Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

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JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:58 pm

@ businesslady

Let me answer the last set of questions.

How easy is it to take courses outside of the law school for credit?
You may take up to six hours of credits outside the law school.

Could you ever get away with offering something like a JD/MFA in social practice?
We have 12 joint degree programs that cover a wide range (http://law.ku.edu/jointdegrees). I'm not sure but I think you are referring to a Master's in Fine Arts. We do not have a joint degree with that program. For social practice, perhaps our JD/MSW (social work) would be something of interest.

Would you be able to easily coordinate scholarships if you did?
KU Law scholarships only cover law school credits.

Your "Loan Repayment" page is just PAYE/PSLF. Is actual LRAP something you've considered for the future? We do not offer a LRAP, although the benefits of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program likely exceeds most LRAP program benefits.

Thanks for all your questions. It seems like you might be in the Kansas City area. If so, you might be interested in attending our Winter Open House in Kansas City on Tuesday, Jan. 13. Info and registration is available at http://law.ku.edu/openhouse.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:10 pm

@ hereisonehand

You asked if I frequently speak with alumni who did not have a good employment or career experience after graduation. Honestly, I have not had many such conversations. In contrast, our Career Services folks are more likely to hear from such students. Their doors are open to alumni at any stage of someone's career and they have helped many students who may not have had the type of start to their careers they hoped for. In fact, we encourage our alumni who are seeking employment to contact our Career Services Office, which may have connections, training, advice, and sometimes even job openings that the alum might not have access to. The rule in the CSO office is they will work as hard as the student does to help them find employment. If we don't know about you, there's not much we can do. But if you're active, positive and engaged with the office, they're going to work hard to get you in a better position. Dean Thompson and Director Terranova are very passionate about what they do, and have helped many students find their way to positive outcomes.
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:57 pm

@skool

You asked about our commitment to keeping tuition low. We are definitely committed, but it can be a challenge. One big factor is that, for the most part, we do not set tuition at the law school. Instead the Kansas Board of Regents sets the rates. We ask every year that they limit the increase, but all we can do is ask. We do control a small portion of the tuition, that part of the cost we refer to as course fees. Last year, we reduced the course fees. With this action we were able to limit the total tuition rise to 1.8% for Kansas residents and 3.1% for non-residents. Tuition for this year is $19,985 for residents, and $34,089 for non-residents. Unfortunately, last year's course fee reduction was likely a one-time event which means that tuition will likely rise by a higher percentage. Nothing earth shattering, but any increase can be a burden for our students.

So of course we'd like tuition to be lower. But to put our tuition in perspective, our out-of-state tuition is lower than just about every private law school, and lower than a number of public law school's in-state tuition. That's pretty good.

Another way we are committed to keeping law school affordable is through our merit scholarship program. As mentioned in a prior response, we just reached a $20 million fund raising goal, with nearly all of those funds directed towards scholarships.

Finally, you ask a good question about how our cost-cutting and thriftiness might affect our programs. For one, we're definitely not overstaffed with administrators. If you look at our staff directory, you will not see a lot of senior assistant associate directors to the associate senior director for this or that. We are a lean, mean educating machine. We all work very well together, which is why I think we're able to provide a high level of service to our students. I definitely encourage you to speak with our students to see how we're doing.

As for academics, we are shrinking the number of faculty by about three or four. Basically, we've had some of our senior faculty take retirement and we're not generally replacing their spots. This may result in a few fewer classes being offered, as well as having an additional couple of classes taught by adjuncts. But I don't think there will be any major, noticeable differences. We have been quite fortunate that our endowment has grown from fundraising and appreciation. That has definitely helped, particularly in the area of scholarships.
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:02 pm

@ lhanvt13

1) do you have a visiting students program available for 3L year?

Yes, we do. You are welcome to come for a semester or a year. Complete information is available at http://law.ku.edu/apply-visiting. For students who are paying more to attend law school elsewhere, you may want to consider spending a semester or a year here at KU. It's a fun place to spend a year.

