Law school ‘resurgence’ isn’t over, even as applicants drop
Posted Feb 4, 2013 5:30 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Educators aren’t giving up plans to open up a handful of new law schools, despite a nationwide drop in applicants and declining job prospects for graduates.
Among the colleges planning to open law schools are Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne and the University of North Texas in Dallas, the Wall Street Journal reports. The state of Indiana already has four law schools while Texas has nine.
There was a “law-school boom” between 1950 and 1970, when about 20 schools per decade received ABA accreditation, the Wall Street Journal says. The number dropped to eight per decade during the 1980s and the 1990s. “There's been a resurgence this century,” the story continues, “with 19 new schools getting ABA's stamp of approval since 2000, and more on deck.”
New schools are also planned in Florida and California.
Ellen Pryor, associate dean for academic affairs at UNT Dallas College of Law, told the Wall Street Journal that her school will attract students who want lower-cost, hands-on legal training. "I know applications are down," Pryor said, but "the fact that nationwide numbers are down doesn't dishearten us from thinking we'll get really good students and fulfill our mission."
André D.P. Cummings, associate dean for academic affairs at Indiana Tech's law school, said officials there had planned to enroll about 100 students, but they may have to reduce the number. "Are we where we'd like to be?" he said in a Wall Street Journal interview. "Not yet. The truth is that applications are down significantly across the country."
ABAJournal.com: "‘Massive layoffs’ predicted in law schools due to big drop in applicants"