Thursday, February 14, 2013

At least one law school sees applications rise

Bucking the nationwide trend among law schools, the University of Montana School of Law reports that applications are up this year. Indeed, it may be one of only four schools among the 200 or so accredited by the ABA that has seen an increase in applications for fall 2013.  Administrators attribute this to low cost tuition, high bar pass rates and good job placement stats that lead one publication to rank the school among the ten best value law schools in the country.  From The Montana Kaimin:

While applications to law schools nationwide have been plummeting, the University of Montana School of Law is one of just four law schools out of 200 to see an increase in applicants for next year.

As of last week, the University's law school applications were running ahead of the number of applications received at this time last year. That number is gradually rising while other universities continue to drop, said Lori Freeman, who oversees admissions and career services at the law school.

Freeman said students are getting a good deal in Missoula.

"I believe the reason the UM School of Law is in a relatively good position is due to increased recruiting efforts as well as the fact that we are ranked as a top 10 Best Value law school," Freeman said.

. . . .

While UM’s application numbers are up now, the law school has been on a roller coaster along with other law schools. Applications rose quickly with the rest of the nation in 2010, only to drop from 511 to 325 between 2010 and 2012.

The University's application statistics reveal that the most dramatic drop was in out-of-state students, while in-state students seem to show very little difference in recent years.

Freeman believes the consistent number of Montana residents stems from the UM School of Law's in-state tuition, high bar passage rates, and more consistent job placements in the legal industry, which is perhaps why UM was ranked number seven in this year's Top 10 Best Value Law School.

In-state tuition to UM’s School of Law is about $11,000 a year, Freeman said. Out-of-state students pay about $27,000.

“Even our out-of-state tuition is a good deal compared to many school’s in-state tuition,” Freeman said. “Tuition overall is a good deal.”


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