2) are visiting students able to get student basketball tickets? (born and raised in a Jayhawk family but don't exactly know how the ticket system works there for law students)

That's a good question. I'm not 100% sure, but I would think so since you would be enrolled as a KU Law student receiving a transcript. If this is the difference between visiting or not, I'll personally call up Coach Self for a definitive answer :)

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:08 pm

Just want to pause to give a big thank you to everyone posting these good questions. I knew coming in there'd be a few folks jumping on here who wouldn't know a Jayhawk from an Oread. But I suspected that there were many more people with genuine questions about what we do here.

So thank you and keep them coming. I'll do my best to answer them.

Steve

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Skool
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Skool » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:40 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:@skool

You asked about our commitment to keeping tuition low. We are definitely committed, but it can be a challenge. One big factor is that, for the most part, we do not set tuition at the law school. Instead the Kansas Board of Regents sets the rates. We ask every year that they limit the increase, but all we can do is ask. We do control a small portion of the tuition, that part of the cost we refer to as course fees. We reduced the course fees. With this action we were able to limit the total tuition rise to 1.8% for Kansas residents and 3.1% for non-residents. Tuition for this year is $19,985 for residents, and $34,089 for non-residents. Unfortunately, last year's course fee reduction was likely a one-time event which means that tuition will likely rise by a higher percentage. Nothing earth shattering, but any increase can be a burden for our students.

So of course we'd like tuition to be lower. But to put our tuition in perspective, our out-of-state tuition is lower than just about every private law school, and lower than a number of public law school's in-state tuition. That's pretty good.

Another way we are committed to keeping law school affordable is through our merit scholarship program. As mentioned in a prior response, we just reached a $20 million fund raising goal, with nearly all of those funds directed towards scholarships.

Finally, you ask a good question about how our cost-cutting and thriftiness might affect our programs. For one, we're definitely not overstaffed with administrators. If you look at our staff directory, you will not see a lot of senior assistant associate directors to the associate senior director for this or that. We are a lean, mean educating machine. We all work very well together, which is why I think we're able to provide a high level of service to our students. I definitely encourage you to speak with our students to see how we're doing.

As for academics, we are shrinking the number of faculty by about three or four. Basically, we've had some of our senior faculty take retirement and we're not generally replacing their spots. This may result in a few fewer classes being offered, as well as having an additional couple of classes taught by adjuncts. But I don't think there will be any major, noticeable differences. We have been quite fortunate that our endowment has grown from fundraising and appreciation. That has definitely helped, particularly in the area of scholarships.


In some ways, the answer is at once shady but also admirable.

It's good to hear you had a (presumably well executed) fundraising campaign for scholarships. But merit scholarships typically reward those at the top of the LSAT/GPA pyramid (usually those who need the least help financing an education), whereas tuition reductions benefit all students. So scholarships sound nice on the surface, but it's important to remember their role in the big picture and to question whether these scholarships really have the best interest of all students at heart.

Additionally, the answer kind of passes the buck onto the Board of Regents. They may set tuition, but who controls the costs? (I know this is a complicated question, especially given fixed costs like faculty). But are tuition raises responsive to costs? Whose court is the ball in now?

I am not in a position to make a judgment about KU's leaness, but I hope it's true. Still, your response to say your out of state tutition costs less than most of your private school competitors shows a troubling attitude toward students and "leaness." Prices are out of wack across the country. You may be a one-eyed king in a blind kingdom, but it's likely that KU and everyone else can and should do better. For instance, is three years of standard law school education really the most cost efficient method of training young lawyers? Has KU considered taking on the challenge of piloting a program where students are educated in two years?

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:13 pm

@alaird

Last year three of our students found jobs overseas. I know specifics about two of them. One student is working in Brussels, Belgium at a European law firm, with another working at DHL in Qatar. I believe the third student found employment in SE Asia, but I'm not entirely sure where. In fact, I just asked this question internally this week because I'd like to include it in a newsletter to pre-law advisers. If I get an update about student #3, I'll post it.

