TaxProf Blog

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

Monday, January 28, 2019

Rather Than Increase 1L Class Size, Some Law Schools Shrink Strategically

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  ABA Journal, Rather Than Increasing 1L Class Size in 2018, Some Law Schools Shrunk Strategically:

While 117 law schools this year increased their first-year class sizes, following a growth of more than 8 percent in applications, a few others purposely had fewer 1L students in 2018. 

“When we saw that the applicant pool was much stronger at the top, we set a goal to go up two points for the median LSAT, assuming that most schools would go up one point,” says Melanie Leslie, the dean of Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. The first-year class has 334 students, compared to 368 1Ls in 2017. The median undergraduate grade-point average increased, from 3.51 to 3.52, and the median Law School Admissions Test score rose from 159 to 161. ...

Of the 46 law schools that decreased first-year class sizes by 5 percent or greater this year, 31 increased their median LSAT by at least one point, according to the Spivey Consulting Group, which works with law schools and law school applicants. A total of 22 schools increased both their LSAT and undergraduate GPA medians. ...

Another benefit to shrinking an entering class size is the potential to rise on U.S. News & World Report’s law school rankings. That happened in March 2017 for Washington & Lee University School of Law, when it went from 40th to 28th in the rankings. ,,,

[Michigan State shrank] the entering class, from 266 to 208. The school’s median GPA decreased, from 3.56 to 3.52, and the median LSAT for both years has been 154.

Prior TaxProf Blog posts:

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This is packaging. The schools are shrinking to prevent decline. It's simply another way of declining.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Jan 28, 2019 4:06:24 AM

How sad that exclusivity would pass as an acceptable goal for a charity.

And to waste so much going through the motions for an accordingly overpriced degree instead of simply teaching everyone (within reason) and including the scores in job applications for whoever wants to know.

Posted by: Anand Desai | Jan 29, 2019 7:43:19 PM