Paul L. Caron

Friday, May 30, 2008

NLJ: Is the Country Ready for Ten New Law Schools?

Nlj_2From next week's National Law Journal:  A Deluge of Law Schools: As Many as 10 Are in the Works — But Are They Needed?, by Leigh Jones:

As many as 10 new law schools are in the works, with the majority of them proposed in the eastern part of the country.

While their proponents insist that the schools will serve the needs of their communities and beyond, the plans are drawing sharp criticism from those who argue that creating more law schools is irresponsible.

With three new law schools proposed in New York alone and others also in the early stages in Connecticut, Maine, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, developing facilities to pump out juris doctor degrees is the goal du jour for institutions looking to build a bigger name for themselves.

Planners assert that their schools will offer specialized programs and innovative curricula to J.D. hopefuls. Critics, however, point to a tight job market and starting salaries that do not cover the ballooning costs of tuition for the majority of students already graduating from the nation's hundreds of law schools.

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NY state currently only has 1 public law school--SUNY Buffalo. Adding two new law schools to the State University system--SUNY Binghampton and SUNY Stonybrook--will offer in-state tuition options to New Yorkers who otherwise would have to pay private law school prices (or go to Buffalo) to go to law school in NY. Presumably, not every graduate of the SUNY law schools will require BIGLAW starting salaries to not cover the costs of in-state tuition.


Posted by: Adjunct Law Prof. | May 30, 2008 2:10:51 PM