We have a very strong international law program, with a great international law faculty and partnerships across the world. You can read more about our programs at http://law.ku.edu/international-comparative-law.

I do advise students to be realistic when thinking about finding employment overseas. It's a very competitive area with a not always direct way to find opportunities. I think our student who ended up in Belgium is a good example. That student was part of our international moot court team which made it to the finals held in Geneva. Part of the award for making it to Geneva was the opportunity to interview with European firms. I'm guessing he killed that interview, and is now enjoying a pretty neat start to a career. For the student in Qatar, we helped her make connections to our alumni network with one thing leading to another. Now she's got a pretty cool start to a career.

In sum, I encourage students to be realistic, flexible and hard working. The better you do in law school, the more doors you can open. And here's a distinction I'd like to make. Good grades and a great resume opens doors that you need to open, they're not going to open by themselves. These opportunities don't just fall into your lap, you need to make the connections that get you where you want to go. We'll help you, and we have a great alumni network looking for you, but you need to put in the work. Even with all that, it is competitive so make sure that you are pursuing jobs here too.

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WichitaShocker
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby WichitaShocker » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:52 pm

Hello Dean,

My question is about job placement. What percentage of your graduates end up in the Wichita, Topeka, and the Kansas City market respectively? Which market do you think is your schools strongest, and how do you think your graduates do vs Washburn grads in each market?
Last edited by WichitaShocker on Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Sheriff » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:03 pm

WichitaShocker wrote:Hello Dean,

My question is about job placement. What percentage of your graduates end up the Wichita, Topeka, and the Kansas City market respectively? Which market do you think is your schools strongest, and how do you think your graduates do vs Washburn grads in each market?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... tion/2013/

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WichitaShocker
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby WichitaShocker » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:24 pm

Sheriff wrote:
WichitaShocker wrote:Hello Dean,

My question is about job placement. What percentage of your graduates end up the Wichita, Topeka, and the Kansas City market respectively? Which market do you think is your schools strongest, and how do you think your graduates do vs Washburn grads in each market?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... tion/2013/


I understand that, but I am asking about placement in the specific markets in Kansas.

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lhanvt13
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby lhanvt13 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:30 pm

WichitaShocker wrote:
Sheriff wrote:
WichitaShocker wrote:Hello Dean,

My question is about job placement. What percentage of your graduates end up the Wichita, Topeka, and the Kansas City market respectively? Which market do you think is your schools strongest, and how do you think your graduates do vs Washburn grads in each market?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... tion/2013/


I understand that, but I am asking about placement in the specific markets in Kansas.

fwiw, my callback in Kansas city was all KU alum. Just talked about basketball the whole time

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Sheriff
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Sheriff » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:35 pm

WichitaShocker wrote:
Sheriff wrote:
WichitaShocker wrote:Hello Dean,

My question is about job placement. What percentage of your graduates end up the Wichita, Topeka, and the Kansas City market respectively? Which market do you think is your schools strongest, and how do you think your graduates do vs Washburn grads in each market?


http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... tion/2013/


I understand that, but I am asking about placement in the specific markets in Kansas.


I'm sure a few snag gigs in rural areas, but it's freaking Kansas, where else would the jobs be?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:44 pm

Sheriff, be quiet and let the dean answer the perfectly reasonable question.

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Sheriff
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby Sheriff » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:59 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Sheriff, be quiet and let the dean answer the perfectly reasonable question.


Okay, Nony. You win. I won't post on this thread again. I would just appreciate it if someone can ask the dean what city KU Law is located in since neither LST, or Google is a thing around here.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:20 pm

As hard as it may be for non-Kansans to believe, Kansans probably do distinguish/have preferences between Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, and it's perfectly reasonable to want to know if there's a difference in KU grads' opportunities in each of those locations. (LST doesn't break down placement by city.)

