Wednesday, December 18, 2013
CNN, 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. ...