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GW Chooses the Law School’s Dean This Summer; the New Leader will need a New Plan

Applications to law schools across the country have continued to decline. Moody’s Investor Services released a report earlier this month concluding that law schools would have to change their business models because national applications likely will not rebound.

After GW chooses the law school’s dean this summer, the new dean will have to deal with slumping enrollment and the pressure to rethink what experts have called an unsustainable business model, according to The GW Hatchet.

Established in 1865, the George Washington University Law School is the oldest law school located in the District of Columbia. It is also one of the largest schools in the country, with a total enrollment of almost 2,000 students. GW Law currently ranks among the top 28 law schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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A law professor at GW, John Banzhaf, said that “The way we teach today is basically the same as Langdale did at Harvard in 1890 when he invented the case method.” According to The GW Hatchet, John Banzhaf said that, “There’s the old adage of ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ and we’ve been doing that for a while, and now many of us are beginning to realize it is broke and we’ve got to fix it.”

A law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of the book “Don’t Go to Law School (Unless),” Paul Campos, said that “Traditionally, law schools have been seen as quasi-profit centers by the universities. They’re generating surplus income, helping to subsidize other parts of the university.”

GW’s law school has put money into funding new programs, for example one that subsidizes recent graduates’ unpaid internships for up to a year if they cannot find paid employment. It has been reported that, one-fifth of the Class of 2012 participated in the program.

Image credit: www.law.gwu.edu

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