LEGAL EDUCATION UPDATE: For Law Schools, A Price To Play The ABA’s Way.

If you want a diploma blessed by the A.B.A. — and you don’t have rich parents, a plum scholarship or an in-state public law school with lots of taxpayer support — you are pretty much out of luck. And that is not just a problem for would-be attorneys. The lack of affordable law school options, scholars say, helps explain why so many Americans don’t hire lawyers.

“People like to say there are too many lawyers,” says Prof. Andrew Morriss of the University of Alabama School of Law. “There are too many lawyers who charge $300 an hour. There aren’t too many lawyers who will handle a divorce at a reasonable rate, or handle a bankruptcy at a reasonable rate. But there is no way to be that lawyer and service $150,000 worth of debt.”

Well, it’s a cartel, and those tend to raise costs.

UPDATE: Thoughts from Larry Ribstein.