states you don't even need to attend law school to become a lawyer, you just have to pass the bar. And in some few still you don't even have to pass the bar.
     
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