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Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ohio Law Schools Reduce Incoming 1L Class Size by 15% in Wake of 'Catastrophic' Legal Job Market

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Law Schools Reduce Classes as Applications Drop in Wake of Fewer Legal Jobs:

"What is going on in the market is absolutely catastrophic," said Craig Boise, dean of CSU's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. "It is not short-term. It has been precipitated by what is going on in the economy, which is a long-term dislocation caused by the way legal services are being delivered. Technology and cheaper contract labor is eliminating a lot of law firm jobs." ...Law school applications were down 28% at CSU this year, he said, prompting officials to decrease class size to ensure quality students. ...

Boise said the CSU faculty approved a wide-ranging curriculum reform last year to focus on how to practice law instead of studying "high" legal theory. He said the current model of law schools is not sustainable. "This is not a passing storm," he said. "There is a wholesale transition in our industry. We have got to position ourselves."

He likes a well-known quote from hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." Said Boise, "We are trying really hard to be where the puck is going to be."

The article reports these incoming 1L class size reductions at Ohio law schools:

  • Case Western: -14.1%  (165, down from 192 in 2011)
  • Cleveland State:  -16.2%  (140, down from 167 in 2011 (and 200 in 2010))
  • Ohio State:  -15%:  (180, down from 211 in 2011)

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I didn't see Cincy mentioned here, are they taking similar measures?

Posted by: Anon | Jul 23, 2012 12:09:32 PM

Remember that there are 6 other law schools in Ohio: Akron, Capital, Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio Northern, Toledo. Ohio State, Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Akron, and Toledo are public schools, the others private. It will be interesting to see where they come in - probably down as well.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 24, 2012 4:11:40 PM