The Age published a Kenneth Nguyen article today out of the blue about the numbers of:
- Australian law schools — 30 years ago there were 12, now there are 30;
- people pursuing law degrees — which the article suggests is the modern day arts degree; and
- people not going on to practice law — 1 in 2 — or even work in law related fields — 1 in 4.
I doubt the social utility of people spending 3 or 4 years in a course as vocational as law without any intention to practise. People study maths and chemistry because the skills are transferrable. So too, apparently, law. No one recognises the enormous social inefficiency of people studying one thing in order to get some spin-off benefit. No one asks why education should not be devised to teach the skills directly. I always marvel that the one thing people who studied maths do not necessarily come away with is a facility in mental arithmetic and the approximation of sums, the two things which might actually be of benefit to them in the real world. And then there are the law students who come away from law school without an ability to write. Don’t get me started.