Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Leiter: How Many Law Schools Will Close Over the Next Ten Years?

SorryBrian Leiter (Chicago) asks in a poll: "How many currently accredited ABA law schools (there are about 200) do you think will close over the next ten years? (Assume that there are no changes to federally guaranteed student loans and that there is a modest improvement in the job market for lawyers.)"  The leading answer is 1-10 (61%).

Update:  Brian Leiter (Chicago), Predictions about Closings of ABA-Accredited Law Schools Over the Next Decade:

My own opinion was that we'll see several law schools close during the next decade, but probably not more than ten--and that was the majority view among readers by a wide margin.  ...  25% of respondents expected more serious carnage, on the order of 5% or much more of current law schools closing.  I would agree with the prophets of doom at least to this extent:  I expect more than 5% of current law schools, and probably more like 30-50%, will contract in various ways over the next decade:  they will admit fewer students (we're already seeing that), and will shrink their faculties.  That, of course, would be a sensible response to the economic climate generally, and for lawyers in particular. Of course, all of this is predicated on two assumptions:  a modest economic rebound over the next decade and, even more importantly, continued federal guarantees of student loans, which supply the operating budget of the majority of law schools.

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