TaxProf Blog

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

WaPo: D.C. Law Schools Cut Class Sizes, 'Pain Cascade' Hits Lower-Ranked Schools Harder

Pain ScaleWashington Post, At Region’s Law Schools, a Struggle to Get Students:

Some of Washington’s top law schools are enrolling far fewer first-year students this fall than in previous years, and, in some cases, admitting students with lower grade-point averages and Law School Admission Test scores than in years past. ...

Enrollment trends at Georgetown, George Washington and George Mason reflect a nationwide phenomenon: Top-tier schools are still able to recruit top students, but even they are having to cut class size to maintain quality and amp up financial aid to win over students. And mid-tier schools are being hit harder, slashing enrollment more dramatically while also seeing the quality of students — at least as measured by LSAT and GPA scores — slip.

Georgetown Law (No. 14 in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings) enrolled 544 first-year students this fall — possibly its smallest class ever, according to dean of admissions Andy Cornblatt — and down 8 percent compared with the 591 students who enrolled in fall 2010. The school said the applicant pool maintained a median LSAT score of 168 and a 3.75 GPA for incoming students. ...

The shrinking number of applicants is pushing law schools to offer more financial aid and recruit top students more aggressively. Both Georgetown and George Washington (No. 21 ranking) — which saw enrollment rebound this fall to 481 students from 399, though that’s still smaller than its usual 500-plus class — are offering more financial aid this year, though neither program has released exact numbers. ...

George Mason (No. 41 ranking) enrolled 151 first-year students this fall — up slightly from last year’s 147, but only half of the 303 who enrolled in 2010. The program’s median LSAT score and GPA also slipped to their lowest levels in several years, from 163 to 161 and 3.7 to 3.59, respectively.

Dan Polsby, dean of George Mason, attributes the slide to what he calls a “pain cascade” among the nation’s law schools: Elite, well-funded programs are faring better because they can offer top students more money, while schools like his are being hit harder.

Legal Education | Permalink


Of what value are lawyers when the U.S. Constitution is flouted at every opportunity?

Posted by: PacRim Jim | Sep 21, 2013 10:03:32 PM

Answer: To give a legal basis for "flouting" the constitution.

Posted by: HTA | Sep 23, 2013 6:37:22 AM