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UNM Law School Experiences Fifty Percent Drop in Applications Over Six Years
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On Wednesday, the Albuquerque Journal reported that the University of New Mexico’s School of Law has experienced a drop in applications from 1,200 in 2007 to 650 this year. The steep decline in applications by students seeking to become a lawyer has made the law school put its faculty extension on hold and the administrators are in the process of re-evaluation the school’s future.

The University of New Mexico School of Law is ranked 64 in the list of best law schools US News & World Report.

  
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The new dean of the law school, David Herring said that the school is conducting a strategic planning process. The dean said he had hopes that things would recover. He said, “In terms of the market for lawyers, it’s starting to come back a little bit slowly, so that’s a good thing in terms of our applicants finding employment. But the application pool is decreasing, so that’s putting a lot of pressure.”

The school has about 30 tenure and tenure-track faculty members and about 20 other professors and instructors. UNM provost Chaouki Abdallah said, “We’re monitoring this very carefully. Our law school is very different from most law schools … We didn’t grow as much as others.”

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In fact, according to the school’s provost, the slow growth of the school which usually admits about 115 to 120 students a year is one of the reasons the school was able to withstand the worst ravages of the recession, when many other schools had to lay off faculty.

However, Herring said that the law school would make up for the lack of faculty by alternative ways and would fill two vacant positions by visiting professors instead of permanent faculty.



According to the provost of the law school, the law school will design a five-year plan and determine whether it should continue with its current size or make changes. The school also plans to allocate more of its funding to financial aid, “because,” according to the provost, “that’s really where we’re hurting.”



 

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