It’s no secret that law school attendance is in serious decline. That’s what makes the decision to open a new law school in “the middle of history’s worst law school crisis” so mind boggling. Last week, Business Insider couldn’t help but poke fun at Indiana Tech whose plans to open their law school next year have already been the butt of many jokes.
As Law Professor Paul Campos pointed out on his blog Inside the Law School Scam, “Indiana, which contains 2% of the US population, already has four ABA-accredited law schools, including two ‘top 30’ institutions, both of which feature legal unemployment rates for their grads of around 40%, and which are currently placing only 20% to 25% of their graduates in firms of more than ten attorneys.” These stats make the need for Indiana Tech’s new law school questionable at best.
Additionally, the number of LSAT tests administered is at a 13-year low. If the declining number of tests is any indication, Indiana Tech may have a hard time finding students to fill its inaugural class. Add to that the New York Times’ bleak prediction from earlier this year that the “tide is turning” on students’ perceptions toward law school, and you’ve got a potential recipe for failure.
So, what’s a new law school to do? Given that Indiana Tech plans to open its doors in 2013 (with tuition in the neighborhood of $30k a year), there’s not a lot of time left to figure it out.
For the school itself, the best case scenario seems to be keeping fingers crossed that the old adage about suckers being born every minute will turn out to be true. Unfortunately, based on all recent data, it looks like students are starting to wise up and behave a little more judiciously when it comes to which schools to entrust with their future.
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