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  • Paras Sharma

Affordability and access to legal Education

Written by: Pooja Kriplani, Student,Amity University, Rajasthan



While the common perception is that lawyers make a ton of money and the industries, states, and metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas that pay the highest Packages to Lawyers , But the reality is that most student haunted by the debt left behind by their legal education.

That the average law student today leaves school with debts it was believed that the high debt levels make them chase the money that is, they gravitate toward the higher pay that law firms offer.

The public and non-profit sectors therefore lose out on a large number of those debt-plagued students who might otherwise have chosen to devote themselves to "public service."

In the present period of data private enterprise, monetary progression, WIPO and WTO, legitimate calling in India needs to take into account the requirements of another brand of lawful purchaser/customer to be specific the outside organizations or joint efforts.

In the changed situation, legal education further improve the quality of legal education in that it provide opportunity for students to learn firsthand lawyer skills such as listing and interviewing clients, negotiation, analyzing cases, drafting documents and court process, ethical issue that arises in real case, drafting documents and court processes, ethical issue that arises in real cases, which are absent from traditional law school curriculum. Outside these visible benefits to effective teaching and learning, clinical education carries with it direct, Immediate benefit to law student to the extent that is reasonable law apprenticeship it provide the necessary experience for disadvantage student to be client- ready for the practice on graduation, without to seek placement in high-net worth chamber not readily accessible by poor student. The extra parts by law professionals to play are that of approach organizer, business counselor, and moderator among intrigue gatherings, specialists in explanation and correspondence of thoughts, go between, lobbyist, law reformer and so forth. There are a lot of problems found in legal education system like high fees of private law college, in law tuitions there were lack of infrastructure, students still depend upon their marks and grade but they do not get practical knowledge, faculties or the professors must show some interest to develop the skills of students skill. Only by creating awareness programs it doesn’t work, even the students must show their interest. There are many scopes available for the students to shine in different fields so it’s up to them to utilize. Also legal profession also cannot be distinguished as local, national or global. The need of the hour is to create uniform standards of education and at the same to enable qualitative competition among students. This would require revisiting the current models of legal education and equipping the third category of law schools to come up to the high standards maintained by national and global law schools.

The Root of the Problem

Education is the agent provocateur for the introduction of poverty and development law issue in law curriculum which were generally muted in traditional curriculum steeped in commercial and middle class interest. In providing access to justice for the disadvantage in the society clinical legal education enhance the value of quality as important ingredient for democracy and good governance. The absence of legal awareness was the "root cause" of "deception, exploitation and deprivation" of the rights and benefits of the masses. There are two crises in legal education today. One is the profound challenge to traditional legal education produced by the economic change that occurred as a result of the recession that began in 2008. When the market declined, big firms cut back on their hiring, rapidly and significantly. In 2009, large firms hired 5,200 new graduates; in 2011, their hiring levels dropped to 2,900 graduates. This represented a nearly 50 percent decline in the segment of the market for new graduates that provided them the highest salaries.

The majority of law school graduates (over three quarters) feel that their degree was not worth the cost.

Discriminatory pricing

Top students often get huge scholarships, meaning the Schools rarely give scholarships to people just because they are poor and from middle class family. That’s why student are ready to take debt for complete their law studies.

Law school student get all the benefits and also get the advantage of upgrade studies as compare to law classes and other institution

Law student are under pressure that they will get lot of advantages from Private Law College and better job opportunity after law school they will get higher paid-up job so they can take debt for studies in law school.

Law school don’t try to charge student according to their family condition and things-

There was need that law schools generally figure out their tuition based purely on the cost which was minus deducted according to the intelligence and background of student.

It would ignore the question of how well the education pays off. What after that we can saw affordability of law schools.

Present discounted value of the earnings premium net of costs (including the opportunity cost, or forgone earnings during the law school years) is the most direct way of answering the question. This type of cost-benefit analysis is standard for investments outside the realm of human capital.

Monitoring tuition—or net tuition—relative to beginning salaries is also based on the logic of comparing costs to benefits. the cost just in terms of tuition and ignoring the forgone wages understates the true costs and misses some of the variation in costs over time associated with the strength of the overall labor market.

Debt-to-income ratios shift the focus from the total cost of education to the portion of education funded through borrowing. The large percentage of law students relying on debt and the high amounts borrowed make this approach less problematic for law students than for undergraduates, but ignoring the costs funded through other means is an issue.

It is not reasonable to argue that a law school education just has to support a higher average lifetime living standard than would otherwise be available. Young lawyers need not have high incomes immediately after law school to make the investment worthwhile, but if they have to wait too long to live better than they could have without this education, the perceived value will surely be diminished.

Access to Legal Education government, legal foundations and the state also takes some steps

Legal foundations and the state are at the center of all social teach. In principle the sovereign power, a definitive, legal specialist in an approach can administer on any issue and can practice control over any change procedure inside the state. Legal education centers on growing great legal counselors who are taught in human qualities and human rights, other than the law itself. All things considered, law works inside a general public and not in a vacuum, and a general public is regularly esteem based which makes cool hard rationale hard to apply in all situations.

