When the UC Irvine School of Law first burst onto the scene, the school offered free tuition to everyone in its inaugural class. Then, in its second year, UC Irvine offered a 50% discount to all students admitted to the class of 2013.
And now, UC Irvine will knock 33% off its tuition, for members of its third entering class (the class of 2014).
Students considering UC Irvine will certainly appreciate the money. The National Law Journal reports that, not counting the discount, in-state tuition is $40,000 a year and out-of-state tuition is $50,000 a year. Welcome to public law school in the 21st century.
Despite being a public law school, UC Irvine will fund this tuition reduction through private donations. So you have to wonder: how long can they keep that up?
Victims of what anti-law-school bloggers have dubbed “the law school scam” might argue that working for a law school, or at least the kind of law school that saddles students with debt and can’t get them jobs, is closer to a crime than community service. There is certainly an argument that law professors who aren’t part of the solution are part of the problem.
But the notorious William Lerach, the securities plaintiffs’ lawyer turned convicted felon, believes that law teaching is a noble calling — and wants the community service credit to show for it….
As we’ve previously reported, the inaugural class of students at UC – Irvine School of Law attends law school for free. Now, we’ve got more good news for students there: they all have jobs lined up for the summer. Every last one of them. The Recorder (subscription) reports:
Not only does the entire inaugural class get its J.D.s free of tuition, all 60 students also have jobs lined up for the summer.
UC-Irvine School of Law officials say they’ve helped place almost 30 students at nonprofits and 17 with judges, including 11 in federal posts. The rest are in with law firms and prosecutors’ offices.
I imagine there are students who turned down free tuition at Irvine to go to UCLA or USC. I hope all those kids got summer jobs too…
Last month, we reported that UC Hastings College of Law was set to become the most expensive law school in California. Apparently, the good people at Berkeley and UC Davis took that as a challenge.
Tomorrow, November 18th there will be a meeting on the proposed budget for the California university system. The tuition numbers for law schools would be terrifying for prospective law students — if only they were able to exercise common sense.
First let’s look at the proposed tuition and fees for California residents at Berkeley and other California public law schools over the next three years:
Notice that these numbers are up from the proposal that was on the table just this past August. I can’t imagine what tuition will look like when we actually get to 2012 – 2013. By then they’ll be charging people in Euros and organ donations.
After the jump, we look at what these schools plan for non-resident students (hint, it’s obscene enough that I considered putting up NSFW warnings), and why UC administrators think students will accept the tuition hikes.
We have devoted a lot of coverage to the new law school at UC-Irvine. It’s hard not to stare at a law school that offer it’s inaugural class free tuition — even if subsequent classes will enjoy the experience of paying through the nose for a public education. We assume they’ve noticed our coverage.
Evidently, UC-Irvine likes the attention. Now the law school wants everybody to meet its inaugural class. In a move that can only be viewed as a direct challenge to the Above the Law community, UC-Irvine has decided to run student profiles on every single student in its first class. All of them.
The first four students are up. Shall we take a look after the jump?
In a world where there are already too many law degrees flooding the market and allowing firms to handle their associates like fungible assets, the new law school at UC Irvine continues to rake in positive press. We’ve previously noted that the new law school is already one of the most selective in the country. Today, the L.A. Times positively gushes about the new public law school:
In a challenging fundraising climate, the first new public law school in California in more than a generation begins classes Monday at UC Irvine with 61 top-flight students, a highly regarded faculty and the goal of becoming a model for an innovative legal education emphasizing hands-on experience and public service.
It appears prestige isn’t just conferred by a magazine.
Brian Leiter, a University of Chicago law professor and author of an influential blog on legal education, said that, based on the quality of its faculty and the entrance exam scores of its first class, UCI should be ranked among the nation’s top 20 law schools, status that typically takes a new school decades to achieve.
“It’s quite unusual. But this is an unusual situation,” Leiter said. “This is the University of California, after all, which is a big selling point. They’ve recruited the right kind of people from the right kind of places. And the fact that someone of Erwin [Chemerinsky]‘s stature is the dean obviously helps.”
The school touts a commitment to public service that you don’t often hear from law schools. It also touts free tuition, which sounds like the Gods are having an orgasm to law students hoping to keep their debts under control.
After the jump we ask if UCI Law can keep it up. And an update on potential future tuition decisions.
In October, we reported that the new law school at UC Irvine would be offering a full scholarship to students who enrolled for the fall 2009 semester. It looks like the strategy paid off. The school received 2,741 applications for 68 positions. According to the school’s press release, that makes UC Irvine School of Law the most selective law school in the country:
The University of California, Irvine School of Law has chosen its inaugural class by accepting only 4% of its applicants, making it the most selective of any law school in the nation.
UC Irvine accepted only 110 of a total of 2,741 applicants to fill its 68 first-year positions, for an acceptance rate of 4%. By comparison, Yale Law School at 7%, and Stanford Law School at 9%, are the only other law schools with single-digit acceptance rates, according to the most recent data available from the American Bar Association (2007).
With all the kerfuffle about the U.S. News rankings, it’s a good time to point out that people like getting into “selective” law schools. UC Irvine also reports that its yield rate on its offers is 62%, third behind Harvard and Yale.
Offering free tuition in a down market is nothing to laugh at:
UC Irvine’s founding dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, attributes the high number of applications per position and the high quality of the incoming class to the strength and support of the University of California, Irvine, to the high quality of the founding faculty, and to the three-year, full-tuition scholarship offered to each member of the first-year class.
“We are extremely pleased to have fielded such a high-caliber inaugural class,” said Chemerinsky. “Along with a faculty that was ranked in the top 10 in the nation in a recent study, this will allow us to be considered among the best law schools in the country from the very start,” he said. “Our goal and the university’s goal was to be a top 20 law school from the moment we open our doors in August.”
Good luck Irvine. We might not need more law schools, but you have to hope this “free” thing catches on.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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