Does Indiana need another law school?

March 1, 2011
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Despite all the news about law school grads struggling to find jobs, the massive amounts of debts students amass, and layoffs hitting firms and government offices, a lot of people still want to be lawyers. More than 3,400 people applied to be a part of the 2010 entering JD class at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, but only 251 enrolled. At University of Notre Dame Law School, a little more than 4,000 applied and just 172 of those people made up the 2010 entering class.

With such a small percentage of people being accepted to Indiana’s four law schools, it makes financial sense for an institution to capitalize on people’s desire to go to law school. A few years ago, there was talk of two possible law schools opening up – one in Fort Wayne and one in Indianapolis – but nothing has materialized. Now, Indiana Tech, a private school based in Fort Wayne with satellite campuses throughout the state, is going to study the possibility of adding a law school to the Fort Wayne campus. The study committee is scheduled to report to the Board of Trustees on May 13.

It’s all speculation at this point as to what this potential law school will be like. Will it cater to those already working who want to switch careers? How many students will it take? When would it become accredited? How much will it cost?

Those who go to the law school, especially when it first opens, would be taking a big risk because it’s a brand new school without a reputation. It would be an even bigger risk if it takes a while for it to become accredited.

There’s been talk that the pool of available lawyers is already pretty deep and creating more law schools and having more graduates only leads to more students who can’t find jobs and are left with a lot of debt. There are only going to be so many legal-related jobs right now, and unless the economy quickly recovers and flourishes, it’s going to be like that for the foreseeable future.

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  • Is this a joke?
    IU-Indy law school has 800 students. Indiana's four law schools are more than plenty to serve our state's population. New schools should only be approved by the ABA if the population is underserved. I think the population is served just fine. If you can't gain admission at one of the State's 4 schools or one of the nations 200+ schools, well then you may need to find another industry. Handing out so many JD's is detrimental to the profession.
  • Damaging the Profession
    This makes "financial sense" for no one but the institution that desires "to capitalize on people�s desire to go to law school." What about the students competing for a dwindling number of jobs and the taxpayers who will have to pick up the tab for yet more defaulted student loans? The nation's law schools already graduate more J.D.'s than the market can support. The ABA should stop accrediting new law schools. It is damaging the profession.
  • Reall?
    I can't argue with either comment above. There are currently too many JDs and not enough jobs to support them.

    I would recommend NOT attending law school if you have to get loans to pay for it. You're no longer guaranteed a job afterwards.
  • How many is too many?
    We have too many law schools training people to get a declining # of jobs w/Big Law. We don't have enough law schools providing legal education at a price that will enable graduates to serve people who don't qualify for free service but can't afford most lawyers. The ABA won't approve such law schools, but who cares?
  • law school
    Find Lawyer...yes idiana needs a another law school
  • Nice comments
    This comments is the best and i like it.
    =====
    Find Attorney
  • Totally Irresponsible of Indiana Tech - A school that I have never even heard of...
    This is totally irresponsible and shameful. First of all, there are - at best - only 2 low paying jobs for every 3 graduates from well known university-based law schools. Most of these law schools have been around for decades if not a century or more. Now Indiana Tech - a school that I have never even heard of wants to take money (tuition) from students to get a JD from a law school with zero pedigree in a grossly oversupplied market? And these rocket scientists need to commission a study??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? In my opinion, they should be fired for being both callous and reckless. These are educators? Indiana Tech??? Shame on them.
  • Wait...this is a joke, right? Indiana Tech Law School, you're kidding me
    This article has to be a joke! Commissioned a study to determine the obvious... Indiana does not need another law school. Not even if Purdue wanted one. Let alone Indiana Tech or whatever it's called!

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  1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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