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The True Value of a Law Degree, or, Why Did Thurgood Marshall Go to Law School?

10 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014 Last revised: 25 Nov 2014

R. Lawrence Dessem

University of Missouri School of Law

Gregory M. Stein

University of Tennessee College of Law

Abstract

There has been vigorous debate in recent months over whether a law degree is a worthwhile investment. Much of this discussion has focused on whether the economic costs of obtaining a degree pay off over a lawyer’s career. This conversation has largely overlooked the many non-economic benefits of a law degree. In this essay, we seek to re-introduce several non-economic factors back into this important dialogue. We suggest that prospective law school applicants would be wise to consider these non-economic factors in addition to economic ones.

Keywords: Legal Profession, Economic Value of Law Degree, Market for New Lawyers, Types of Legal Practice, Roles of the Lawyer, Thurgood Marshall

JEL Classification: J23, J24, J31, J44, J63, L84

Suggested Citation

Dessem, R. Lawrence and Stein, Gregory M., The True Value of a Law Degree, or, Why Did Thurgood Marshall Go to Law School?. 65 Hastings Law Journal Voir Dire 11 (2013); University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-01; University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 227. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378102

R. Lawrence Dessem (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

Gregory M. Stein

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-6812 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.utk.edu/people/gregory-stein/

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