Fourth Tier Desperation: On March 16, 2015, Bristol, VA NBC affiliate WCYB featured a news story – from reporter Samantha Kozsey – headlined “The Appalachian School of Law Looks Ahead.” Take a look at this opening:
“Fewer and fewer people are attending law school. That nationwide shift means schools are competing for students as they try to balance their budgets. In 2004, there were 100,600 people nationwide who applied to law school. In 2013, there were just 59,400.
This is especially evident at small ‘fourth tier’ schools. In fact, many have had to align themselves with larger institutions just to survive.
We were contacted about the status of the Appalachian School of Law by people concerned about its future. News 5 WCYB’s Samantha Kozsey visited the school and spoke to one of its board of trustees, as well as alumni, faculty and former faculty as well as legal consultants about the future of law schools specifically ASL. Just about everyone we spoke to said, this is a tough time especially for the few remaining ‘free-standing’ private law schools.
The Appalachian School of Law sits in an unlikely spot, in downtown Grundy, Va. The school opened its doors in 1994, with the first graduating class in 1997.
This is what we found: At the height of enrollment, there were approximately 150 students in a graduating class at ASL.
Most law schools were popping at the seams with lawyers up until about 2011, but the recession hit and the market couldn’t support the over-abundance of lawyers nationwide. Many lawyers struggled to get jobs from that point on.
Since then, law schools nationwide have seen fewer people choosing that profession. Just look at the numbers at ASL:
When the school opened there were 71 students. Compare that to the incoming class for 2014 which was approximately 45, that’s a 37% drop. Some estimate that number will drop even more for this coming Fall.
Even the faculty numbers have dropped from 14 full-time professors in the Spring of 2014 to eight in the fall to seven this semester, that’s down 50%.” [Emphasis mine]
This festering garbage heap has seen better days. When there are fewer young people to rob, there will be less academic thieves feeding at the trough. Seeing that “law professors” love to proclaim that all lawyers suck at math, I will point out to them that it’s a bad sign when you have a much smaller first year class than when your commode opened it doors.
Later on, the author continued:
“Amber Floyd Lee, ASL Alumni Board of Directors, said, "The school is tuition driven. It depends on tuition of students and if students aren't there, it doesn't have the financial resources to keep it going and a bigger issue right now is they don't have the professors to keep going."
Amber Lee says the Alumni Association is looking at all options including legal action against the board the trustees.
The big concern? Is there enough money coming in to keep the school going?" [Emphasis mine]
Yes, this law school/diploma mill is CLEARLY in great financial shape, right?!?! Notice how the officials are not interested in their students' job prospects or massive debt load.
Prior Coverage: Back on February 8, 2015, the Daily Progress republished a Roanoke Times piece from Luanne Rife. That article was entitled “Virginia’s law schools address declining enrollment. Check out this portion, near the end of the report:
“At Appalachian School of Law “our school is only 17 years old. The alumni isn’t of the age yet for endowments. We do have private donors who are very good to us,” said Donna Weaver, director of institutional development. For the most part the school is tuition driven.
“Because of the downturn of applications, the board of trustees lowered the number of faculty. We cut to the bare bone,” she said.
The school is considering an alliance with Emory & Henry. “It would connect us to a college in Virginia that could be a good feeder school,” she said.
Appalachian also hired a market research firm to help develop a strategic plan. With it, the school could possibly access funding through a federal tax credit program. The plan is also to identify geographic areas from which to recruit students.
For example, Weaver said the school has a strong natural resource program that would appeal to students wanting to pursue environmental and land-use law.
She said the school appeals to students wanting a nontraditional setting and a close faculty relationship and who want to be lawyers.” [Emphasis mine]
At least, Weaver admits that after 17 years in existence, the alumni does not have the deep pockets or pull to provide endowment money for the law school. It’s odd that so many idiots continue sign up to attend brand new ABA-accredited toilets. Hell, those schools don’t even have the network necessary to absorb or hire recent grads.
By the way, it’s pathetic how this supposed “institution of higher education” is trying to access funding through a federal tax credit program. Then again, academic parasites and leeches don’t have any principles – or any shame. They would swim through a river of excrement, in order to grab a few bucks.
Conclusion: According to the WCYB story, the pigs are in discussions regarding affiliating with something called the Emory & Henry College. Seeing that this is a tiny-ass, liberal arts dump, how much money will they be able to spend in order to keep Fourth Tier Trash Pit Appalachian Sewer of Law afloat?!