TheZoid wrote:Dean Shively,
I'm curious as to your thoughts on the class size. There seems to be some disillusion among students about the direction Wake Forest is heading in this regard. I know this past year's class was a bit larger than expected and some students are saying Wake is "becoming like UNC," and losing its small school feel. Was this past year's class size simply a result of more students matriculating than expected, or are you planning to gradually increase class sizes?
Who is saying this? I can assure you it's not current Wake students. When you visit both schools, you'll see that there's a HUGE difference in the cultures of Wake and Carolina. It's not even comparable.
I said that I was afraid it was heading in the direction of UNC based on the larger class size last year (and I am actually a current student). I certainly don't think it's anything like UNC right now, which is one of the reasons I picked Wake over UNC in the first place. I'm just afraid that, if we keep increasing the 1L class size, Wake will lose the personal feel and the community atmosphere and will instead take on the large, impersonal "you're only a number" feel at UNC. I realize that the school claims last year's acceptances were an error in the formula. But, given the administration's history at larger schools (including UNC), I can't help but wonder if the large class mentality is something that came in with the new administration. I hope that isn't the case, and, since the administration claims that it was an error, it probably was.
If it turns out that the 1L class this year is back in line with the 155-170 class size that most of us came to Wake expecting, it should be clear that last year was simply an aberration as has been claimed. If it's large again like last year (185-200 range), that will signal a trend and will indicate the administration's priorities in making the class sizes larger.
Don't misread what I'm saying to suggest that you shouldn't come to Wake. I would definitely suggest Wake for those considering law school, and I have loved my time here and am glad that I chose Wake over UNC and others. I would simply caution you that, if you're expecting a smaller class size like the 2L and 3L classes have now, it might not actually be the case once you matriculate. In the end, I agree with Dan that, even with a larger class size, the cultures themselves at UNC and Wake aren't comparable (yet). Currently, I think it would be difficult to find two schools that are more dissimilar. However, if we keep it up with the larger classes, I don't think that it would take too long for them to at least become a whole lot more similar.