Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 30, 2022

Struggling San Francisco Law School Slashes Class Size, Cancels Tuition

Reuters, Struggling San Francisco Law School Slashes Class Size, Cancels Tuition:

Golden Gate Logo (2023)Golden Gate University’s law school dramatically reduced the size of its first-year class and provided full scholarships to all new fulltime J.D. students this fall in a bid to improve sagging bar pass rates, reduce graduate debt loads and remain accredited.

The San Francisco law school intentionally enrolled just 21 new full-time J.D. students and 24 part-time students, down from 103 and 42, respectively, last year, law dean Colin Crawford said after the school announced the initiative on Thursday. That amounts to a 67% reduction in new students from a year ago.

All new full-time students are receiving scholarships covering three years of tuition—currently set at $52,500 a year—while about half of the new part-time students are also receiving free rides, Crawford said. He said he is unaware of any other law school that has eliminated tuition for an entire class of students.

Golden Gate has struggled with dismal bar exam pass rates for years. Its first-time pass rate on California’s July 2021 exam was 38%—the lowest among all 18 of the state's American Bar Association-accredited law schools. The ABA put the school on notice November 2021 that it is out of compliance with an accreditation standard requiring that at least 75% of a school’s graduates pass the bar within two years of leaving campus.

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