Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Do you think any ABA-accredited law schools will actually close over the next decade?

There are about 200 of them, and the belief certainly seems widespread in the bowels of cyber-space that half of them are destined to disappear, or something like that, due to the cost of legal education relative to the actual professional outcomes in the current market (indeed, in some cases, even before the current economic crisis).   Of course, we've already seen some law schools reduce enrollments, and others withdraw from the market for new faculty--so 'shrinkage' is already happening.  But will accredited law schools actually close?  Assume that there are no changes to the current student loan structure (i.e., the federal government still backs them), and assume that there is some improvement in the legal market in the years ahead. How many of the 200 accredited law schools do you think will close their doors over the next decade?

UPDATE: So with 140 votes cast, here's the breakdown: 12% think no law schools will close in the next decade; 68% expect 1-10 to close; 14% expect 11-25 to close; 4% think 26-50 will close; and about 1% think more than 50 will close. So an overwhelming majority of respondents so far, 88%, expect at least one or more law schools to close, and nearly one in five expect a non-trivial number to close, i.e., 5% or more.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Several hours later and 209 votes, here's the breakdown:

None       13%

1-10        64%

11-25      16%

26-50        6%

51+           1%

POLL IS CLOSE and the results and discussion are here.

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