Applications Continue To Plummet At Louisville
Another law school is feeling the pressure of declining applications and enrollment. This week the story revolves around the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law. Over the past three years, applications have declined from 1,495 to 618. That is 59%. First-year enrollment numbers have decreased 30% from 132 to 94. Ouch.
A story from the Louisville Courier-Journal uses a student named Brandon McReynolds for its lead. McReynolds holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in sociology from the University of Louisville. He was chief justice on the student government association’s Supreme Court. He applied to Brandeis and was obviously accepted. He is the poster-child for a law school. Especially at Brandeis.
And then he decided not to go for fear of debt. The in-state tuition at Brandeis is less than $19,000. But still, “there are too many lawyers out there,” McReynolds says. Somehow the school has been able to absorb the tuition loss and have not cut any programs or faculty members. Which is kind of a miracle. The plan has been up increase and diversify recruiting efforts.
The interesting point of this story is local attorneys are happy. Incredibly happy. Various attorneys and Brandeis alums say the Louisville market is saturated with attorneys. While academics are more panicked, they also realize this is a wave and it will settle. The baby boomers had a lot of attorneys and they are on the cusp of retirement. As they start to retire there will be an obvious increase in demand for lawyers.
Regardless, with better job placement, it still doesn’t erase the debt incurred by a law degree. Which is what turned McReynolds off to attending law school after being accepted in the first place. Perhaps one of the benefits of the tsunami of decreased applicants and students will lead to more tuition cuts across schools. Survival for schools outside of the T14 might depend on it and then when the wave breaks and law school becomes attractive again, lower tuition costs will lead to lower debt.
Source: Louisville Courier-Journal