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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

UC-Hastings Dean Admits Law Schools' Major Flaws

HastingsCNN, A Dean Who Admits Law Schools' Major Flaws:

As chancellor and dean of the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, [Frank] Wu announced in the spring of 2012 that he would slash enrollment at UC Hastings by 20%. ... [T]the rationale behind the move, revealed in a 2012 interview with USA Today, was what triggered admiration, astonishment, and even a little acrimony: "The critics of legal education are right…. There are far too many law schools and there are too many law students, and we need to do something about that," Wu said. Coming from the dean of a highly respected law school, it sounded a little crazy.

Wu compares law schools to Detroit automakers that assumed that when gasoline prices came down, people would flock to American-made cars again. "They mistook the cycle for the long-term trend," Wu points out. "I believe we're living through profound structural change. It's not a cycle." ...

[C]hange doesn't come without its critics. Some have pointed out that UC Hastings laid off 10 non-teaching employees and another 10 jobs were reduced from full-time to part-time after the enrollment cuts. Others point to an increase in resident tuition, which jumped by more than 16% in three years, from $40,836 in 2011-2012 to $47,500 in 2014-2015. In others words, the classes may be smaller but the students are paying for it. However, prospective students are still applying by the thousands. The school received 3,948 applications in 2013. ...

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/12/uc-hastings-dean.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

"I believe we're living through profound structural change. It's not a cycle."

S&M, please take note.

Posted by: HTA | Dec 18, 2013 1:01:50 PM

HTA take note: every move Hastings "innovative" dean is making to reduce enrollment helps S&M - it's called "reversion to the mean."

That just requires fewer JDs not more jobs because then lawyer income will increase while BA's who are turned away from law school in larger numbers will depress earnings of BAs as they add to the supply and the earnings premium wave will turn upward.

Apparently these basic principles of the labor marker elude Dean Wu.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 19, 2013 12:20:46 AM

To summarize my more nuanced rebuttal in one sentence: I think unemployed JDs do the same work as unemployed BAs, although with less debt.

But I recognize your argument may have merit Anon.

Posted by: HTA | Dec 20, 2013 7:08:31 AM

Here's enrollment at California law schools for 2012 and 2013:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/10/1l-enrollment-.html

Posted by: George Hussein Clinton | Dec 21, 2013 1:14:09 AM

"HTA take note: every move Hastings "innovative" dean is making to reduce enrollment helps S&M - it's called "reversion to the mean."
I thought it was reversion to the nice.

Posted by: willis | Dec 21, 2013 3:57:39 PM