Wednesday, March 10, 2010
National Jurist, Law School Faculties 40% Larger Than 10 Years Ago:
The average law school increased its faculty size by 40% over the past 10 years, according to a study by The National Jurist to be released in late March. This increase in staffing accounts for 48% of the tuition increase from 1998 to 2008, the study shows. Tuition increased by 74% at private schools and 102% at public institutions from 1998 to 2008. ...
Law school observers say the dramatic increases are related to two things — an increased need for specialization and the U.S. News & World Report rankings of law schools. “Law schools tend to believe that their faculty reputation is driven by scholarship and they are very interested in U.S. News,” said William Henderson, a law professor at Indiana University Mauer School of Law. “Lowering your faculty-to-student ratio improves your [U.S. News] ranking and increases time for scholarship.”
Henderson said the typical teaching load has dropped from five courses a few generations ago to three courses today. “Professors are spending less time in the classroom,” he said. “Now whether that is a smart use of a social resource is another question. It is very expensive to pay for faculty research.”
From 1998 until 2008, the number of law faculty at 195 ABA-accredited law schools grew from 12,200 to 17,080 — a 40% increase. A subset of that total, the number of deans, librarians and other full-time administrators who teach more than tripled — from 528 to 1,059. ...
All of this has lowered the average student-to-faculty ratio from 18.5-to-1 in 1998 to 14.9-to-1 in 2008. It was an estimated 25.5-to-1 in 1988 and 29-to-1 in 1978. In other words, there are twice as many law professors per student today as there were 30 years ago.