With Valparaiso University Law School facing an uncertain future, law professor Jeremy Telman used his remarks during the May 20 graduation ceremony to underscore the institution’s 138-year impact on the legal profession, as well as to hint at the void that would be created if the law school ceases to exist.
The closing of 4-year-old Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, and the revelation that 138-year-old Valparaiso University Law School faced an uncertain future, made law school troubles the top legal news story of 2017, as determined by the staff of Indiana Lawyer. Changes on the federal and state bench also were among the year's top stories.
With a 138-year history, Valparaiso Law School is not the only legal education institution getting crushed by declining enrollment and falling revenue, but it is likely the oldest to publicly announce its future is uncertain.
It was initially supposed to just be a stress-relieving exercise. Justin Vining, a 2010 graduate of Valparaiso University Law School, was feeling the pressure of being a full-time law student, so he picked up a brush and some paint and poured his anxieties out onto a blank canvas. But then something happened — Vining’s paintings began to sell.
In an 8-5 vote Monday, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission rejected the proposal to transfer Valparaiso Law School to Middle Tennessee State University. The commission’s denial ends the work the two schools started in November 2017 to move the northwest Indiana law school to Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Valparaiso University Law School is one step closer to leaving Indiana. The governing boards for Middle Tennessee State University and Valparaiso University have both endorsed the transfer of the 139-year-old law school from northwest Indiana to the Murfreesboro campus.
Law professors from all four of Indiana’s law schools have signed letters asking the United States Senate to oppose the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. One letter argues Kavanaugh lacks the temperament to be seated on the nation’s highest court, while the other asserts he was not fully vetted and that his judgments would erode civil and individual rights.
The Law School Admissions Council is reporting an 8.1 percent increase in applications for the 2018-2019 academic year compared to the previous school year. Also, applicants with higher LSAT scores are returning, as evidenced by the 1L classes at Indiana's law schools.
Freshly arriving law students are turning on their laptops, getting their student IDs, finalizing their schedules and preparing for the start of classes at Indiana’s law schools. The new law school year has started or will start in the next week at all four of Indiana's law schools.
If Valparaiso Law School moves the roughly 500 miles south to become part of Middle Tennessee State University, it would become the seventh law school in the Volunteer State. The schools have entered a nonbinding letter of intent to transfer Valparaiso Law School to MTSU's Murfreesboro campus.
Valparaiso Law School, which has been searching for a way to remain open, is looking to Tennessee for its future. The 139-year-old institution in northwest Indiana said in a statement it has entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to transfer the law school to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
Valparaiso Law School has tapped associate dean for academic affairs David Cleveland to serve as interim dean after the current dean, Andrea Lyon, steps down Friday from leading the struggling law school.
Five years ago, 46,776 law students graduated in the Class of 2013, the largest number ever. The celebration was short-lived for many, because the new lawyers walked into a bleak job market that was not showing any signs of improvement from the nosedive that started during the Great Recession.