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Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Changing Paradigm in Public Legal Education

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

1983/84

1999-00

2004-05

5-Year

20-Year

Resident

$1,640

$6,695

$11,118

66.1%

577.9%

Non-Res.

$4,256

$15,035

$21,577

43.5%

407.0%

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

School

5-Year

School

20-Year

North Carolina

208.7%

Houston

10994.2%

Arizona

151.2%

Texas Tech

9172.7%

Arizona State

147.0%

Texas

2844.1%

Washington

126.9%

Texas Southern

1692.6%

Houston

109.8%

UC-Hastings

1643.3%

UCLA

99.2%

UC-Davis

1517.1%

Utah

98.4%

UCLA

1502.0%

UC-Berkeley

98.2%

UC-Berkeley

1399.4%

UC-Davis

94.8%

North Carolina

1302.0%

Cincinnati

94.4%

Arizona

1226.0%

Median

66.1%

Median

577.9%

N. Kentucky

40.0%

Georgia State

377.5%

Connecticut

39.5%

Georgia

373.8%

Maine

37.6%

Pittsburgh

348.8%

CUNY-Queens

35.3%

SUNY-Buffalo

326.1%

Hawaii

33.6%

Mississippi

324.1%

Missouri-Columbia

32.8%

Nebraska

262.4%

Montana

30.4%

Wayne State

259.0%

Wyoming

26.4%

Tennessee

257.4%

Temple

10.8%

Temple

206.4%

University D.C.

0.0%

CUNY-Queens

181.7%

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.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2005/10/the_changing_pa.html

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