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. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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