Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

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Regionality
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Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Regionality » Sun May 09, 2010 12:14 am

I certainly don't think we need more schools, because we don't, but couldn't these schools snap their fingers, create T25 programs overnight and charge 45k per student per year?

There might be a thread out there, but I was wondering if anyone knew the history on this.

Edit: this topic may have fit better in the FAQ section

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bk1
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby bk1 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:17 am

I would think that, because they wouldn't break T14 any time soon, having a program ranked 30-40 (as an example) behind lots of "lesser" schools (whose overall reputation is lower) would hurt their overall reputation.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:21 am

bk1 wrote:I would think that, because they wouldn't break T14 any time soon, having a program ranked 30-40 (as an example) behind lots of "lesser" schools (whose overall reputation is lower) would hurt their overall reputation.


This. I think if either of them created a law school it would have to be a "go big or go home" sort of deal where they would have to build a great law school or none at all. Building a great law school is hugely expensive, and I'm sure they have better things to do with the money they get from their donors.

Also, Princeton doesn't have any professional schools. Only the undergrad, Woodrow Wilson and the graduate school of arts and sciences.

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Regionality
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Regionality » Sun May 09, 2010 12:24 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:
bk1 wrote:I would think that, because they wouldn't break T14 any time soon, having a program ranked 30-40 (as an example) behind lots of "lesser" schools (whose overall reputation is lower) would hurt their overall reputation.


This. I think if either of them created a law school it would have to be a "go big or go home" sort of deal where they would have to build a great law school or none at all. Building a great law school is hugely expensive, and I'm sure they have better things to do with the money they get from their donors.

Also, Princeton doesn't have any professional schools. Only the undergrad, Woodrow Wilson and the graduate school of arts and sciences.


But isn't building a law school basically just building a gorgeous new building and hiring a bunch of staff? (as opposed to a medical school which is HUGELY, prohibitively expensive because of all the lab and clinical infrastructure that is needed). Everyone always talks about how much of a cash cow law school is for universities (and subsequently why new law schools keep popping up). Is it really so prohibitively expensive?

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DerrickRose
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby DerrickRose » Sun May 09, 2010 12:25 am

bk1 wrote:I would think that, because they wouldn't break T14 any time soon, having a program ranked 30-40 (as an example) behind lots of "lesser" schools (whose overall reputation is lower) would hurt their overall reputation.


Pie in the sky hypotheticals, obviously, but there is no way Princeton Law would debut anywhere less than the T10.

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You Gotta Have Faith
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby You Gotta Have Faith » Sun May 09, 2010 12:27 am

Brown is another Ivy that doesn't have a law school. But both Brown and Dartmouth have Med Schools. Princeton is the only one that doesn't seem to delve into professional schools. But they are obviously very strong in a number of academic fields.

And, btw, Princeton Law used to exist for a short 5 years. Enjoy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_Law_School

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Unemployed » Sun May 09, 2010 12:29 am

Princeton tried once (in the 19th century) and failed. Whatever. With Kagan, there will be three Princetonians on the bench.

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Regionality
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Regionality » Sun May 09, 2010 12:30 am

You Gotta Have Faith wrote:Brown is another Ivy that doesn't have a law school. But both Brown and Dartmouth have Med Schools. Princeton is the only one that doesn't seem to delve into professional schools. But they are obviously very strong in a number of academic fields.

And, btw, Princeton Law used to exist for a short 5 years. Enjoy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princeton_Law_School


ha! You'd think they could get their shit together enough now with their multi-billion dollar endowment to put something together...that quote about USNWR ranking putting Princeton Law T20 is hilarious.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:32 am

Regionality wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
bk1 wrote:I would think that, because they wouldn't break T14 any time soon, having a program ranked 30-40 (as an example) behind lots of "lesser" schools (whose overall reputation is lower) would hurt their overall reputation.


This. I think if either of them created a law school it would have to be a "go big or go home" sort of deal where they would have to build a great law school or none at all. Building a great law school is hugely expensive, and I'm sure they have better things to do with the money they get from their donors.

Also, Princeton doesn't have any professional schools. Only the undergrad, Woodrow Wilson and the graduate school of arts and sciences.


But isn't building a law school basically just building a gorgeous new building and hiring a bunch of staff? (as opposed to a medical school which is HUGELY, prohibitively expensive because of all the lab and clinical infrastructure that is needed). Everyone always talks about how much of a cash cow law school is for universities (and subsequently why new law schools keep popping up). Is it really so prohibitively expensive?


