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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Academics & Research

As applicant pool shallows, UH Law Center uses discretion


Though the drop in law school applicants is a fairly recent development, UH Law Center has been cutting back on it's number of new admittants for some time. Kayla Stewart/ The Daily Cougar

Though the drop in law school applicants is a fairly recent development, UH Law Center has been cutting back on its number of admittants for some time. | Kayla Stewart/The Daily Cougar

Increasingly fewer students are applying to second- and third-tier law schools due to the over-saturated legal labor market, Businessweek reported. While application numbers are down, Assistant Dean for Admissions at the UH Law Center Jamie Dillon said there is still a great application pool to choose from. However, the Law Center did decide to begin reducing its class sizes in 2009.

“Our entering class size has been intentionally reduced by about 33% over the past decade,” Dillon said via email. “We have 215 students in the class that just enrolled (and) there were 212 students in last year’s class.”

By enrolling fewer students, schools are able to find employment for the majority of graduates, Wall Street Journal reporter Ashby Jones explained in a video on the publication’s website. This allows them to keep their employment prospects and rankings high.

“If they can get all of those 60 kids a job, they’ll say ‘Hey, our employment statistics are 100 percent.’ Whereas with a class of 120, it may have been 50 percent. That seems to be the strategy with most of these schools,” Jones said,.

But the danger of this strategy presents itself not to the students but to the faculty members teaching at these institutions, Jones said. With class sizes being reduced, so are the number of professors needed to instruct.

“With a reduction in class size, adjustments will have to be made to teaching and support staff,” UH Law Center Interim Dean Richard M. Alderman said via email. “However, adjustments will be made through attrition and not job loss.”

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