Wednesday, July 3, 2013
One of the major criticisms that critics, including some on this blog, were making about law schools two or three years ago was that many law schools did not reveal the percentage of merit scholarships that were retained after the first year. At some law schools, the retention rate was below 50%, and many of us thought that the ABA should require law schools to publish their scholarship retention information. Thanks to a great deal of effort by these critics, especially Law School Transparency, the ABA revised Standard 509 to require transparency in scholarship retention.
Professor Jerry Organ was one of those calling for transparency. Now that transparency has been obtained, he has written a new article concerning the effects of the new Standard 509.
Abstract: As a result of the ABA’s revisions to Standard 509, Consumer Information, there is now a much greater universe of publicly available information about law school scholarship programs. In this article, I present what is now known about conditional scholarship programs based on a review of law school websites conducted between March 19 and May 29, 2013, from which I was able to compile a complete list of law schools with conditional scholarship programs, with only one-year scholarships, with good standing (or guaranteed) scholarships and with only need-based scholarships. The article includes an analysis of the information we have on conditional scholarship programs by looking at the prevalence of conditional scholarship programs among law schools across different rankings categories and by looking at the extent to which scholarship retention differs among law schools across different rankings categories. The article also looks at geographic “clumping” of law schools without conditional scholarship programs. The article concludes with some general thoughts on the impact of conditional scholarships across legal education.