I guess we all have to find friends somewhere in the debate over the future of legal education. In my case, it is heartening to have Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker come to the same conclusion I have been stating for some time now: the downturn in demand for lawyers is cyclical and will turn upward again.
In the joint blog he maintains with his University of Chicago colleague Judge Richard Posner, Becker notes: “…I am optimistic that the demand for lawyers will pick up again once the American economy returns to long-term growth levels. The US remains a litigious society, and the number of laws and regulations to be litigated are increasing, not decreasing.”
Of course as a transactional lawyer I also know that we live in an increasingly complex economy that requires the skills of transactional lawyers not just litigators and demand for transactional lawyers picks up rapidly when an economic cycle turns up.
The next few years will, nonetheless, be tough for many in the legal field but the doomsayers who predict an end to law school or, absurdly, claim it is a failed institution are missing the larger picture.