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Law School Reduces Junior Faculty
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Currently law school applicants are in a decline. As a result most law schools will make choices that change their spending patterns, hiring patterns and class sizes. There are repercussions to the new applicant pool size. Above The Law reports that if a law school can lower its admission standards it may maintain the size of its entering class. Lowering standards also has its issues. The American Bar Association wants to raise standards, and may want schools to follow through with their consideration. Also, lowering standards will not help to prepare students for their future careers.

A law school may seek to keep standards high. This may lead to a reduction in the size of its entering class, and that reduction in class size will translate into reduced revenues. Once revenues are lost, cutting costs may be the only way to make up for financial shortages. Cutting costs has its own problems. Where to cut form? Who to lay off? Should the grounds funds be trimmed from? Should scholarship funds for students receive the blow?

  
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Seton Hall University School of Law recently gave notice to its entire junior faculty of seven untenured professors, that their contracts might not be renewed for 2014-2015. The University is using these layoffs as a means to control costs. Seton Hall’s Dean Patrick Hobbs issued the statement, “this is a time of unprecedented change in legal education and the profession. Our first responsibility is to our students, past, present and future. We will admit only those we believe can be successful attorneys, and provide them a first-rate education while managing our enrollment to ensure the best opportunities securing employment in the profession. We continue to focus on outcomes for our students, and Above The Law’s recent ranking of law schools affirms the success of these efforts.”

The legal industry is not immune to the economy’s ups and downs. Schools are realizing this and are becoming more flexible so as to better handle the stresses of the changes in trends.

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