Statement regarding class-size reduction

A recent news story referenced the Law School’s plans to adjust to changes in the legal market by reducing the size of the entering class over the coming years. This plan was originally announced in March. The announcement also detailed Dean Victor Gold’s creation of an Innovation Task Force to investigate ways to reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies.

“Now, more than ever, we need to review our processes to ensure we are best equipped to respond to changes in the legal profession,” wrote Dean Gold in a March 1, 2013 email to students. “Simply put, we will be a better law school if we get smaller.” In an August 20, 2013 story, Dean Gold underscored this point: “Reality has caught up to higher education. The job market is still very slow, and we have a moral obligation not to just take tuition dollars and then turn a blind eye when our graduates can’t find jobs.”

Important pieces of the plan include:

  • Reducing the size of the first-year class entering in fall 2013 by 13-15 percent from the average over the previous decade, allowing the Law School  to deliver to every student the practical skills training and personalized approach that have become cornerstones of its curriculum.
  • Reducing the size of subsequent entering classes over the next three years with the aim of better positioning students as they graduate to achieve their desired employment outcomes.
  • An Innovation Task Force charged with examining ways to enhance procedures, practices and policies to improve efficiencies on campus and adjust the school’s budget to reflect a reduction in class size. The Task Force, which has already generated recommendations, is reviewing both cost-savings and revenue-generating strategies.
  • Achieving additional cost savings from planned efficiencies in new systems, such as the new Banner student administration system.
  • Seeing a reduction in the number of faculty and staff through natural attrition.