Indiana Tech Law School’s founding dean, Peter Alexander, seems optimistic despite the inauspicious start. The school — which says it focuses on ethics — is getting a lot of local support, he says.
“Lots of people, as they learn more about us, realise that we are truly trying to be different so it’s not just another law school,” Alexander told The Indiana Lawyer. “It’s a school that’s trying to blend theory and practice in a different way, to prepare students in a new way. I think people are beginning to hear the message.”
Alexander attributed the tiny incoming class to the nationwide decline in law school applications. Of course that comment raises the question of whether it should have opened in the first place.
Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado, previously derided Indiana Tech for purporting to set itself apart from other law schools and charging nearly $30,000 annual tuition to boot.
“Chutzpah has been defined as murdering your parents and then pleading for mercy because you’re an orphan,” Campos wrote on his now-defunct blog, Inside the Law School Scam. “How about setting up another legal diploma mill in a hyper-saturated market, while claiming that what will set your school apart is its emphasis on ‘ethics’ and ‘professionalism’?”
Law school applications dropped for the third year in a row, The Washington Post reported in June. They were down 13.4% just since 2012. While the folks at Indiana Tech might argue that this trend could reverse itself, industry experts have predicted otherwise.
“This looks like it’s a big structural shift,” Indiana University law professor William Henderson told The Wall Street Journal in 2012. “Law schools don’t think this is going to bounce back.”
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