Apr 2017

The Canary in the Law School Coal Mine

By Michael B. Horn

Whittier College’s announcement last Wednesday that it will no longer admit students to its law program makes it the first fully accredited law school in the United States to shut down. There is a good chance it won’t be the last.

As Michele Pistone, a law professor at Villanova University, and I wrote in “Disrupting Law School: How Disruptive Innovation Will Revolutionize the Legal World,” although law schools have long enjoyed budget surpluses, the financial situation has reversed over the last few years.

Facing dramatic declines in enrollment, revenue and student quality at the same time that their cost structure continues to rise and public support has waned, law schools are in crisis. Many now rely on financial support from their universities to stay afloat.


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