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Brian Tamanaha's book Failing Law Schools is neither sociology nor a synthesis of social science research. Rather it is social commentary rooted in Tamanaha’s experience as a law professor, the literature on legal education, and barely analyzed data on law school costs and student outcomes. Tamanaha cannot be blamed for the absence of sophisticated research on matters that cry out for empirical investigation nor for having to rely on data sources that at best capture only a few bivariate relationships, but these limitations make his causal analyses and proposed solutions less than compelling. Still the book is not without its virtues. Indeed, I advise any sociologist interested in legal education or the legal profession to read it. Just be careful not to read it for more than it is worth.


Reproduced with permission.