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Case Western Law School Is Hurtin', but Maintaining Standards

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on January 11, 2016 5:59 AM

It turns out that as well regarded as Case Western's undergraduate university programs and medical programs are, people apparently are not exactly falling over themselves to prop up the reputation of Case Western Reserve School of Law.

In fact, according to some, the law school has to rely on the rest of the institution to the tune of 35 percent for the law school's operating budget.

Hanging on, Despite It All

Case Western has not been insulated from the application woes that have plagued the law school industry these past few years. Demand for law school education has taken a nose-dive (though there's some indication that the trend has at least halted somewhat). Schools, which had previously relied on a constant and comfortable stream of income in the form of tuitions had to get creative in order to survive. It's believed that this prompted what some have characterized as less than laudable practices in order to lure students to law school.

Case really took it on the chin. Between 2008 and 2015, JD enrollment fell by 43 percent and the per capita tuition fell by 41 percent when adjusted in 2015 dollars. This means that Case Western Law only pulled about $8 million last year. Now, you're probably thinking "Well, boohoo for you," but if you also consider that average take by Case Western Law is closer to $24 million, one can even almost feel justifiably sorry for the institution.

Must Not ... Give In

In order to stay alive, the school has basically opted to trim fat -- this means taking in fewer students. Following a classic economics mode of thinking, Case Western lowered its tuition rates significantly in tandem with lower application rates and also enrolled fewer students into its JD program. In other words, rather than compromising admissions standards, the numbers are consistent with the school actually staunchly maintaining admissions standards, thus not dilating and further diluting the integrity of the legal profession.

Thank you, Case Western. Lawyers thank you.

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