Well, yes, but 1) building a building costs many, many millions of dollars, and 2) you would have to lure top professors from established schools, which means you would have to give them a premium in terms of salary (i.e., what UCI did with Chemerinsky).

You would probably also have to do huge amounts of financial aid for the first few classes to get people to come (again, a la UCI).

Also, I don't know where the cash cow thingcomes from. Perhaps at some lower-ranked schools, but I know for a fact at CLS (and I imagine most T10s), even if you are paying full freight, you are not covering the cost of your education. A signficant part of the operating budget comes from the endowment, grants from foundations or private donations.

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Mrs. Jack Donaghy
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Mrs. Jack Donaghy » Sun May 09, 2010 12:50 am

Neither school has any need for a law school. Seriously, both schools have large enough endowments that having an additional school would be unnecessary. However, it would still be great if Woodrow Wilson had a JD program.

bk1 wrote:I would think that, because they wouldn't break T14 any time soon, having a program ranked 30-40 (as an example) behind lots of "lesser" schools (whose overall reputation is lower) would hurt their overall reputation.


I disagree. Princeton & Dartmouth Law Schools would both crack the T14. That's lay prestige for ya.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby voice of reason » Sun May 09, 2010 1:48 am

Regionality wrote:But isn't building a law school basically just building a gorgeous new building and hiring a bunch of staff? (as opposed to a medical school which is HUGELY, prohibitively expensive because of all the lab and clinical infrastructure that is needed). Everyone always talks about how much of a cash cow law school is for universities (and subsequently why new law schools keep popping up). Is it really so prohibitively expensive?


Back of the envelope:

Startup costs
Law building, 100,000sq ft at $250/ft: $25M
Strategy consultants & marketing for startup: $1M
Law library, 400,000 volumes at $50/ea: $20M
Total startup: $46 million

Operating costs
Faculty salaries & benefits (45 faculty at an avg sal $120K/yr and benefits rate of 26%): $7M/yr
Administrative/staff salaries & benefits: $2M/yr
Facilities maintenance: $1M/yr
Misc academic ops (research support, speakers, etc): $1M/yr.
Total operating costs: $11 million/year

With 250 students paying $45K you can break even. With 250 per class, however, you might make bank.

Now what huge expense am I overlooking?

Edit: One other potentially big expense is LRAP. Another is stipends for summer work in public interest. Another is merit aid. Assume, generously, that they cut average revenue per student down to $25K. And with 750 students, you might want more like 60 faculty, which would raise costs by $2M. These assumptions still make the law school profitable.
Last edited by voice of reason on Sun May 09, 2010 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby motiontodismiss » Sun May 09, 2010 11:04 am

A law building will be a lot more than 100k square feet. Think like, 250k-500k sqft.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Big Dog » Sun May 09, 2010 11:43 am

Dartmouth would have difficulty obtaining approval to build in Hanover. Sure they'd eventually get it done, but they would have to buy off the local townspeople. Second, no space for student housing -- current campus is full. Third, while Hanover might be a wonderful place to retire, it's unlikely to attract big time Profs like Dean Chem at UCI. (Ithaca is a much larger town and community.)

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby legalease9 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:02 pm

Regionality wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
bk1 wrote:I would think that, because they wouldn't break T14 any time soon, having a program ranked 30-40 (as an example) behind lots of "lesser" schools (whose overall reputation is lower) would hurt their overall reputation.


This. I think if either of them created a law school it would have to be a "go big or go home" sort of deal where they would have to build a great law school or none at all. Building a great law school is hugely expensive, and I'm sure they have better things to do with the money they get from their donors.

Also, Princeton doesn't have any professional schools. Only the undergrad, Woodrow Wilson and the graduate school of arts and sciences.


But isn't building a law school basically just building a gorgeous new building and hiring a bunch of staff? (as opposed to a medical school which is HUGELY, prohibitively expensive because of all the lab and clinical infrastructure that is needed). Everyone always talks about how much of a cash cow law school is for universities (and subsequently why new law schools keep popping up). Is it really so prohibitively expensive?


