"In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

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SeattleStudent
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"In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby SeattleStudent » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:29 am

Article from March 11th, 2015:

"A well-respected Emory University law professor shook up the world of academia on Monday by making a startling prediction: "In three years, a top law school will close"

"Most people at top-50 law schools think this is a fourth-tier or a third-tier problem, and I think that misses the mark," said Brown, who is vice provost and professor of law at Emory."

Thoughts?

http://www.businessinsider.com/dorothy- ... ols-2015-3

Traynor Brah
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Traynor Brah » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:31 am

Business Insider LOL

blsingindisguise
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:33 am

So in three years the world will only be able to support 49 law schools? I don't think so.

Moneytrees
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Moneytrees » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:36 am

Let's wait for Thomas Jefferson to close. Once that happens, we'll focus on the top 50.

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jbagelboy
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:37 am

If by "top law school" he means washington & lee or UC hastings or something, then sure, a "top" law school may close

Moneytrees
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Moneytrees » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:40 pm

The thing is, I see no proof that this "isn't temporary". Now that applications are down we are seeing a plethora of online articles and law school consultants clamoring that now is the perfect time to apply to law school. I wouldn't be surprised if we see an uptick in applications soon.

blsingindisguise
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:44 pm

Moneytrees wrote:The thing is, I see no proof that this "isn't temporary". Now that applications are down we are seeing a plethora of online articles and law school consultants clamoring that now is the perfect time to apply to law school. I wouldn't be surprised if we see an uptick in applications soon.


Here, I have to disagree. Historical evidence suggests that it's the 2005-2008 period that was "temporary" -- a financial bubble-induced blip. Of course, there's no reason we couldn't have another bubble, our economy is pretty much reliant on them at this point.

Moneytrees
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Moneytrees » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:59 pm

I never said that we will see the same levels as 2005-2008, but I also don't believe that we will see a further drop in applicants/enrollment. Applications will probably start going up, given that the legal field is relatively healthy right now (at the top, at least) and many college graduates are being bombarded with the message "strike while the iron's hot, apply to law school". Which is a problem because we still have way too many law schools/attorneys.

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:04 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:The thing is, I see no proof that this "isn't temporary". Now that applications are down we are seeing a plethora of online articles and law school consultants clamoring that now is the perfect time to apply to law school. I wouldn't be surprised if we see an uptick in applications soon.


Here, I have to disagree. Historical evidence suggests that it's the 2005-2008 period that was "temporary" -- a financial bubble-induced blip. Of course, there's no reason we couldn't have another bubble, our economy is pretty much reliant on them at this point.


But did we really gain that many law schools during this bubble period? Even most TTT schools have been around for awhile. Sure 2005-08 saw the creation of UC Irvine and Cooley's 3rd through 47th campuses, but enough truly bottom tier schools have already closed to more-or-less compensate for that bubble-induced increase, right? I think we are gonna see several schools making cuts (see Washington and Lee) but I think the overall prediction that top 50 schools will soon be closing their doors is a little overstated.

Moneytrees
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Moneytrees » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:13 pm

Let me elaborate a bit.

In the past few years, we've seen a massive decrease in the number of applicants in law school, which has lead to lower total enrollment. Nearly every school has been affected by this trend; even the T14 has slashed its class sizes in order to maintain medians. Enrollment levels are as low as they were in the 1970's, when there were far fewer law schools.

Unfortunately, no law school has been forced to close due to plummeting enrollment. Thomas Jefferson came close to closing but was able to hang on by the skin of its teeth. Cooley has cut class sizes dramatically but is still pumping out hundreds of jobless graduates every year. Much has been done to popularize the notion that going to law school (particularly a TTT) is a poor investment, but a large chunk of the general population still remains oblivious to this point or doesn't care enough to forego going to law school.

So while the situation is improving, we still have far too many law schools and far too lawyers without jobs. Seeing that it appears that law schools applications might pick up soon, I'm not so sure we can readily endorse the view that a bunch of schools are doomed to fail in the near future. There are many schools are facing dire economic situations right now, but as Thomas Jefferson has shown, there are a whole lot of reasons why investors/school boards are willing to support failing law schools.

Paul Campos
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Paul Campos » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:23 pm

Hamline University is effectively closing its law school, as it is "merging" with standalone William Mitchell, but the new school won't be any bigger than WM is now.

Charleston (NC for-profit) will probably close in the next few months. The current owners took $25 million in profits between 2010-13, and are now playing chicken with the state, threatening to close the school if they're not allowed to sell it to Infilaw (the state will probably call their bluff though).

