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November 8, 2012

Law school grads find supply exceeds demand for new lawyers

(Continued)

Here is her pitch, delivered on a break from packing her own moving boxes, as she wore a work shirt and flip-flops one afternoon in September: "It's affordable, it's accessible, its curriculum is laser-focused on the kinds of jobs we are trying to prepare you for. We don't invite people to come here suggesting [they will] get jobs in the big firms. That is not who we are. If you want to be a public interest lawyer, public service lawyer, public policy lawyer, in private practice in a small firm, this is perfect for you. Because you can do this in an affordable way and find work that you are trained to do, educated to do. We can't all be Yale."

UDC is dirt-cheap, as law schools go. It charges D.C. residents $10,620 a year (with living expenses, UDC costs $41,630; $52,750 for nonresidents).

And Broderick seems to make her pitch with clear eyes and clear conscience.

Could Broderick make the same pitch if UDC cost $70,000 a year? Would "excellence" justify those costs?

"I couldn't do it," Broderick says. "There are not jobs where you can pay that back in a reasonable amount of time for the vast majority of people who go to law school. I couldn't do it, because it is a lie."

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