Sunday, March 23, 2014

Appalachian Law is Downsizing

This massive reduction in size, students, faculty, and staff is heartbreaking. From the Roanoke Times (excerpts):

 “We were about 150 to 200 students when Appalachian Law School was founded, now 16 years ago, and then we rode the rising tide like all other American law schools and grew larger,”[Dean Lucy McGough] said. “At one time, we had a student body approaching double that, near 300.”

She said the trimming will come in the form of eliminating some classes that aren’t taught all the time and don’t reflect the college’s specialties, which are natural resources and alternative dispute resolution. The school is also looking to add a public health specialty, she said, because school officials think those are the most important subject matters for lawyers in the region.

The downsizing will mean layoffs, McGough said.

“We’ve already lost three faculty members with our mutual agreement,” she said. “We will maintain a student/faculty ratio of no more than 15-to-1, and that’s always been presumptively accepted for the American Bar Association.”

Next year’s incoming class may have about 40 students as opposed to about 70, she said. The current enrollment is 222.


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