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Dean: There's No Oversupply of Lawyers

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Published on Jan 4, 2013

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg Law) -- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be 74,000 new lawyer jobs this decade, while American law schools will produce more than 400,000 graduates. Despite those numbers, "it's not clear to me there's an oversupply problem at all," says Case Western Reserve Law School Dean Lawrence Mitchell. With so many legal needs of the poor going unmet, "finding different paths for people who truly want to be lawyers opens up all sorts of possibilities" for law graduates to find jobs, he maintains.

"We're running a business" that's grown more expensive every year because of clinics and smaller class sizes, he tells Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia. Contrary to popular wisdom, "I don't turn over a big chunk [of law school tuition dollars] to the university, and I'm not teaching 150 kids in a class," he says.

Mitchell wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in late November, taking to task the many critics of legal education. "The attack on law school disregards . . . we're working hard in good faith" to help students find employment, he says. "That's why I schlep all over the country for two months every summer, like Willie Loman, talking to hiring partners at law firms trying to get my kids jobs."

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