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Up to 10 New Law Schools Planned; How Many Are Too Many?

Posted Jun 3, 2008 2:02 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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As many as 10 new law schools are at least on the drawing board, if not in more advanced stages, most of them in the eastern United States.

"While their proponents insist that the schools will serve the needs of their communities and beyond, the plans are drawing sharp criticism from those who argue that creating more law schools is irresponsible," reports the National Law Journal in an article excerpted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

Among the potential new entrants to the nation's roster of law schools: Pineville-based Louisiana College plans to open a Christian law school; the State University of New York is considering two new law schools at existing Binghamton and Long Island campuses; and both Concordia University and the University of Idaho College of Law hope to set up shop in Boise, Idaho.

The plans are questioned by some who say that there is already a glut of lawyers unable to find well-paid—or even any—legal jobs in a challenging market. While those with top academic credentials can make $160,000 annual salaries straight out of law school, the vast majority of the nation's law graduates do not fall in this category, as discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts.

"This is beyond absurd," William Henderson, a law professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, tells the National Law Journal. "The popular perception is that there's a big monolith of wealth. The reality is that some people are making lots of money and a lot of people are not able to make a living."

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