MSLAW Blog

MOVING UP IN AMERICA

August 2015 |  by Diane Sullivan

by Diane M. Sullivan, Assistant Dean

Moving up in America – pursuing the American dream – is a topic near and dear to our hearts, and the mission of MSL.  We believe that intelligent people who work enormously hard can achieve anything they desire.

It is education that drives upward mobility.  From an early age our parents instilled in us that in order to get ahead, you need an education and work hard.  One wonders if that is still possible today, or is the American dream dying?

We traveled to New York City to meet with and interview, Rana Faroohar, Assistant Managing Editor of Time Magazine, who wrote an interesting article on this subject entitled, “Whatever happened to upward mobility?”  Rana told me, “… the idea of being an opportunity society is crucial to our self image as Americans, it’s what this nation was built on.”  Yet she said statistics show the ‘Dream’ is getting harder.

The most important consideration for upward mobility is EDUCATION.  Rana suggests we need to make it easier for people to complete four year degrees and professional degrees . . . We do a great job with that here at MSL, with the lowest tuition of any of the New England Law Schools ($19,500), and by using our own admissions test as opposed to a standardized LSAT score.  I believed in the “dream”.  I was in MSL’s first graduating class in 1990.  MSL changed my life and greatly improved the lives of my family.  Rana said education is where it all starts.  “If you don’t have it, your chances of getting up the ladder are really slim”.  Although things were much harder overall for our parents and grandparents because they did not have college degrees and were immigrants as well, some social mobility happened because there were manufacturing jobs available.  These jobs don’t exist anymore making it much harder for those without degrees and professional training to get ahead.

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