Friday, June 22, 2018
This story is certainly indicative of the depths of the decline in law school applicants especially in the Midwest. That the flagship law school, long one of the top twenty in the United States, should still be facing these difficulties is sobering. And, of course, since USNews.com runs American legal education, the school faces a stark choice: lower admissions standards (and scholarship offers) to take more paying students with lesser numerical credentials, and the school's USNews.com rank will drop; if the school's USNews.com rank drops, some number of out-of-state students who might have paid to go there, won't, and the cycle will continue. Some clever state AG needs to find a way to take Bob Morse & co. to court for consumer fraud, and end this misery for everyone.
UPDATE: There's a comment from Bill McGeveran over at the Blog Emperor's post about this story that deserves notice:
First, of the 11 public law schools in the top 30, the only ones to get a lower percentage of their revenue from state support are Berkeley, Michigan, and Virginia -- all with endowments 2 to 4 times larger than ours. The so-called "subsidy" is actually bringing us into line with our peers.
Second, our applicant numbers, yield, and class size have all increased significantly for the entering classes of 2017 and 2018, without any sacrifice in the credentials of our incoming students.
All law schools need to be conscious of costs today, and we're no exception. But there's no dire crisis at Minnesota, even if that's a less interesting news story.