August 21, 2012
Law School Applications Down, Tuition Goes Up
One would think that law school news about declining applications and the terrible job market for law graduates isn’t worth a mention anymore. Three current articles news articles taken together highlight some of the problems facing law schools as the fall semester is about to begin. The first is from U.S. News & World Report, indicating the top ten law schools receiving the most applications in 2011. The surprise here is only four schools ranked in the top 10 are represented.
Those are Columbia University (3rd list, ranked 4th), the University of Virginia (4th list, ranked 7th), New York University (6th list, ranked 6th), and the University of California-Berkeley (6th list, ranked 7th). The school with the most applications is Georgetown University, with 9, 413, down from 11,524 in the prior year. Given that the available seats in the entering class are merely a fraction of either number doesn’t exactly inspire sympathy. Yes, yes, I know. The quality of potential students in that application pool may not be as good as in previous years, which leads to the next story.
Above The Law reports that the entering class at Cooley Law School is down some 400 law students, or 27 percent. The article contains the usual rips to Cooley, but offers that the solution to the problem is to raise tuition by 8 percent. If there is any outrage over that, it should be shared by other law schools as CBS News is reporting that average tuition at private law schools has jumped 4 percent to an average of $40,585, and 6 percent to an average of $23,590 at public law schools. The inflation rate for 2011 came in at 3.16 percent. What a world. [MG]