December 17, 2014
ABA data on 2014 law school enrollment
Here; an excerpt:
The 204 ABA-approved law schools reported total J.D. enrollment (full-time and part-time students) of 119,775. This is a decrease of 8,935 students (6.9 percent) from 2013 and a 17.5 percent decrease from the historic high total J.D. enrollment in 2010. The 2014 total enrollment is the lowest since 1982, when there were 169 ABA-approved law schools.
Law schools reported that 37,924 full-time and part-time students began their studies in the fall of 2014. This is a decrease of 1,751 students (4.4 percent) from 2013 and a 27.7 percent decrease from the historic high 1L enrollment of 52,488 in 2010. The 2014 1L enrollment is the lowest since 1974, when there were 151 ABA-approved law schools.
Nearly two-thirds of ABA law schools (127) experienced declines in first-year enrollment from the prior year. At 64 law schools, 1L declines exceeded 10 percent. At 25 schools, 1L enrollment declined by more than 20 percent. Twenty-five schools reported entering classes of fewer than 100 students.
At 69 schools, 1L enrollment increased from 2013. At 36 schools, 1L enrollment was up by less than 10 percent, and at 33 schools, enrollment increased by more than 10 percent. At 11 schools, enrollment increased by more than 20 percent. At 28 schools, the number of 1L students stayed within five students above or below last year’s figures.
November 21, 2014
More new lawyer jobs than grads in 2016?
Ted Seto (Loyola/LA) looks at the new BLS projections.
November 12, 2014
Class of 2014 LSAT scores did not predict the drop in MBE scores
Derek Muller (Pepperdine) looks at the data.
November 03, 2014
Simkovic & McIntyre's "The Economic Value of a Law Degree"...
...appears in print in the Journal of Legal Studies. Despite being derided and dismissed last year by intellectual heavyweights like Paul Campos, Matt Leichter, and Elie Mystal, it somehow survived peer review. Imagine that. (You can read Prof. Simkovic's response to some of the Dunning-Kruger Effect crowd here.)
October 31, 2014
More details on Thomas Jefferson's restructuring deal with bondholders
MBE posts largest drop in scores in its history
What explains it? Too many ill-prepared students being admitted to law school? If that was the case with the just-graduated class, then we would expect further drops to come.
October 29, 2014
Thomas Jefferson Law School reaches restructuring agreement with majority of its bondholders
TJLS news release is here (via Blog Emperor Caron).
October 27, 2014
Signs of the times at "the top 25": can we make you teach more without paying you more?
A law colleague at Washington University, St. Louis forwards the following "internal audit" memo sent to the faculty "as a sign of how things are changing even at higher-ranked law schools. I am particularly concerned that the questionnaire is silent about scholarship even though it was sent to all tenured and tenure-track faculty. Many of my colleagues are also referring to the questions as 'interrogatories.'" The auditors' questionnaire:
1. What is your understanding of your current and future required teaching load and what is the basis for this understanding?
2. Do you plan to teach additional classes beyond your required teaching load in this academic year or in 2015-16 or 2016-17?
- If yes, please describe the classes and the semester in which you are teaching or expect to teach these additional classes.
- If yes, please describe the compensation that you are receiving now or expect to receive for this additional teaching.
3. Are you currently receiving or do you expect to receive additional pay from WULaw for any non-teaching activities?
- If yes, please briefly describe these activities.
- If yes, please describe the compensation you now receive and expect to receive in the future for these activities.
4. Do you currently administer or have discretionary control over any WULaw funds, excluding faculty research accounts?
- If yes, what funds do you administer or control?
- If yes, how much money is in the fund?
- If yes, what are the oversight protocols to assure the funds are spent appropriately?
5. Do you expect WULaw to hire adjuncts for specific programming purposes in this academic year or in 2015-16 or 2016-17?
- If yes, whom do you expect WULaw to hire and why?
- If yes, what is the compensation that you expect the adjuncts to get paid in each year?
6. What is your understanding of the annual amount of money deposited into your faculty research account?
7. If you receive a summer stipend, what are you expectations as to the amount of that stipend?
October 26, 2014
8.1% drop in LSAT takers in September from last year
LSAC data here. Since the trend appears to be for applicants to apply later in the cycle, the final decline for this year is likely to be less than 8% (in the last few years, the September/October drop was always greater than the final total decline). But a continued decline of any kind means that law schools uncertain about whether to hire new faculty will likely err on the side of not hiring.
October 15, 2014
More than two dozen Harvard Law faculty object to University's new procedures on sexual harassment...
...for multiple violations of due process and fairness in proceedings, among other things. Signatories include David Shapiro, Duncan Kennedy, former Dean Robert Clark, Bruce Hay, Martha Field, Robert Mnookin, Lucie White, and Janet Halley, among others.