Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Martin Pritikin (Dean, Concord), Legal Education: The Outlook for 2020:
They say hindsight is 20/20. As we look ahead to the year 2020, we can make some educated guesses about the “weather” in store for law schools.
Admissions Outlook: Partly Sunny
The nationwide declines in law school applications have leveled out in the last few years, with a number of schools even seeing increases. This modestly positive trend is likely to continue. ... On the whole, expect law school applications nationwide to increase by 3 to 7 percent next year.
Law School Closures: Scattered Showers
The most highly-ranked law schools are seeing some of the biggest rebounds in applications (not surprisingly, given that applications among those with the highest LSAT scores fell by the greatest share from 2010-2016). Some schools whose graduates struggle with bar passage and employment, however, will continue to face an existential threat.
In the last few years, nearly a dozen law schools have closed, lost their accreditation by the American Bar Association (ABA), or been put on probation by the ABA. ...
[I]t is reasonable to expect that between one and three law schools will lose their accreditation, be placed on probation, or announce closure within the coming year.
GRE: Abundant Sunshine
You don’t need to be Nostradamus to foresee that at least a dozen more law schools will adopt the GRE as an alternative admissions test to the LSAT in 2020. ...
Online Learning: Sunny But Obscured by Haze
Four law schools have now obtained variances from the ABA’s limits on distance learning to offer hybrid-online J.D. programs. (Southwestern Law School received a variance but did not pursue a hybrid program.) It is reasonable to expect that one or two more schools will announce hybrid programs in 2020.