One reason schools are sticking with a familiar playbook: "It's a cost-effective method of education," Mr. Chemerinsky said. "Putting one professor in front of a large group of students is very efficient." Clinical classes and simulations, which require low student-to-faculty ratios, cost more, he said.Chemerinsky made a funny. No report of the volume of the laughter in the room.
Because his own law school wasn't bound by decades of tradition, Mr. Chemerinsky said, he and the founding faculty members were able to do some things differently, like stressing hands-on, interdisciplinary study across all three years.
Asked by an audience member how the school could afford to do that, he answered, "It starts with having to charge ridiculous levels of tuition."
Nothing like using other people's money to play out your expansive, innovative ideas. Except clinics and simulations are very old ideas. Cf. "high-speed" rail.
God forbid we should do what's "cost-effective."
By the way, what is "hands-on, interdisciplinary study"? Do we get to fondle a sociologist?
You know what I would love in a new school — one that "wasn't bound by decades of tradition"? A deliberate decision to embrace tradition. Let's get a bunch of tough Socratic lawprofs in front of a classroom of students. And that's it. Perfectly cost-effective. You can save money on admissions too by going old-school. Make it an old-fashioned GPA/LSAT meritocracy (and flunk them out if they don't perform).
If you're a prospective law student, do you want to go to my new traditionalist school or to Chemerinsky's place? Is that because the tuition will be way lower or because you think that would be a better education? If you're an employer of law grads, do you want New Traditionalist grads or Chemerinsky grads?