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At Least 10 Law Schools Plan to Reduce Incoming Classes

Posted Jun 11, 2012 7:06 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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In past economic downturns, the number of law school applicants jumped as students extended their studies rather than look for jobs in a down market.

But this year at least 10 law schools are cutting class sizes in an “unprecedented” nod to the changing legal profession, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The number of applicants is also down by 14 percent from last year.

Among the schools cutting back is the University of California Hastings College of the Law, which plans to cut enrollment from 1,300 to 1,000 in phases, the story says. George Washington University Law School is also planning cuts, while Northwestern University School of Law is also taking a close look at reductions. The cuts are expected to cost George Washington about $1 million and Hastings possibly $9 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

One law school, however, is expanding rather than cutting back. Thomas M. Cooley has opened a Florida campus, a move that is part of its mission of inclusiveness, according to school officials.

The news come as the number of law grads increased to 44,495 this year from 42,673 in 2006.

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