Are we getting more value for our buck or is this the price of prestige? The CM Law blog has found a government report that answers the question:
According to law school officials, the move to a more hands-on, resource-intensive approach to legal education and competition among schools for higher rankings appear to be the main factors driving the cost of law school, while ABA accreditation requirements appear to play a minor role. Additionally, officials at public law schools reported that recent decreases in state funding are a contributor to rising tuition at public schools.The report is from the United States Government Accountability Office (and available here as a PDF). The report also focuses heavily on minority access to law school, and the declining presence of African American students:
Since 1994, tuition and fees at law schools and selected professional schools have increased, and trends in minority enrollment have been comparable across types of schools. At law, medical, and dental schools during this time period, Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders increased as a share of enrollment or stayed at about the same level, while African American enrollment declined or stayed at about the same level.The report links the decline in African American students to education disparities, but maybe it has something to do with the declining rate of return of a law degree?