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University of Mississippi School of Law Sees Drop in Enrollment
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Ole Miss Law School, Law School News

Summary: The enrollment at the University of Mississippi School of Law has dropped, but it was done on purpose, according to the dean.

The first-year enrollment at the University of Mississippi School of Law dropped from 199 students in 2010 to 156 students in 2012 to 127 students this year, according to The Sun Herald.


According to the report, the decrease in student enrollment for first-year students was intentional.

When the economy began to recover and the job market started to improve, school officials started to reduce the class sizes in an effort to lure potential students away from law school.

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“We were much more concerned about placement. If we had a large class that impacts the profession in a negative way when the market isn’t real strong for lawyers. What we’ve found by getting smaller is placement percentages have gone up,” law school dean Richard Gershon told The Sun Herald in an interview.

Gershon said that last year, close to 85 percent of graduates from the law school held a job in the legal field nine months following graduation.

With a decrease in students, fewer faculty and staff members are required at the law school.

Gershon said that professors who are retiring are not being replaced. The law school also has not been forced to use lay-offs or retirement incentives yet. Gershon said that the law school has been aided by the strength of the University of Mississippi as a whole. There has been record high enrollment in the undergraduate programs at the school in recent years.

To read more about the University of Mississippi School of Law, click here.

Other law schools have not been as lucky as the University of Mississippi. At LSU, the Law Center has extended an offer to seven professors that would see them retire next summer. This could save the Law Center $1.12 million per year.

To read more about the LSU Law Center, click here.

Gershon would like for the law school to keep its classes at smaller numbers. There are 400 students enrolled right now, which is down from 530. Gershon noted that 400-425 total law students is their ideal number.

“Most law schools are getting smaller,” Gershon said. “The market is hard to predict. I don’t know that we’ll see that but in some ways it makes sense because the economy is getting better and every school is getting smaller.”

“One thing I’ve found that keeps me optimistic is that people applying, getting in and going to law school really want to be in law school,” Gershon said.  The enrollment at the University of Mississippi School of Law has dropped, but it was done on purpose, according to the dean.

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