No UNT law school in downtown Dallas, at least not for another two years. DFW will remain without a public law school and another chance to renovate downtown Dallas has passed.
Debate on the issue centered on the issue of how many lawyers Texas needs and which region of Texas needs a new law school.
Proponents of UNT law argued that Dallas needs more attorneys because Dallas currently imports lawyers from out of state law schools.
Why should that matter? Dallas imports Doctors, Teachers, MBA’s, Computer Programers, Restaurant Managers from all over the US and the world. The idea that we should locally produce all the professional services we need was discredited by The Wealth of Nations.
Opponents of UNT law argued that there is not enough demand for new lawyers and that South Texas needs a law school worse than Dallas. I’m glad that the Leg thinks their are too many attorneys. The death of the UNT law school is good news for DFW lawyers (like me). Less lawyers means higher wages. The Lege thinks it is smart enough to balance supply and demand for legal services. That’s a good economic model for the Soviet Union, but not for Texas.
The legislative body ignores the fact that free markets will determine how many lawyers an area needs. If there are “too many” lawyers the price of legal services will drop and lawyers will leave. If there are “too few” lawyers in an area prices will rise and more lawyers will enter the market.
We do not limit MBA or CPA programs like we do with law schools and we should not. We should allow more law schools because competition makes an industry better. Competition will make law schools and attorneys better.
I say this knowing that my alma mater Texas Tech School of Law would face direct competition from UNT law. Many students from DFW choose Tech because, inter alia, it is a public school and SMU is too expensive. Would competition destroy Tech? No.
If Tech had to compete with a public law school in Dallas it would make Tech better.