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:07 am

Kansas Employment

Before I talk about employment within Kansas and Kansas City, I'd like to point out that we do pretty well placing students outside of our home region. For the most recent reporting class, 74 of our graduates found employment outside of Kansas. If you take out Missouri, where many Kansas City law firms are located, we had 39 students find employment outside Kansas or Missouri. Our students found employment in 20 different states and three foreign countries. The KU degree travels well. You can find the complete list on our career services stats page at http://law.ku.edu/employment-statistics.

Within Kansas, we're obviously a very good school to go to if you'd like to practice in Kansas or Kansas City. We don't track employment stats by city, but two years ago, the Kansas City Business Journal looked at the attorney rosters for the five largest law firms in Kansas City and found KU had more graduates employed in those law firms than any other law school. We did our research and looked at the attorney rosters for the five largest law firms in Overland Park, Lawrence, Wichita, Topeka and Manhattan (three largest for Lawrence and Manhattan). Our graduates were number one in all those cities except Topeka.

That doesn't mean that students from other law schools aren't competing in these markets and you can find graduates from all the area law schools at these firms. What it does mean is that we believe we put our students in the best position to find employment in Kansas and Kansas City. The numbers definitely back that up, and so does our experience in the market.
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:28 am

@businesslady

While I think you have some interesting questions about law school financing, that kind of detailed information is well beyond my knowledge level and probably best answered by someone a few pay grades above my job classification. As for other KU folks joining in, I might try to pull in a student or two, but so far I am the only administrator brave or foolish enough to post here.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby jenesaislaw » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:14 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:As hard as it may be for non-Kansans to believe, Kansans probably do distinguish/have preferences between Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, and it's perfectly reasonable to want to know if there's a difference in KU grads' opportunities in each of those locations. (LST doesn't break down placement by city.)


Check out Table 14 on the NALP Reports, which KU publishes.

2013: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... kansas.pdf
2012: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... kansas.pdf

I think it'd be valuable to also view 2011 and 2010 reports, but KU declined to publish them at our request. If the school publishes, we'll publish it.

Two quick notes. First, I would really love to publish in-state breakdowns from Table 14 for all schools within our school profiles. It's a ton (absolute ton) of data entry. Early on, I wasn't sure if it was worth including because much would come down to chance with such small numbers. However, now that we have many years of data, I'm ready to reconsider whether the juice is worth the squeeze.

Related to aggregating, we are considering (very seriously) deciding to place schools on state reports using three years of aggregate placement data. Right now, if a school places 5% or more in State X in Year Y, you are on the X State Report for Y. For the next installment, in mid-2015, I think we'll require schools to be 5% or more over the previous three years (weighted). In some instances, this will mean a school appears on fewer state reports. In other instances, it will mean a school appears on more state reports. Notre Dame, for example and this is by memory, placed 4.7% or some number just under 5% in New York in 2013. But for all previous years of data, they well-exceeded 5%. Under the new calculation, Notre Dame will be on the NY State Report. One downside here is that Notre Dame has continuously slipped in NY because they are performing worse on NY biglaw. So we may overstate Notre Dame's placement in NY until the trailing performance is eliminated in the rolling calculation. However, like everything we do, there are no solutions -- only trade offs. My instinct is that on balance it's a smart move to make. We'll confirm it's a smart move before actually going through with it.

I write this here for two reasons. One is that it's related to what we'll do with in-state placement. Two is that it shows that we take seriously our methodology and make it as transparent as possible. Every definition we use links to the definitions page. And from that page readers can (and do!) read about the methodological choices we make. Everything is a choice. We don't pretend otherwise. To use a word like "assumption" as a boogeyman is irresponsible and shallow. Assumptions can be thought out, thoughtless, and countless other descriptors. The word assumption does not come with an automatic value judgment attached.

So that second note I said i was going to make. I realize that not everybody realizes that the NALP Report contains Table 14. As such, I just added text on each school's profile that has a public NALP Report with Table 14. Thanks for the idea.

