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.

  • 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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.