*Correction: In an unfortunate misreading of the National Jurist’s article, we incorrectly mistook the number of law professors for the number of schools. The article has been corrected.–
In the last 10 years, law school faculty size has increased 40%, and tuition at private schools and public schools has increased by 74% and 102%, respectively, according to statistics released by National Jurist. Notice any correlation?
Does this signal a relatively transparent attempt by law school to elevate U.S. News & World Report ranks by improving faculty-to-student ratio? That’s a logical question, and the likely answer is obvious.
Ashby Jones at the WSJ Law Blog questions whether this is really serving the students any better.
After all, with twice the number of professors around, it stands to reason that office hours are more accessible, that class size is lower, that the quality of education is, simply better. On the other hand, it’s not like faculty scholarship necessarily translates into a better experience for students — so removed from real life practice the scholarship so often is.
But the data also reveals that the number of law schools also increased 40% to 17,080 in the decade ending in 2008. In the 198 accredited law schools, the amount of law school administrators —including deans and librarians — tripled. There are more professors per student, and more administrators per school than ever before.
According to the Associated Press, the average in-state law school tuition and fees was $2,063 in 1986. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about $4,000 today. According to the ABA, tuition alone for in-state students at public law schools was $16,836 in 2008.
So schools have doubled, professors have doubled, administrators have tripled and tuition has more than quadrupled.
Forget being a lawyer, start a law school.
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