Edit:

For anybody who has not had a chance to read about our transparent methodology, please give these guides a read.


JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:33 am

LST,

I like you guys, but please start your own thread if your goal is to advertise your website. I promise not to post about KU Law on a LST thread, if you will extend the courtesy here.

For students interested in our employment statistics, I encourage you to visit the ABA's employment database at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal ... stics.html. Of course, for information about KU Law's employment, you can visit our website at http://law.ku.edu/careerservices.

Thanks to LST for ranking us in the top third of law schools for employment.

sf

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:49 am

@ sheriff

We're located in beautiful Lawrence, Kansas. Settled by Free Staters during the contest over Kansas' entry into the Union, Lawrence served as the capital of the Free State movement. Lawrence has a ton of history, not just civil war, but also literary and artistic (William Rice Burroughs lived here for the last twenty years of his life, Langston Hughes was born here). It is one of the quintessential college towns in American, routinely ranked as one of the top college towns in American. Great music scene, arts, restaurants, and only forty miles from Kansas City if you need to get out of town for big city stuff.

Speaking of rankings, we were just ranked the 7th smartest city in the country. I'm not sure how Forbes magazine figured that out, but I think that's pretty cool.

Also nice, the cost of living here is very low. One bedroom apartments walking distance to campus go for around $500. Food, transportation, entertainment, etc. are all really easy to access and not nearly as expensive as elsewhere. Just one example, I insure two cars for a total of $650 per year (not $650 per car, $650 for both). Granted they're old cars, but still. Plus, there's no inspection or emissions in Kansas so you can drive whatever clunker you want, so long as you can keep it moving.

Finally, it's fun. It's a college town. As I tell people, law school is really hard. Which is why it's nice to live in a town like Lawrence where everything else is easy.

More information about law student life in Lawrence, including housing, can be found on our website at http://law.ku.edu/community.

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jenesaislaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby jenesaislaw » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:03 pm

We don't rank.

JayhawkLaw
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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:03 pm

CORRECTION - Thanks to LST for placing us in the top third of a list of law schools sorted by their LST score and assigned a number corresponding to their placement on this list.

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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby twenty » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:06 pm

Hopefully not too-related to numerical placement, sorry in advance if it is:

Your entering class size for 2013 is down almost 33% from the 2010 class size, which seems like a really responsible move given the state of the legal market. For CO2017, class size popped up to 125 (still quite a bit lower than recent years), but surprisingly so did your medians. Did you just have a significantly stronger applicant pool than in years past, or were you able to give out larger scholarships than before, or something else entirely? Usually when a school increases its class size, its corresponding medians drop in relation to the increase.

Secondly, the most up-to-date information I can find on scholarship stipulations is "3.0" which (back in 2011) corresponded to the school's first year GPA median. First, do these stipulations still exist, and if so, would your office typically lower/remove them for a particularly competitive candidate?

I've recommended KU to a couple folks on this board, actually, so it's nice to see the admissions dean taking an interest in us. :)

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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:01 pm

@ Twenty

Thanks for the kind words and for recommending KU to others.

Regarding class size, prior to 2011, the law school typically sought a class size of around 160. In 2011, the decision was made to reduce to 140 for the 2012 entering class. With the applicant pool shrinking further, in 2012 we reduced the class size to 120 for the 2013 entering class. Although our target has remained the same, the class size has varied based on the number of students saying yes to our offer. Some years we hit the nail on the head, as in 2013 when 140 students enrolled, exactly matching our goal. The following year we under-enrolled a bit at 107, and this year we very slightly over-enrolled at 125. But the enrollment goal stays at 120 for at least the next year or two.

Our decision was based on two factors. For one, we recognized that we were graduating more students into the Kansas and KC market than the market could bear. While we can't have much effect on the national labor market, we're big enough in our home region to affect the local market. The results are pretty dramatic. In 2013 (our most recent reporting year), we graduated 173 students. In 2014, only about 125 students graduate. We definitely expect this to have a positive impact for graduating students.

