It's Not About Us: Beyond the Job Market Critique of U.S. Law Schools

Publication Date


Document Type



Professor Brian Tamanaha’s recent book, Failing Law Schools, offers a damning critique of U.S. law schools from law students’ economic perspective – especially students at non-elite law schools with diminishing access to corporate law jobs. According to Tamanaha, “the current economic barrier to a legal career is one of the most important social justice issues of our age.” Yet U.S. law schools have bigger problems than the contraction of entry-level hiring by large law firms; and law school faculty, deans, and regulators have duties to other stakeholders, in addition to students. This review criticizes Tamanaha’s analysis, and his prescriptions for reform going forward, as a dangerous diversion from a more ambitious and disruptive critique.