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Smaller Law Schools Gasping For Air


Fewer applicants mean that many “non-elite” law schools are struggling to draw enough qualified students to keep the doors open. Meanwhile, breathing down their necks is the ABA, which has been citing law schools that it says are admitting students who are not likely to succeed. More than a dozen law schools suffered that designation in the last 18 months, and at least one has fired back with a lawsuit. It alleges that the ABA’s action damaged its reputation and finances and will precipitate “a loss of applications and matriculations, which are almost incalculable and certainly irreparable.” A number of market and social forces lay behind this squeeze, says this analysis from the publication Inside Higher Ed, including fewer jobs for young lawyers, in part because of technology that is allowing more legal work to be completed by nonlawyers. “It all boils down to a smaller applicant pool and a market in which top law schools suck up a greater share of the best students.”

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