Tim's mention of a recent call for VAP applications got me thinking: There's been a lot of discussion about what the collapse of the job market for law school graduates ought to mean for the law school curriculum and the size of law school faculties. Everyone now acknowledges a basic change in the environment, and the debate seems to be about whether it's coming from a five-hundred-year flood event or a permanent change in the sea level. Nobody can seriously argue for expansion of legal education; the debate is about how much it should contract and what an altered version should look like. People seem to agree that it's not ethical to prepare vast numbers of students for considerably-less-than-vast numbers of jobs.
Because I'm at a law school that does not have a VAP program, I am not hearing discussion about the proliferation of these programs in recent years and whether it's ethical to sustain them in an environment where open faculty positions are, and will likely remain, fewer than in the past.
Are such discussions taking place?
This, by the way, is no criticism specifically of the VAP program that Tim mentioned, or of any other particular VAP program. It's a question about our field as a whole.