Law School Losing Allure For Part-time Students; Continued Exposure About Rankings/Standards

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A few highlights from the news article Part-time Law School Loses Allure (02/06/2012) “The question has become, ‘Am I going to fill my part-time class this year?’ ” Rutt said.  “In the Northeast, people have many options, and I think some part-time programs are going to go away. Frankly, I don’t think the demand is there. It is jargon meaning:  there are too many law schools.

Ooh, more investigations: Meanwhile, law schools continued to create part-time programs. There were 40 part-time day programs at ABA-accredited schools in 2006 and 53 by 2010. Similarly, there were 55 evening part-time programs in 2006 and 65 by 2010. Garon and others have speculated that the U.S. News loophole prompted some of this growth — law schools could admit weaker students without compromising their rankings.

Exposing the law school scam: The council data showed that, on average, students in part-time programs had lower LSAT scores and undergraduate grade-point averages than all new law students combined. U.S. News explained its decision to close the loophole by saying that the new methodology “produces the most complete comparisons.”

“One reason we might see some part-time programs close is because of the U.S. News rule change,” said Eric Janus, dean of the William Mitchell College of Law. “A number of law schools founded or expanded their part-time programs as a way to hide their students with lower credentials. Now, every student counts.”

A larger number of schools will “tinker” with their part-time model, Garon continued, perhaps offering more online courses or adding low-residency programs allowing out-of-town students to convene on campus for three-day stretches. In other words,  as regulators find irregularities and further scrutinize law school practices, law schools will seek another method to circumvent it.

Another option is to offer a “vanilla” J.D. degree — centered on basic law courses such as torts and civil procedure — at a lower price, then charge extra for clinics and other resource-intensive classes, Garon said. Schools also could do a better job of integrating specialties such as entertainment law, health law and intellectual property into their part-time programs, to open up new streams of potential students.

Hey maybe they can provide a 2 for 1 on elective courses; would you like fries with that J.D.?

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3 Comments »

  1. Nando Said:

    “One reason we might see some part-time programs close is because of the U.S. News rule change,” said Eric Janus, dean of the William Mitchell College of Law. “A number of law schools founded or expanded their part-time programs as a way to hide their students with lower credentials. Now, every student counts.”

    But these are honest and ethical “institutions of higher learning,” right, lemmings?!?!

    • These schools downsizing their part time programs and/or closing them due to the US News rankings only proves that they are trying to squeeze every dollar out of the populace before this bubble bursts.

      • A Law School Victim Said:

        They’re laughing all the way to the bank, while thinking “suckers.”


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