Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Putrid Smells of Desperation: ABA-Accredited Law Schools Now Handing Out Money to Attract Students
The Swine Now Handing Out Bundles in Scholarship Money: On December 2, 2014, Daniel June posted a JD Journal piece labeled “Law School Closings a Possibility.” Here is his take on the situation:
“Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley School of Law was the first of what may soon become a trend: they closed their Ann Arbor campus, some what of a diploma mill, to answer the deflating enrollment rates. They are all feeling it. Law schools across the board are making concessions and devising ways to get through the difficult legal market in the somewhat hope it will get better soon.
As Northwestern University School of Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez told the New York Times, “I don’t get how the math adds up for the number of schools and the number of students. We all know it’s happening, and we are all taking steps that urgent, not desperate, times call for.”
These “urgent” times mean changing the tone of law school to a buyer’s market. “74 percent of first-year students this academic year received financial aid, compared with only 30 percent in 2009,”the New York Times reported, and University of St. Thomas School of Law professor Jerry Organ made the comparison of law schools to dental schools, which went through their own crisis after reaching a height in 1979. Due to changes in consumer needs for dentistry, demand declined, and eventually schools had to close.
Which law schools? Just the diploma mills? Actually, those who score middle to high range on the LSATs who are losing interest. With 204 accredited law schools competing for these students, Rodriguez admitted that, “It’s insane. We’re in hand-to-hand combat with other schools."
Campuses like Wayne State University of Law School are offering a minimum $4,000 scholarship for incoming students and upwards to $1 million in scholarships for current students. Northwestern likewise is offering 74 percent of 1Ls scholarships, up from 30 percent in 2009. This is consistent with many other schools.” [Emphasis mine]
It’s nice to see that the law school pigs are in hoof to hoof combat with each other over students – especially when you consider that the typical applicant is dumber now. Hell, Northwe$tern Univer$ity $chool of Law – ranked as the 12th best law school in the entire damn country – is now awarding scholarships to nearly ¾ of its first year class! Then again, it is only the second best law school in the city of Chicago. In the past, kids would have gladly borrowed the full amount to attend such a school.
Other Coverage: On October 21, 2014, Paul Caron reported on the Cockroach Jerry Organ post on the Legal WhiTTTeboard, in an entry entitled “Organ: Will 10% of Law Schools Close by 2019, Just as 10% of Dental Schools Closed 25 Years Ago?” Check out this conclusion:
“The law school experience tracks pretty closely the dental school experience over the first ten years reflected in the charts. For law schools, 2014 looks a lot like 1985 did for dental schools. ...
[T]he provost and president of a university with a law school likely will be asking: How “mission critical” is the law school to the university when the law school has transformed from a “cash cow” into a “money pit” and when reasonable projections suggest it may continue to be a money pit for the next few years? How "mission critical" is the law school when its entering class profile is significantly weaker than it was just a few years ago, particularly if that weaker profile begins to translate into lower bar passage rates and even less robust employment outcomes? How “mission critical” is the law school to the university if its faculty and alumni seem resistant to change and if the law school faculty and administration are somewhat disconnected from their colleagues in other schools and departments on campus?
Some universities are going to have difficult decisions to make (as may the Boards of Trustees of some of the independent law schools). As of 1985, no dental schools had closed, but by the late 1980s and early 1990s, roughly ten percent of the dental schools were closed in response to significant declines in the number and quality of applicants and the corresponding financial pressures. When faced with having to invest significantly to keep dental schools open, several universities decided that dental schools no longer were “mission critical” aspects of the university.
I do not believe law schools should view themselves as so exceptional that they will have more immunity to these market forces than dental schools did in the 1980s. I do not know whether ten percent of law schools will close, but just as some universities decided dental schools were no longer “mission critical” to the university, it is not only very possible, but perhaps even likely, that some universities now will decide that law schools that may require subsidies of $1 million or $2 million or more for a number of years are no longer “mission critical” to the university.” [Emphasis mine]
In the final analysis, “higher education” in America is BIG business. It all boils down to money, people. “Educators,” univer$ity “presidents,” and boards of trustees or regents DO NOT GIVE ONE GODDAMN about YOU, the student or graduate. These in$titution$ are propped up by the federally-backed student loan $y$tem. Do you think - for one millisecond - that a bank would otherwise lend someone, with no collateral, $30K so that they can earn a Bachelor’s degree in Film Studies from State U or a law degree from TTTT Cooley?!?!
Conclusion: The pigs and cockroaches are DESPERATE for asses in seats. Even Daniel Rodriguez, dean at Northwestern Law, employed that word in his description of the situation. The bitches and hags are attempting to balance the following interests: (a) keeping enrollment levels high or decent; (b) maintaining or increasing their respective commode’s ranking; and (c) not going broke in the process.
Since it is now an “applicant’s market,” the rodents are throwing scholarship money at prospective and current students, in order to keep up enrollment. While schools such as Northwestern – which have a good reputation and a large university endowment – can engage in this academic “arms race,” you can bet your ass that dozens of ABA-approved toilets cannot keep up this pace for long. Independent, stand-alone commodes cannot sustain this type of activity for much longer. Up to this point, creditors have bailed out the swine at TJ$L – and large universities such as Texas A & M have purchased or partnered with financially troubled dung heaps. However, at some point, college and univer$ity administrators – who fancy themselves as shrewd businessmen - are going to decide that they are not going to shell out millions of dollars to acquire shaky institutions.
Posted by Nando at 5:00 AM