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Quitting Law School for Cash

Slate.com published an article by a couple of Yale law professors today proposing a unique solution to the problem of law school grads with enormous debt and dwindling job prospects: pay students to quit school.  From the article:

Law schools might analogously offer to rebate half of a student’s first-year tuition if the student opts to quit school at the end of the first year. (If the student has taken out government loans, this rebate would first go to repay this debt.)  A half-tuition rebate splits the loss of an aborted legal career between the school and the student. Each has skin in the game, so students will not go to law school lightly, and law schools will have better incentives not to admit students likely to fail.

It’s actually not a terrible idea.  My only suggestion would be to offer another chance for a rebate after the second year as well.  Since most students expect to work for free during their first-year summer, it’s typically not until the end of the second year that students start to get an idea of what their post-grad job prospects are going to look like.  If a student has a great deal of difficulty securing a paid summer job during their second-year summer, then it is very likely that same student is going to have similar difficulty securing a well-paid post-grad position.   



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