Monday, December 22, 2014

NYT DealBook on law school admissions slide

The New York Times DealBook has a post by David Segal on the law school admissions slide reported by the ABA last week pointing out that total 1L enrollment at the 204 ABA "approved" schools for fall 2014, which is stands at 37,942, has not been this low since 1973 when there were 53 less schools.  Further, the combined total enrollment at all law schools is presently 119,775, a figure that has not been this low since 1987 when there were 29 fewer law schools than today.  Here's an excerpt:

A Steep Slide in Law School Enrollment Accelerates

. . . .


The downturn in enrollment has had some effect on the margins of the business of law school. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School laid off more than half of its faculty over the summer. There has been talk of some law school mergers, too.

But given the deterioration in attendance, what strikes many in law school academia is how modest the response by law schools has been thus far.

“In any other industry, there would be consolidation, more reductions in work force, but we don’t do those things,” said William D. Henderson of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. “Students see the debt they will need to take on, but they don’t see the product changing. We still train people in the artisan craft of lawyering that is in decline.”

Fewer people are taking the admissions test and applying to law school, according to recent data from the Law School Admission Council. The number of test takers was 8.1 percent lower than a year ago, and about 50 percent below the same test period in 2009, according to council figures.

. . . .

You can continue reading the NYT DealBook column here.


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