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Friday, January 17, 2014

Dramatic Enrollment Drop Was Strategically Planned, Law School Says

A sign of the times. Today's post was shared by WSJ Law Blog and comes from

The historic drop in enrollment at U.S. law schools has been the subject of anxious debate in the legal community. Some view the pattern as a symptom of a sluggish job market and growing skepticism about the value of a law degree.

According to Syracuse University’s College of Law, which has seen a particularly steep drop in its class sizes, the shrinking numbers are the result of smarter planning.

Syracuse’s Class of 2016 is nearly 25% smaller than its Class of 2014, decreasing from 255 to 196 over two years. The law school’s director of admissions, Nikki Laubenstein, spoke to the campus newspaper about the enrollment trend and offered this take:

“Our smaller class size is strategically managed and planned to provide the optimal level of engagement for our students with our law school faculty and programming opportunities,” she told the Daily Orange in an article published Wednesday.

The article doesn’t say how many applications the school is getting compared to previous years. In the face of shrinking demand, many law schools around the nation have slashed their class sizes to prop up student quality.

But Law Blog wonders — if a smaller class size was all part of a plan, as Syracuse’s admissions director suggests, does that mean the law school was offering a less than optimal educational experience when it was bigger? Ms. Laubenstein wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Meanwhile, Syracuse’s student body may...

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