If you stop building it, they’ll stop coming. The legal field is more like a nightmarish children-of-the-corn field at the moment, not a field of dreams. So take a cue from two New York law schools that are decreasing their incoming class sizes rather than building them up. This year, Albany Law and Touro Law will each reduce their 1L classes by ten students. With the percentage of law school applications down for many law schools anyway, this move makes sense.
Lawrence Raful, dean of Touro Law, shares with the New York Law Journal, "I don't think the [job] placement situation is going to turn around for a number of years and I think we are concerned about the ethics of turning out quite so many students in debt when we know that not everyone can get a job to pay off that debt." How’s that for responsible law school administration?
Yes, law schools are businesses, but they’re businesses that want to succeed. I’d say that employment statistics are important measures of a law school's success (when reported properly – ahem). Plus, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for businesses that actually care about their clients and their impacts. So I think reducing class size is a smart move. Schools can focus on getting jobs for smaller pools of students in a market that is already flooded with unemployed lawyers. And I think law schools have a duty to contribute to a working solution to our legal unemployment reality—ideas like these are valuable steps forward.
You may not have James Earl Jones by your side to guide you, law schools, but who needs him when you’ve got the power of admissions.
New York Law Journal Source
WSJ Blog Source
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