Will Some Law Schools Close? | Video

Former law school dean and current law professor Nancy Rapoport, an expert on bankruptcy and ethics, was recently interviewed by Bloomberg News. She discussed whether Congress will make student debt dischargeable, as well as the impact of debt on law students and schools.

Watch her in this 4-minute video, and/or read some quotes from the interview (h/t TaxProf Blog):

Highlight: she tells us that only one person has ever gotten student debt discharged (the borrower was deceased), and, even then, the question was whether the estate would be able to pay it.

On one possible solution to the debt situation:
There has to be some kind of happy medium, and I keep thinking of the show Northern Exposure, where the doctors go into these under-served areas and they work off their debt...if there were a way to work off the debt for the government, maybe that's a compromise, but what's not viable anymore, from any perspective, is going to be people running around, with this kind of debt that will haunt them the rest of their natural lives.

On what this means for law schools:
I expect some of them to close...and the issue's going to be which ones...obviously the top-top are never going to close. There's plenty of demand, and their graduates do get work. But I think for very few schools, where their graduates don't pass the bar, they don't get jobs, at some point people start doing the calculation, "this may not be the right school for me," And without bucks, no bucks, no Buck Rogers, there's no way to run a school without money.

Nancy Rapoport is currently a professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She formerly served as Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law and as Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center.


I've recently written a great deal about the decline in law school applicants and what this means for law schools. See all my posts on recent trends in law school admissions.

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