We’ve talked a lot about the decline of people going to law school.
Wait, I need music when I say that.
So, yeah, law school enrollment is down at law schools across the country. Top Law Schools has been crowdsourcing the class sizes of some notable law schools, and Tax Prof Blog put that into a helpful chart showing the decrease in matriculation, year-over-year, for about 40 law schools.
Let’s take a look a the schools that look like they’re about to be stabbed by Sephiroth….
Here are the law schools looking at an over 20% decrease in enrollment for the (drunken) class of 2015:
You can see the full list at Tax Prof Blog.
Some of these schools are “voluntarily” decreasing their enrollment. We’ve previously reported, for instance, on the move by U.C. Hastings to admit fewer people during this time of struggle in the legal job market. Other schools on this list will certainly claim they’re reducing enrollment voluntarily.
I wonder if Penn State is feeling the effect of the damaged Penn State name, or if there’s no appreciable difference between what’s happening at Penn State Law and Wake Forest Law?
And what might be happening to schools like Penn State and Wake Forest is that students are finally realizing that the combination of expensive tuition and a middle of the pack law school doesn’t lead to financial security.
Obviously, not all the students are getting the message. According to Top Law Schools, there are still 126 people going to Wake Forest Law this fall, and Penn State welcomed 170 people into its class of 2015. So it’s not like these declines spell the end of the law school industrial complex.
But, as professor Paul Campos says, these enrollment numbers do represent a certain kind of progress. Law school isn’t wrong for everybody, just most people. These numbers could be evidence of that message starting to really get through.
Earlier: The Hastings Gambit