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Geez, law schools, people are really ticked off at you lately. You must be popping Tums like crazy with all of this scrutiny of your transparency, your alumni’s unemployment and the preparedness of your students for real practice. I’m guessing you don’t want to keep adding to the list of critiques, so, as I’ve said before, I think it’s time to start brainstorming creative solutions.
One law school dean has an idea that may make you wince a little but in the long run could prove quite successful at capping or reducing your students’ tuition expenses. Dean Phoebe Haddon from the University of Maryland Law School suggests that law schools start sharing (a suggestion also raised by Dean Richard Matasar of New York Law School in February). It’s an interesting idea, and one that would be particularly effective in urban areas with multiple law schools. Rather than each school investing tremendous amounts of money in the same resources, schools could work together and each focus on specific facilities and programs which would be available to the other schools’ students. This collaboration could be especially beneficial with regard to specialized clinics, journals, and classes—schools could offer students a broader range of these in-demand resources and expand their offerings.
Of course, schools may be hesitant to launch such partnerships with their competitiors. But Dean Haddon advises, “[w]e have to be more practical and be more retrospective about our competitive interests.”
Another question is how joining forces would impact each school's ranking (if at all). If schools are sharing resources, how would those offerings be accounted for in the ranking methodologies?
What do you think? Would you be interested in your law school sharing resources and facilities with other schools? Do you think these types of partnerships could be successful?
ABA Journal Source
The Chronicle Source
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