Voluntary buyouts for staff members and possibly soon, faculty members, are being offered by Vermont Law School in preparation for changes about to hit the legal profession and higher education, according to The Associated Press via Boston.com. The class of 2013 at the school has just over 200 members and the class of 2014 has just over 150 members in it.
“When our enrollment goes down, we have to downsize,” Marc Mihaly, the school’s president and dean, said in an interview. “No matter what, we’re going to see fewer on-campus JD students (traditional law students pursuing juris doctor degrees). And we have to adjust to that because we do not run deficits in this school.”
Mihaly said that the law school is independent, which makes it easier to make changes based on the legal industry. Each year, law schools report employment figures regarding their graduates to the American Bar Association. In 2011, the school said that 139 graduates were employed out of 174, with 110 of them holding long-term, full-time jobs.
“The market and technology are going to take that model and shake it,” Mihaly said.
Mihaly said that the law school is in a good position to act when the industry changes. He said that the law school is considered a leader in energy and environmental law. The school has also created ties with China as well.
“If you’re interested in law and you’re interested in China and the environment, there’s only one place to come,” Mihaly said. He also noted that the school now offers master’s degrees in environmental law and policy as well as energy regulation and law.