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Friday, January 16, 2009

NLJ: Private Law Schools Hit Harder by Budget Cuts

From next week's National Law Journal: Law Schools Dealing With Budget Cuts; Private Law Schools May Have It Worse, by Karen Sloan:

A number of states facing revenue shortfalls are eyeing cuts wherever possible, and higher education is a potential target. The financial picture isn't much brighter — and may actually be worse — for private law schools. Those schools generally rely more heavily than their public counterparts on income from endowments to pay for operations, and the nose-diving financial markets have hit endowments hard. ...

University of Chicago Law School Dean Saul Levmore said reliance on funding from endowments varies, but generally makes up a quarter to a half of the operating budget at private schools. Considering that many endowments have lost between 20% and 40% of their value, schools will likely need to make cuts, he said. However, the full impact of shrinking endowments won't be felt for several years. Law schools may see modest budget cuts in the short term, but long-term reductions could reach about 17% for very endowment-dependent schools if the economy does not recover quickly, Levmore said.

The article notes the budget cuts at these law schools:

  • Florida State: 7%
  • North Carolina:  projected 3%, 5% or 7%
  • Temple: 2%
  • UC-Hastings:  5%
  • UNLV:  9%

UNLV's Nancy Rapoport makes a plea to the Nevada state legislature to reconsider UNLV's budget cuts.

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