Bemoaning the overabundance of law schools and law students, Frank Wu, the chancellor and dean of the University of California Hastings College of the Law, is putting his words into action. Beginning in the fall, Hastings will admit “20 percent fewer students than in years past, a decision that required the college to eliminate several staff positions. No faculty members lost their jobs,” Inside Higher Ed reports.
While Hastings still receives a flood of applications, despite the drop in overall law school application volume, this “reboot” will help ensure that those accepted will have a better chance of finding work post-graduation, instead of swimming in debt with no prospects. As Wu puts it, law school shouldn’t be a “refuge for the bright liberal arts student who didn’t know what he or she wanted to do.” His plan could be a win-win situation: Hastings’ rankings could increase due to higher job placement stats, and those “underqualified” students will avoid years of struggling through and after law school.
Hopefully, more schools will take their cue and downsize their classes, since “by keeping class size constant while job opportunities and application numbers fall, the college[s] would be doing a disservice to [themselves] and [their] applicants.”