The Craig Fahle Show

Former Mayor Dennis Archer Leads Look at Cost of Law School

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mayor Dennis Archer pictured in middle, on The Craig Fahle Show in 2012 (Isabella)

The American Bar Association (ABA) has tapped former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer to lead a task force that looks at the cost of attending law school. Archer not only served as mayor of the city, but also as a state Supreme Court justice from 1986 to 1990 and was president of the ABA for a term. The task force is being asked for recommendations on how to control the financial cost of attending law school.

"Dennis is really one of the people I admire most in the legal profession," says Jim Silkenat, the current president of the ABA, of why Archer was chosen to head the task force.

Silkenat says the expense of a law school education is a concern of many people who have practiced law, including President Barack Obama. He says rising costs concern issues with loan sources, forgiveness programs, and scholarships. Silkenat says a variety of factors could price some people out of studying the law.

"I'm not seeing it so much as a threat to law schools so much as a problem we have to overcome," he says.

Law school costs tens of thousands of dollars a year, according to the ABA. A New York Times article in 2011 looked at whether law school is "a losing game" with exorbitant student loan bills.

The task force is on a short track, according to Silkenat, and should have its work completed by the end of the calendar year.

-- Laura Weber-Davis