TaxProf Blog

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Valparaiso Enrolls 28 1Ls, Down 73% From Last Year (87% From 2013)

Valparaiso (2017)Indiana Lawyer, Valparaiso Law Incoming Class Significantly Smaller but Posts Higher LSATs and GPAs:

As classes begin again, Valparaiso University Law School is standing apart from other Indiana law school as it welcomes an incoming 1L class of just 28 students, 73 percent smaller than the class that entered last year.

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Indiana University Maurer School of Law are also matriculating fewer 1L students but the declines are not as dramatic as at Valparaiso. IU McKinney’s Class of 2020 is 4 percent smaller at 244 and IU Maurer’s is 8 percent smaller at 164.

Only Notre Dame Law School has posted an increase. The Catholic institution is reporting an incoming 1L class of 199 students, 6 percent bigger than the class that started in the fall of 2016.

Although class sizes at Valparaiso have been declining, this year’s drop is by far the steepest. Going back to 2013, the northwest Indiana law school matriculated a 1L class of 208. In the subsequent years, the size fell from 174 in 2014 to 130 in 2015 to 103 last year, according to the American Bar Association’s Standard 509 Reports.

The smaller class at Valparaiso has come with some of the highest LSAT scores and grade point averages of any recent 1L group. Students just starting their legal studies this semester have a median LSAT of 151 and a median GPA of 3.23.

Classes that entered Valparaiso between 2013 and 2016 all had median LSAT scores in the 140s. The lowest median LSAT score of 143 came from the 1Ls of 2013 and the highest of 147 was brought by the 1Ls of 2016. GPAs also ranged from 2.93 posted by the 2015 incoming class to 3.10 from the 2014 incoming class.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/08/valparaisos-incoming-1l-class-is-28-students-down-73-from-last-year-87-from-2013.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

Surprising! I would've expected bumped demand after the closure of I. Tech.

Posted by: Oops | Aug 19, 2017 2:35:13 PM

Sounds profitable!

/sarc

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 19, 2017 10:24:24 PM

It is difficult to see how this doesn't end, soon, in the University calling it quits on the law school. How could a president, at an already cash-strapped and beleaguered regional university, justify maintaining an entire "school" that teaches just 28 new students per year?

Posted by: Jason Yackee | Aug 20, 2017 12:39:46 AM

I think we now know which law school will be the 4th to close its doors . . .

Posted by: AnonLawProf | Aug 20, 2017 8:47:47 AM

Sounds similar to how Whittier played out. When it was realized that there had to be a higher LSAT score for the entering class, enrollment collapsed. I don't know why the Valpo trustees didn't follow their peers at Whittier and just shut down the 1L class for this year when they saw what class size would be.

Posted by: PaulB | Aug 20, 2017 2:33:32 PM

Jason Yackee, the struggles of its law school aside, Valparaiso U is hardly "cash-strapped and beleaguered." It consistently ranks among the top regional schools in the Midwest. And therein lies the rub, whether the rest of the University can help to sustain the law school while it tries to get back on its feet -- assuming it can do so, which I agree is a questionable proposition. Unlike Whittier and Charlotte, VU Law has had a respectable place in the local/Tri-state legal communities going back well over a century. If it was the next to close, that would be a first among well-established regional law schools.

Posted by: JDanon | Aug 20, 2017 7:10:09 PM

Jason Yackee, the struggles of its law school aside, Valparaiso U is hardly "cash-strapped and beleaguered." It consistently ranks among the top regional schools in the Midwest.

It's a private college with a modest enrollment (about 4,000). That it has a law school is anomalous. The one reason to have it is that as an LCMS school, it's faculty might think outside the intellectual straightjackets in which contemporary academe has placed itself.

Posted by: Art Deco | Aug 21, 2017 11:47:34 AM