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How Troubled Law Schools Are Finding Ways to Stay Afloat

When the going gets tough, some law schools close.

As the death toll of law schools continues, it's clear the post-recession blues are not over. In case you didn't hear it, the funeral march began a few years ago.

The trend continues this year, with some law schools hanging on by their fingernails. May they succeed or forever rest in peace.

Thomas Jefferson Law School

The rumors of its death are slightly exaggerated. With declining enrollment, dismal bar pass scores, and potential loss of its accreditation, Thomas Jefferson Law School had to do something drastic.

So the law school is leaving its campus and moving into a significantly smaller office space. School officials said the move will help them put more money into education and less into rent.

It was the last chapter for the custom campus, which the law school built with fanfare and $127 million in bonds in 2011. When the law school couldn't keep up with the payments, however, the rest soon became history.

The cost-cutting may keep the law school afloat for a while. It still has to deal with the rest, however.

Vermont Law School

Like many other law schools, Vermont Law School has struggled financially. The remedy: layoffs.

In 2013, the school cut its operating budget through a series of layoffs. Now administrators are planning more.

All faculty positions are being reviewed, according to reports. President Thomas McHenry said changes are needed "to keep the law school viable."

"We're looking at the whole range of options, both voluntary and not," he said.

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