Posted Apr 23, 2008 10:35 am CDT
New York boasts 150,000 lawyers. Yet, some public officials and lawmakers would like to see more law schools in the state.
Not Makau Mutua, the interim dean of the State University of New York’s only law school.
He tells Newsday, “There’s no question that we simply have a glut of law schools.”
Still, lawmakers have already earmarked $50 million in state budget money to develop law schools in the Rochester and Binghamton areas and on Long Island.
Newsday notes the Rochester school would be private, affiliating with St. John Fisher College. But SUNY universities would get their own law schools in Binghamton and Stony Brook.
All told, there are 15 existing law schools in New York. Thirteen are private and, in addition to SUNY Buffalo, where Mutua is interim dean, the other public law school is the City University of New York School of Law in Queens.
“I have no idea why the state would consider three more law schools,” Thomas Guernsey, dean of Albany Law School, tells Newsday. “There’s no evidence in the job market that we need more than those 15 schools.”
But lawmakers eye law schools as a way to boost local economies and attract local students who are looking for an affordable legal education that would allow them to study closer to home.