Tuition fees

The increases in tuition range from a low of 185% to a high of 259%. During the same period-1974 to 1986-the Consumer Price Index rose slightly over 120%,12 the Service Sector Consumer Price Index rose approximately 150%,13 and the Higher Education Price Index, which reflects prices paid by colleges and universities, rose at least 120%.14 Total charges for an undergraduate education at the average private university increased by 199% between 1973 and 1986,15 an increase appreeiably lower than the increase in average tuition at private law schools. Law school tuition increases, particularly at private schools, have outpaced all other indexes over the twelve-year period, reflecting the changing nature of legal education. Reduced student-faculty ratios, 16 computerization, expanded hbraries, 17 and increased law school scholarships have all contributed to rising tuition.18 Faculty salaries, meanwhile, rose only 127% during the same period

The True Burden of Attending Law School

A college graduate thinking about going to law school in the fall of 1987 would have to assess the potential cost by cumulating, for a threeyear period, the following: average tuition ($7070 to $7720 for public law schools, depending on the rate of tuition increase; $27,430 to $30,910 for private law schools, with some as high as $46,260), the median cost of living for three nine-month periods on a modest budget ($20,000), and the forgone economic opportunity ($21,000 to $35,000). That calculation would yield a total cost that could be as low as $48,070 for a student attending a public law school and working to the fullest possible extent at the best of wages, but as high as $101,260 for a student attending the most expensive of private schools and not working.

Who would want to invest in a product as expensive as legal education?

By virtue of the act of applying, current law students have clearly determined that there must be a favorable benefit-cost ratio. Without calculating the precise nature of the pecuniary benefits, they realize that enrolling in law school will be worth more than from $16,025 to $33,750 a year in costs. Attempts to test that response, which was shared by more than 61,000 applicants in the academic year 1985-86, suggest that the intuition is accurate. Although data on the earnings of attorneys tend to be unreliable because of voluntary reporting and incomplete surveys, the information available for 1985 indicat.s that the median starting salary for attorneys entering private practice was between $31,200 and $32,500, and $33,200 for attorneys going into corporate law departments. 34 By 1986, the median starting salary had gone up almost 11% to $36,000 (compared to a median income of $45,605 for all law firm associatf.s). 35 Federal judicial clerks received $26,381, and public defenders, assistant district attorneys, assistant city or state attorneys, and some public interest attorneys received salaries in the middle to upper end of the twenty to thirty thousand dollar range.

The Family

For many years the basic assumption underlying the financing of higher education has been that parents would use savings and current earnings to pay for their child's education. This assumption becomes less valid once the child has graduated from college, however. Parents who have sacrificed to pay for a child's undergraduate education are increasingly less willing to pay for graduate school and more inclined to demand that their child cover some of the costs.42 The changing assumption about parental responsibility for financing education appears even more reasonable when one considers the number of students who have been out of college two or more years. The percentage of law school applicants who are two years or more out of college now approaches 44%, with 25% more than five years ont of college. Thus, students are much less able to turn to their parents for the money necessary to finance their legal education.

Whether or not actual parental contributions will decline as a result of this change is uncertain. Parents remain free to help their children attend law school, and such contributions would reduce the amount the students would otherwise have to obtain. Indeed, the Conference Report on the 1986 amendments contains a warning by the managers that "it is the intention of the conferees" that aid officers carefully evaluate students from high income families enrolled in high.


There was solution by taking’ FINANCING LEGAL ED UCA TION ', he margin, federal loan consolidation and graduated repayment schemes and private forgiveness may enable interested students to spend a few years in the public and nonprofit sectors. No program now in existence can compete with or offset the lure of in-school work dollars in the second and third years of law school. The drive to become a corporate attorney in a large firm in order to relieve debt burdens may capture even more graduates, further accelerating the trend to concentration in the profession. Substantial debt burdens may prompt attorneys to postpone forming families or making large capital investments.

Tuition discounting in the form of “scholarships” ameliorated a fairly small portion of this rise: between 1991 and 2012 the difference between sticker tuition and the average effective tuition paid by students declined from 89.8% to 79.8%.5 In addition, nearly half of all law students pay the advertised sticker price, in effect subsidizing the lower effective tuition paid by their classmates (this has been dubbed the “reverse Robin Hood” structure of law school financing).6 Over this same time frame, government subsidies for higher education have, on a real-dollar per-student basis, increased

The Future of Legal Education

The future of legal education will be shaped by our ability to understand and appreciate the larger context of the role of law in establishing a society based on the rule of law in India. Notwithstanding the fact that we have institutionalized democracy in India, the fact remains that we are not a society that accords the full protection of the rule of law and ensures access to justice. I believe the first and most important reform that we need to undertake for establishing a society based on the rule of law and that ensures access to justice is a radical reform of legal education. Legal education is not only about training and capacity building for becoming lawyers and judges. While this may be one of the important outcomes of legal education, the foundations of legal education should help us establish the bulwark of democratic governance and develop a liberal constitutional order.

There were some certain points which relate to Student Budget policies.

Books and Supplies Expenses

The Financial Aid Committee anticipates that some first-year students will spend more than the allowance for books and supplies, because book costs for first year students are typically higher than those for second and third year students. Moreover, book costs for the first semester of the first year are typically higher than those for the second semester.

Personal Living Expenses

is is a highly personal decision, and we leave it to you to allocate this allowance among your living and other expenses based on your particular needs and priorities. Enrolment in the Dental Insurance plan is optional but recommended for HLS students, and students may choose to allocate a portion of the Room/Board/Personal allowance in the standard student budget toward enrolment in this plan. Fee-for-service dental options are also available through Harvard University Health Services Dental Services.

Waiver of Health Fees

Under Federal student aid regulations, an allowance for the cost of the Harvard University Student Health Program may be included in the student’s budget only for students who enroll in the HUSHP plan. For students who waive this coverage, the allowance will not be given and the total student budget (and maximum level of financial aid eligibility) will be reduced by the amount of the HUSHP fee. Students may request upon appeal to have the documented cost of an alternate health insurance plan for which the student pays added to the student’s budget.

And also some time Budget Increases, Computer Purchases, Consumer Debt, Tuition and Fee Refund Policy etc.

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