Valparaiso Law School Suspends Admission For Fall Of 2018
Valparaiso University Law School is no longer admitting new students for the fall of 2018.
The Indiana private school announced Thursday that the university is continuing to “explore alternative possibilities related to the severe financial challenges facing its Law School.” These include the possibility of merging Valparaiso Law School with another law school or relocating the law school to a region that may attract more demand.
“This has been a very difficult decision,” said Frederick G. Kraegel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Valparaiso University. “As the need for legal education continues to be challenged, we have taken numerous actions during the last several years to try to stabilize the law school’s financial situation. Actions have included a reduction in employment levels last year in an attempt to align the school’s faculty and staff to its decreased student population. Despite these efforts, it is highly unlikely that the law school’s operations will achieve financial stability.”
Inside Higher Ed reports that the law school has been struggling to enroll enough students. Only 29 new students enrolled this fall, down from more than 200 since 2013.
Recently, Whittier College announced it would close its law school officially following slumping enrollment. But, Valparaiso president Mark A. Heckler, says Valparaiso isn’t following the lead of Whittier. “We have a 138-year tradition and very strong people,” Heckler says.
The university is currently facing geographic challenges in bringing demand to the law program. According to Inside Higher Ed, the law school is among four in the state of Indiana. Because Valparaiso is located in northwest Indiana, it competes directly with the Chicago law school market.
Kraegel says the university’s legacy will continue to carry on, despite the changes to the law school.
“We are focused on ensuring fair and reasonable treatment of those impacted by this decision through an orderly and carefully considered process,” he says. “These financial circumstances do not diminish the Law School’s proud legacy of more than 130 years and the thousands of successful law graduates who lead and serve around the world.”
Sources: Valparaiso University, Inside Higher Ed