Thursday, October 20, 2005
Denis Binder (Chapman) has graciously allowed me to share his very provocative paper, The Changing Paradigm in Public Legal Education, with the readers of this blog. The paper chronicles the increase in public law school tuition from 1983/1984 to 1999-2000 and 2004-2005 and computes tuition growth rates in these five- and twenty-year periods:
Median Resident Public Law School Tuition and Percentage Increases
By way of comparison, the consumer price index rose approximately 13% and 90%, respectively, in these five- and twenty-year periods.
These increases varied widely among schools. For example, the chart below lists the ten schools with the largest and smallest percentage resident tuition increases in the five- and twenty-year periods. The average ranking of the largest tuition-increasing schools was roughly 50% higher than the average ranking of the lowest tuition-increasing schools (as measured by the 2005-06 U.S. News peer reputation score):
Largest & Smallest Increases in Resident Public Law School Tuition
Binder concludes in part:
Public law schools face major challenges in shifting from a low tuition, heavily state supported model to one of high tuition with variable state support. The challenges can best be viewed as risks, which if not properly handled, will result in long term damage to public legal education. If the public law schools increasingly mirror their private counter-parts, their ethos, their basis for existence, as a public institution will cease.