TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kansas to Shrink Entering 1L Class by 30%

KansasKansas City Business Journal:  KU Law Targets Smaller Classes Now and In Future:

The University of Kansas School of Law will have a significantly smaller incoming class this fall — and in future years for the foreseeable future.

Faced with dwindling applications, law schools across the country either are slashing class sizes or admitting students with inferior credentials. Dean [and Tax Prof] Stephen Mazza said KU set a target of 120 students this year and may end up a bit below that.

By contrast, there are 175 students graduating this year and about 140 each in the first-year and second-year classes. 

American Lawyer:  Commendable Conduct Award, by Steven J. Harper (former partner, Kirkland & Ellis; adjunct professor, Northwestern; and author, The Lawyer Bubble (2013)):

there are several unique aspects to KU's announcement that make it especially noteworthy.

First, the reduction as a percentage of enrollment in prior years is large: from 175 students graduating this year to a target of 120 students for the 2013 entering class and those that follow.

Equally significant, it appears that KU didn’t have to take this laudable step. The dean said that applications were down only about 10%—far less than at many other schools. Moreover, an impressive 82% of 2012 graduates secured long-term jobs where a J.D. was required or preferred—a figure far above the national average.

As an added bonus, a KU legal education is a relative bargain when compared to what many other schools offer: $18,600 tuition for full-time students who are state residents; $31,500 for those who hail from outside Kansas. ...

[K]udos to dean Stephen Mazza and the University of Kansas School of Law. He’s been dean only since April 2011, but he’s already making a profound difference in the way that matters most—one person at a time.

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This is the first credible reduction in class size by a major law school that I know of. If a student wanted to become a lawyer in Kansas, KU Law seems like a great opportunity.

Posted by: HTA | May 28, 2013 8:00:56 PM

Kansas University is in top 20 colleges, they have an impressive records and maintained it. i see many students getting graduate from this college with excellent results. so i agree to the above mentioned content.

Posted by: Will | May 29, 2013 12:08:33 AM

This is a commendable cut, but it is 14% rather than 30% (i.e., 140 in the last two years, 120 or so this year). I suspect there will be other schools that cut their class sizes by more this year. I am not sure if there move is any more commendable than other schools that will also cut their class size, some of which have also slipped in the US News rankings as Kansas has.

Posted by: Jasper | May 29, 2013 7:26:28 AM

Brilliant move. Kansas is making an attempt to become a top tier school. With any luck, graduates should see their employment rate go from 82% (which I find deplorably low) to 95%+.

Posted by: Ed Sodaro | May 29, 2013 8:05:04 AM

Would that all the Law Schools in the country reduce their class size to zero, forever.

will this plague of lawyers never stop?

lawyers have wrested the Republic out of the hands of the people and have given to the "benevolent" and "noble" tyrants of the Progressive Movement.

I hate you all with the intensity of a thousand white-hot Suns.

Posted by: Stacey Shoemaker | May 29, 2013 8:28:18 AM

Somebody sue somebody. Fast.

Posted by: PacRim Jim | May 29, 2013 11:42:50 AM

It is a commentary on the law school industrial complex to be shocked to find honor among skeeze.

But I won't hold my breath waiting for follow-ons.

Posted by: cas127 | May 29, 2013 1:45:24 PM

I hope that the usual clowns that write the Peer Assessment scores will give U of K a one point increase from its usual rank.

But I don't see prestige employers recruiting at UK because of this move.

Let's hope this move has more than a symbolic effect.

Posted by: Forgotten Attorney | May 29, 2013 3:38:41 PM

From all of the pro-U Kentucky sentiments being expressed here, I can only assume a certain professor who recently moved to Michigan is trying to get revenge on his former colleagues at Louisville--UK's only real competitor within Kentucky.

Because students in the surrounding states would have to be a little touched in the head to go to law school in Kentucky, given how little lawyers in Kentucky make.

Even in West Virginia, lawyers make more.

Posted by: Anon | May 29, 2013 6:45:37 PM

Kansas, not Kentucky.

Unlike Kentucky, Kansas is a powerhouse. All of the big M&A deals are done in Kansas.

Posted by: Anon | May 29, 2013 6:53:07 PM