Building a law school that can effectively climb US news is very expensive. You must first buy a ridiculously big library of books that no one will ever read. That's costly to do from scratch. You must build a reputation with employers (challenging with any law school even one with as much non-law prestige as Princeton and Dartmouth). Also hard to do from scratch. Finally, you must get high-scoring students to attend your unaccredited university (simply b/c accreditation takes time) by giving them big scholarships. Plus giving elite professors top dollar to poach them from other elite universities and high-ranked law schools. I think a starting law school that wanted to be high ranked would have to operate at a HUGE operating loss for at least the first 3-5 years, especially given the fact that they would have to take huge tuition cuts for elite students to take the risk of attending there.

Edit: This is part of the reason why the youngest T14 law school (U Chic) was founded in 1902. These institutions are old, and have had time to build prestige in the field as well their school collections (library's etc.)

Edit: much of this was articulated well by voice of reason.
Last edited by legalease9 on Sun May 09, 2010 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby legalease9 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:07 pm

Regionality wrote:I certainly don't think we need more schools, because we don't, but couldn't these schools snap their fingers, create T25 programs overnight and charge 45k per student per year?

There might be a thread out there, but I was wondering if anyone knew the history on this.

Edit: this topic may have fit better in the FAQ section


This as well.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:49 pm

voice of reason wrote:Administrative/staff salaries & benefits: $2M/yr
Facilities maintenance: $1M/yr
Misc academic ops (research support, speakers, etc): $1M/yr.


I think these three line items are big underestimates.

Admin and staff costs are huge. Say you have 750 kids (250/class) and 50 faculty. This will require at least: 8 law librarians/library staff, 5 career services people, 5 admissions/financial aid officers, 5 registrar/student services staff, 15 admin ass'ts (10 for faculty, 5 for other admins), 10 building/custodial staff, 5 people for associated other programs (clinical programs, fellowships, clerkships, public interest centers, etc.), and probably another 12 general G&A (finance, accounting, IT, HR, etc). You're looking at 60-70 people (conservatively) probably at $100k/apiece including beneifts (janitors and secretaries are less, but deans and IT people are more) for a cost of at least $6-$7 million dollars.

As noted above, you will need more space than 100k square feet. CLS's main building alone (one of three) is 300k square feet and is ridiculously crowded. A good benchmark (don't ask me how I know this - it's a relic of my consulting days) is $250k/year/100k square feet just for utilities in commercial buildings, and law schools are especially utilities intensive because of the large amounts of electricity usage (tons of computers and A/V equipment, lights on much longer than 9-5, etc). If you add in the cost of actually maintaining the buildings, replacing furniture, furnishings and computers, etc., I would guess at least $2-$3 million.

Academic ops cost much more. I would not be surprised if faculty travel alone (sending your professors to conferences) cost $500k aggregate (10k/professor/year). You need tons of journal and periodical subscriptions, a budget for new library acquisitions, the cost of hosting conferences (easily tens of thousands per event), renting out an entire hotel for 4 days for EIP, admitted students weekends, sending admissions officers on outreach, alumni events, etc. Forget about specialized centers for the study of certain areas of law (which you will need to attract faculty).

I think your estimate of faculty salaries is also a bit low. Adjunct and assistant faculty might make that much, but at top law schools, full professors make $200k on average not including benefits (more if you're a superstar) and deans make upwards of $400k. Top law schools also carry very few junior faculty.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Renzo » Sun May 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Don't forget that you might have to pay twice (or more?) what the very top profs are making wherever they are to lure them in. It would be like building a world-series team the first year of an expansion franchise--you'd have to pay enough that every all-star in the league would be breaking down the door. Because if they all don't come, none are coming.

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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby voice of reason » Sun May 09, 2010 8:29 pm

motiontodismiss wrote:A law building will be a lot more than 100k square feet. Think like, 250k-500k sqft.


Ok, I agree 100K is too small. But the ones that are 250-500k seem to have huge enrollment, such as Harvard and Georgetown, which are 500K and 338K. I was imagining a smaller school. Here are some smaller ones:

Cornell: 118,723 sq ft
Chicago: 159,974
Yale: 172,148
Davis: 70,330
Berkeley: 166,915
Stanford: 165,230

So, maybe 175-200K for a startup in the ballpark of 600 JD students.

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Lmao Zedong
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Re: Why don't Princeton and Dartmouth have law schools?

Postby Lmao Zedong » Mon May 10, 2010 3:29 am

epic anti-brown trolling itt

(if you'd mentioned only princeton in the title it'd be a different story)




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