Honestly, how many law schools does Indiana need? Two? Five? 317? I just want to know. I just want somebody — Peyton Manning, Mitch Daniels — to tell me how many freaking law schools are required in the great state of Indiana before its legal needs are met.
As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Indiana Tech is moving ahead with plans to open a new law school. Why? Because it can. The school allegedly did a feasibility study that found Indiana was “underserved” by lawyers. No intelligent person can believe it. Asking a university that wants to open a law school whether there is a need for a new law school is like asking a fat person if there is a need for more pie. Indy Tech will be the fifth law school in Indiana and the seventh within a three-hour drive of Fort Wayne. If Fort Wayne needs more access to legal education than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway needs more access to fast cars.
Oh, but Indy Tech has an ingenious way of getting use out of its soon-to-be unemployed law students. Slave legal labor for everybody at Indy Tech…
The braintrust behind Indy Tech is touting a “different” approach to legal education. From the National Law Journal:
“I also see the law students being able to take courses in the MBA program and in other graduate programs that will count toward degree completion in the law school,” [founding dean Peter Alexander] said. “With this location on campus, the law school programs and the general university programs will have a greater chance of being synergistic with one another, and there will be more opportunities for team-teaching and cross-listed courses.” …
Officials have said that the law school curriculum will be unique in its emphasis on practical skills. They envision numerous clinical offerings, including an estate-planning clinic that will advise Indiana Tech employees.
Notice how Dean Alexander cannot tell us how his graduates will be able “synergize” with freaking jobs.
But there will be something for these students to work on. From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:
“For example, our Mediation Clinic will mediate disputes between undergraduates, among other duties,” Alexander explained. “Our Estate Planning Clinic will provide simple wills and powers of attorney for Indiana Tech employees. These activities will give our law students vital practical opportunities to apply what they learn while building relationships with others in the university.”
A tipster adequately sums up this farce:
Wow… Prospective students paying nearly $30,000 in tuition (for an unaccredited school) and doing free legal work for faculty/staff. Gotta give the school credit for this business model.
Dear future Indy Tech law students: please do not PAY to perform legal services for other people. Instead you are supposed to GET PAID to perform legal work for other people. Understand? Is that clear? Does Indy Tech really only intend to admit people who are too stupid to figure out how a legal practice is supposed to work?
Look, I’m all for practical training and clinical education in law school, but paying $30,000 for the opportunity to write low-cost wills for Indy Tech employees is just wrong. It’s one step removed from the prison warden making Andy Dufresne do the taxes for all the guards in Shawshank. And remember, Shawshank was originally a horror story written by Stephen King.
The school is telling you that it’s gong to use you as low-cost labor for other people. Sorry, not “low-cost labor.” The school is going to use you as a laborer who pays for the privilege of working! It’d be like a British-style apprenticeship system, only it’s way more expensive and you’ll be unemployed at the end of it and you will be learning from a place called “Indiana Tech.”
If you go to that law school, you lose the right to bitch about your sorry-ass life three years later. The school is telling you how it’s gonna take advantage of you, I’m telling you how the school is going to take advantage of you, I mean dear God, there are six other law schools close to Fort Wayne you can go to instead.
If you go, you deserve what you get.
Indiana Tech breaking ground on law school building [National Law Journal]
Verbatim: Indiana Tech to build law school on campus [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]