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February 6, 2013

Crushing debt, fewer job prospects result in law school applicant decline

Steven Elbow:

The New York Times this week ran a story on the steep decline in law school applicants, which appears to be on track to hit a 30-year-low as prospective students weigh skyrocketing tuition (ranging from $20,000 to $45,000 a year) against diminishing job prospects.

The Times reported a 20 percent decrease in applicants from last year and a 38 percent falloff from 2010, leading law schools across the country to scale back admissions.

The UW Law School is following that trend. After a 27 percent decline in applicants since 2009 -- from 2,951 to 2,153 -- Law School Dean Margaret Raymond says the school made a conscious decision to cut back on admissions by 10 percent. The school enrolled 215 students last fall, compared with 278 in 2009.

The state's other law school, at Marquette University, last fall actually admitted a few more students than in 2009, 224 this school year compared to 219 three years ago. But in that same period applicants dropped from 2,121 to 1,723, a 19 percent decline. Marquette Law School Dean Joseph Kearney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 6, 2013 1:59 AM
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