Tuesday, November 30, 2010

KapLaw? Hints of a New Bricks & Mortar Law School for Kaplan

According to the Washington Post, Kaplan (a division of the WaPo) is scouting Washington D.C. real estate for a possible new addition to its law school portfolio. 

Kaplan currently operates the unaccredited, online, for-profit Concord Law School and has apparently been pondering a move into the accredited law school market.  Concord has been remarkably successful offering a largely non-practice oriented JD.  Although Concord students can sit for the California bar, few actually do so.  (One hurdle is the requirement that Concord students pass the state's Baby Bar after year 1.)  Nonetheless, it appears that there is demand for the product that Kaplan does sell: an education and a diploma. The degree can be used for those seeking enhanced salary and promotion opportunities, improved professional skills, and jobs in quasi-legal fields: think compliance.  The Kaplan site is pretty explicit about the varied non-practice benefits of a JD.  

Then there's the sticker price.  You'll get your JD in 4 years for $40,000.  Total.

I've blogged previously about the development of sub-markets in legal education based on price.  Perhaps Kaplan will show the way to a low-cost, unsubsidized JD.  We may be skeptics today, but if the ABA is game, Kaplan might just be able to pull this thing off.  Whether you'll commend KapLaw to your kid is, of course, another matter entirely.


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