The other big factor is that we wanted to keep the quality of the incoming class high. It's important to us that our alumni and employers know that we continue to recruit strong classes. Having smaller class sizes definitely helps.

As for how we've been been successful in this tough market, increased scholarship awards have definitely played a role with more than half our students receiving some form of scholarship. You asked about our median GPA requirements. They can vary, but most of our scholarships require that students maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA and full-time status. No scholarships have a higher requirement.

Why 3.0? Last year our median gpa for 1Ls at the end of the spring semester was 3.01, very close to the median GPA in past years. That means we require students to stay very close to the top half of the class, which we feel is a fair requirement. Median gpa's rise in the 2L and 3L years, so it becomes even easier to maintain after the first year. While losing a scholarship can be tough, we feel we're a good value with or without a scholarship. If we were charging $50,000 per year, that might make us think differently.

In a nutshell, we think we've found the right balance between fairness and maintaining high standards for merit scholars. Now there may be some usual suspects who will jump on here and knock us for our merit scholarship policy. In our experience, most students find this policy fair and reasonable, which is one reason why we've been successful in our recruiting. As for negotiating to reduce the requirement, we do not negotiate scholarship offers.

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Re: Kansas Law Admissions Dean Answers Your Questions

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:09 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:@ Twenty

Thanks for the kind words and for recommending KU to others.

Regarding class size, prior to 2011, the law school typically sought a class size of around 160. In 2011, the decision was made to reduce to 140 for the 2012 entering class. With the applicant pool shrinking further, in 2012 we reduced the class size to 120 for the 2013 entering class. Although our target has remained the same, the class size has varied based on the number of students saying yes to our offer. Some years we hit the nail on the head, as in 2013 when 140 students enrolled, exactly matching our goal. The following year we under-enrolled a bit at 107, and this year we very slightly over-enrolled at 125. But the enrollment goal stays at 120 for at least the next year or two.

Our decision was based on two factors. For one, we recognized that we were graduating more students into the Kansas and KC market than the market could bear. While we can't have much effect on the national labor market, we're big enough in our home region to affect the local market. The results are pretty dramatic. In 2013 (our most recent reporting year), we graduated 173 students. In 2014, only about 125 students graduate. We definitely expect this to have a positive impact for graduating students.

The other big factor is that we wanted to keep the quality of the incoming class high. It's important to us that our alumni and employers know that we continue to recruit strong classes. Having smaller class sizes definitely helps.

As for how we've been been successful in this tough market, increased scholarship awards have definitely played a role with more than half our students receiving some form of scholarship. You asked about our median GPA requirements. They can vary, but most of our scholarships require that students maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA and full-time status. No scholarships have a higher requirement.

Why 3.0? Last year our median gpa for 1Ls at the end of the spring semester was 3.01, very close to the median GPA in past years. That means we require students to stay very close to the top half of the class, which we feel is a fair requirement. Median gpa's rise in the 2L and 3L years, so it becomes even easier to maintain after the first year. While losing a scholarship can be tough, we feel we're a good value with or without a scholarship. If we were charging $50,000 per year, that might make us think differently.

In a nutshell, we think we've found the right balance between fairness and maintaining high standards for merit scholars. Now there may be some usual suspects who will jump on here and knock us for our merit scholarship policy. In our experience, most students find this policy fair and reasonable, which is one reason why we've been successful in our recruiting. As for negotiating to reduce the requirement, we do not negotiate scholarship offers.

I'm not sure what your frame of reference is, but I'm curious what your experience has been with students attempting to negotiate scholarship offers. I've been around TLS since 2008, and when I first got here nobody attempted to negotiate scholarship stipulations, then a few people did, were successful, and posted about it on here, which caused a whole bunch of other people to attempt the same, and now it seems like nobody is successful anymore. Essentially I'm wondering if TLS deserves some credit for (i) teaching people that they can negotiate scholarship stipulations and then (ii) ultimately ruining it for everyone.




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