Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Phoenix Law School Changes Its Name Amidst 48% Enrollment Decline, 35% Attrition Rate, Lawsuit by Two Fired Tenured Faculty

PhoenixThe Arizona Republic:  Phoenix School of Law to Adopt New Name:

Phoenix School of Law, Arizona’s only private law school, will change its name Monday to Arizona Summit Law School.

Officials with the school, which is in downtown Phoenix and has more than 950 students, said the new name reflects the school’s mission to help students “ascend toward their personal summit.”

(Hat Tip: Bon Kamman.)  Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

SummitUpdate:  National Law Journal, Phoenix School of Law Adopts New Brand:

Goodbye Phoenix School of Law; hello Arizona Summit Law School. Arizona's only private law school has changed its name, effective immediately. ...

The move comes at a challenging time for the downtown Phoenix law school, one of Infilaw Holding LLC’s consortium of for-profit schools. The school enrolled just 197 new students this fall, down from the 380 1Ls who began at this time last year. That represents a 48 percent decline, a steeper drop-off than most law schools saw this year. ... The school reported a 8 percent attrition rate among 1Ls last year and 35 percent attrition among 2Ls, many of whom transferred to other law schools following their first year.

Attempts by the school to retain students for all three years featured prominently in a lawsuit filed in June by two former tenured professors who allege that they were unlawfully dismissed because they opposed new policies including a reordering of first-year courses to make it more difficult for students to transfer. Plaintiffs Michael O’Connor and Celia Rumann also alleged they were punished for objecting to the planned rebranding. ...

“‘Summit’ reflects the type of students we have at the school,” [Arizona Summit president Scott Thompson] said. “It’s not always a straight, direct trip up the mountain. Often, you have to take some turns to get there.”

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Law school is a trade school, and if the trade doesn't take up the graduates, would-be students are smart to avoid law schools. Especially at $50-70,000 a year in direct (i.e., non-opportunity) costs.

Posted by: Brendon Carr | Nov 5, 2013 10:20:11 PM

Professor Livingston,
How's the old law school model working out for Rutgers, Camden? A school which saw its incoming class drop from 282 in 2011 to 116 in 2012.

Posted by: D++ | Nov 5, 2013 8:23:24 PM

First, kill all the law schools.

Posted by: p-dawg | Nov 5, 2013 2:42:41 PM

We have too many Law Schools, too many law school students, too many lawyers and too many politicians who are lawyers.

Posted by: John | Nov 5, 2013 12:02:32 PM

So much for the new law school model.

Posted by: michael livingston | Nov 5, 2013 6:45:59 AM