http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 0930103908
Some choice quotes:
The state already has nine law schools, six of which are about 3 1/2 hours away in Chicago. But law students who want to attend a private school in Illinois have no options outside of Chicago, Shadid said, and Peoria is bound to charge lower tuition. "Cost is very important to students today, and I can't imagine how we couldn't be less than the Chicago-area schools," he said.
Despite a national glut of attorneys, a Bradley school could push its curriculum toward areas of expertise. For instance, Shadid says, as computer technology continues to expand, the industry demands attorneys well versed in intellectual property and other related issues.
"That could be a niche," Shadid says.
Medical law continues to grow as a phenomenal need, Shadid says. That makes for a great tie-in for Peoria, with its huge medical community and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.
"Maybe there's a relationship in some (educational) fashion," Shadid says.
"All the law schools in Chicago are cranking out all those lawyers," Linder said. "Those lawyers aren't coming down here, most of them. I think most of them are big city-oriented."
Linder said even graduates of the University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana-Champaign, 90 miles away, "gravitate back toward Chicago" or elsewhere in the nation "and don't come back" to central Illinois.
"The problem in legal education today is not producing too many lawyers," Roberts said. "It's that we're graduating too many students with huge debt. … We have to figure out a way to make legal education more affordable."
"There is a need for more lawyers in our society. The unmet legal needs of people and small business in our society is shocking."
"I think a law degree is a fantastic degree, because you don't necessarily have to practice law. You can go into many different areas," Shadid said. "In addition, I think there's always going to be a need for good lawyers."
"And I think there's always going to be a market for good lawyers," he said.