For three lucky students, Wyoming College of Law has cut its tuition to $16,000 a year.
Wait, that's the same as all Wyoming residents pay. So what's the big deal, you may ask?
The big deal is, the law school is digging deep to attract out-of-state students by offering them 50 percent off on their tuition. Otherwise, non-residents have to pay $32,590 per year.
"Mindful of both the university's goal to increase enrollment and the state's goal to diversify its economy and reverse the brain-drain crisis in Wyoming, it's important to understand the economic stimulus effect and the capturing effect of getting nonresident students to come to Wyoming," said Klinton Alexander, dean of the law school.
How Big of a Deal?
OK, so maybe it's not that big of a deal because the discount is offered to only three students. But that's not all the Laramie-based school offers.
Wyoming is a beautiful state and home to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, the most majestic mountains in the Western Hemisphere. So Laramie is about as far away from them as any city in Wyoming, but still ...
Wyoming is on the legal map because of Gerry Spence, the cowboy lawyer who successfully and miraculously defended Imelda Marcus from charges that she looted the Philippines treasury to buy all those shoes. That was so long ago very few millennials know the reference, but still ...
Wyoming is experiencing a brain drain serious enough that law school administrators cut tuition in half for non-residents and will help them get local jobs after law school. Alright, now we're getting somewhere.
Lisa Nunley, director of admissions and student services, said the law school offers programs to prepare students for real work. She said the legal clinics, for example, give students experiential learning credits.
"To entice students to come to UW with this tuition waiver, and then being able to guarantee those kinds of programs for them is huge," she said. "Especially for their post-law school career, they'll be able to hit the ground running. It really does prepare them in a lot of ways that some schools just can't do."
It may interest out-of-staters to know that the Wyoming law school reports a 71 percent bar pass rate and an 87 percent employment rate for graduates.
Oh, and Butch Cassidy did prison time in Laramie. If you're interested ...
- UW College of Law Officially Offers Nonresident Tuition Waivers (Wyoming News)
- Rural Midwest Has Epic Lawyer Shortage (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Top 7 Niche Practice Areas (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)