November 21, 2017
Story here. UIC has a medical school, but no law school, while John Marshall is a free-standing law school. If the acquisition occurred, it would be the only public law school in Chicago, and, assuming there was some tuition discount for state residents, it would put particular pressure on private law schools in the city like DePaul and Chicago-Kent.
November 16, 2017
Valparaiso Law School to begin winding down operations (at least in Indiana) due to financial pressures
November 06, 2017
That's on the heels of a nearly 20% increase in June test-takers. It seems clear that not only has the decline in law school applications bottomed out (it has been stable the last two years), but now seems poised for a non-trivial increase. Law schools would be wise not to expand too much, though, especially with the ABA policing more carefully bar passage rates. But stable or increasing enrollments means that law schools can invest in faculty lines again, which we're already seeing this year.
October 31, 2017
October 30, 2017
October 19, 2017
The Court explains its decision here. Tellingly, they don't even claim that it's necessary to keep the score where it is because that is essential for competent legal practice. The decision is certainly a blow for the vast majority of California law schools that had lobbied for a lower pass score, more in line with other jurisdictions.
September 28, 2017
...with only 55 new applicants for faculty positions. Altogether, there are fewer than 500 candidates seeking law teaching positions this year, one of the lowest totals I can recall. There are some indications that hiring is up this year--or at least interviewing--but it's too early to say for sure.
September 25, 2017
It is often assumed that the only way to become a lawyer is to attend an ABA-approved law school. That is true in some states and, indeed, the ABA has at times expressed the view that it should be true in all states. But it is not the case in large jurisdictions such as New York or California, nor is it the case in the majority of jurisdictions. Claims that ABA-approved law school have a monopoly on entry into the legal profession are exaggerations. Rather, the most popular—and probably most likely—way to become a lawyer is to graduate from an ABA-approved institution.
In leading jurisdictions such as New York, California, and Virginia, an individual who wishes to become a lawyer may sit for the bar examination with between zero and 1 years of law school and between 3 and 4 years of apprenticeship and study under the supervision of a licensed attorney (this is also known as “law office study” or “reading for the bar”). In California, graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools are eligible to sit for the bar examination. This includes schools with extremely low-cost, technology-driven approaches to teaching, such as online and correspondence schools.
In fact, non-ABA law school graduates are eligible to sit for the bar examination in most jurisdictions (31 in total as of 2017) according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.** This includes extremely large and important jurisdictions such as California, Florida, New York, Texas and Washington D.C. Graduates of online and correspondence law schools are eligible to sit for the bar examination in 4 jurisdictions.
Very few people choose the apprenticeship route, and only a minority opt for non-ABA law schools. Among those who do, relatively few successfully complete their courses of study or pass the bar examination. But those who do will have the same license to practice law as someone who graduates from an ABA-approved law school and successfully passes the bar examination.
Why then do so many prospective lawyers choose ABA-approved law schools?
The most likely explanation is that prospective lawyers choose ABA-approved law schools because those law schools provide a valuable and worthwhile service that supports a higher price point than other options.*
Many employers value legal education. That’s why they typically pay law school graduates tens of thousands of dollars more per year than they pay similar bachelor’s degree holders, even in occupations other than the practice of law. When law school graduating class sizes increase, and a lower proportion of graduates practice law, graduates don’t typically see a noticeable decline in their earnings premium.
In other words, the benefits of law school are versatile. Graduates of ABA-approved law schools also seem to be much more likely to complete their studies and pass the bar examination than students attending more lightly regulated and lower cost alternatives.