But I agree that very few schools will close as long as the current federal loan system stays in place. It should actually be almost impossible to lose money running an ABA-approved school given that system, but a lot of schools continue to pull off this dubious achievement. They'll eventually get out of the red one way or the other though, unless Uncle Sugar turns back the loan spigot. Then a whole bunch of people will go out of business very quickly.

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Pumpkin-Duke of Pie
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Pumpkin-Duke of Pie » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:28 pm

Moneytrees wrote:Let me elaborate a bit.

In the past few years, we've seen a massive decrease in the number of applicants in law school, which has lead to lower total enrollment. Nearly every school has been affected by this trend; even the T14 has slashed its class sizes in order to maintain medians. Enrollment levels are as low as they were in the 1970's, when there were far fewer law schools.

Unfortunately, no law school has been forced to close due to plummeting enrollment. Thomas Jefferson came close to closing but was able to hang on by the skin of its teeth. Cooley has cut class sizes dramatically but is still pumping out hundreds of jobless graduates every year. Much has been done to popularize the notion that going to law school (particularly a TTT) is a poor investment, but a large chunk of the general population still remains oblivious to this point or doesn't care enough to forego going to law school.

So while the situation is improving, we still have far too many law schools and far too lawyers without jobs. Seeing that it appears that law schools applications might pick up soon, I'm not so sure we can readily endorse the view that a bunch of schools are doomed to fail in the near future. There are many schools are facing dire economic situations right now, but as Thomas Jefferson has shown, there are a whole lot of reasons why investors/school boards are willing to support failing law schools.

How many times have individuals obtained second mortgages or fallen behind and missed payments of their existing mortgage before the bank(s) finally foreclosed? Schools going out of business immediately pending a downturn in enrollment/revenue was always an impossibility. Schools find alternative sources of financing and hope to plod along, praying that the next cycle will bring around a general uptick. As we've seen, even during the snake-oil shucking that started with the 2013-2014 decline, applicant numbers were unstable and many lower tiered schools are dipping into the one unfathomable 140 range to scrounge up sources of revenue. This trend has only gotten worse, at least relative to the most recent class.

Moneytrees
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Moneytrees » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:50 pm

Many schools are actually dipping in the 100 range. There are several schools with incoming classes under 100 students. I agree that this does not seem sustainable, but perhaps it will be if law school applications pick up again. I sure hope not, but until TTTT's start closing, it's hard to be optimistic.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:08 pm

Its over, GULC is finished

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radio1nowhere
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby radio1nowhere » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:51 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Its over, GULC is finished


RIP

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Capitol_Idea » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:16 pm

radio1nowhere wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Its over, GULC is finished


RIP

Oh man, no alumni donation calls = the dream. If only I also wouldn't have to pay them my tuition loans still too.

Also it's clearly Yale - that drop to 5th in the ATL rankings was just too brutal.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:12 am

Shook the world of academica to its core, I'm telling you! Nothing will ever be the same again.

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haus
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby haus » Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:05 pm

zacharus85 wrote:
radio1nowhere wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Its over, GULC is finished


RIP

Oh man, no alumni donation calls = the dream. If only I also wouldn't have to pay them my tuition loans still too.

Also it's clearly Yale - that drop to 5th in the ATL rankings was just too brutal.

I suspect that if the school closes you will still get the alumni donation calls, because those folks are just that dedicated (and/or demented).

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trebekismyhero
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby trebekismyhero » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:35 pm

I think a couple of the very worst schools will probably close over the next couple years and a couple others may merge a la Hamline/WM, but I am guessing that is probably it. I agree that we will see a slight rebound in applications over the next couple years. Enough to keep the vast majority of law schools afloat. Which is unfortunate because there should not be more than 100 law schools in the country

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: "In 3 Years, a Top Law School Will Close" - Business Insider

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:01 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:I think a couple of the very worst schools will probably close over the next couple years and a couple others may merge a la Hamline/WM, but I am guessing that is probably it. I agree that we will see a slight rebound in applications over the next couple years. Enough to keep the vast majority of law schools afloat. Which is unfortunate because there should not be more than 100 law schools in the country

We're likely near the bottom but I don't see any reason to think law school applicants will rebound in a meaningful way in the near future. A lot of law schools are really struggling and if app numbers stay where they are things are gonna get really ugly for quite a few schools.

Also the number of law schools doesn't matter, just the number of graduates.




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