Monday, October 14, 2013

Are New Law Schools Really The Problem?

Many deans have wondered why the ABA continues to approve new law schools, given the national decline in applications. An essay I wrote for the Toledo Law Review proposes that new law schools are not the problem. In fact, new law schools would drive innovation, if the accreditation process allowed for it. The essay further asserts that established schools will either be new schools in 10 years, or they will not survive.  The essay can be found at :

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New law schools are the problem in the sense that they add to the existing supply of law graduates, of which there are already too many for the existing law jobs. The new schools do not add to the number of law jobs available, and they generally do not displace the existing schools or cause them to reduce their class sizes -- they just add to the numbers of law grads and create take a disproportionate number of law grads who will eventually be unemployed.

I realize this is a general statement and you may be able to point to exceptions like UC Irvine, or a specific student who went to a particular new school and fared well. But I think for the bulk of the "new schools" and for the bulk of their applicants and grads, this is largely true.

Posted by: Kopf | Oct 14, 2013 10:54:33 AM

Competition will dictate which schools survive, and which fail. Shutting the door to new schools is not the solution. Many established schools are unwilling to adjust to a changing environment.

Posted by: Richard Gershon | Oct 14, 2013 11:48:09 AM

New law schools should be encouraged, both for the possibility of innovation, and for to provide a lower cost/value option. As I see it, the schools most in danger right now, are the middle tier schools, because they charge almost as much as the top tier schools, and it are being forced to accept more and more lower quality applicants. After a couple of years of 1L attrition, the bar passage rates of these schools, without fundamental curricular changes, are bound to have a dramatic turn lower, as only the less apt, graduate.

Posted by: Brian L. Baker | Oct 14, 2013 12:16:00 PM

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