Yesterday I noted that the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law was shrinking its staff. Now it appears that the school is framing this as a part of a broader realignment . Dean Jay Mootz announced that, over the next three years, the law school will reduce its student body to approximately 600 students.
A Sacramento Bee news report claims that McGeorge is shrinking by 40%. That might be true if one considers the baseline 2010, when the school had over 1000 students. But in the fall of 2012, there were 248 students (including day and evening) in the entering class. And in 2011, there were only 215 1L's. I assume that the McGeorge is moving to a normal 1Lclass of 200. That's newsworthy, but not quite as potent as the 40% number.
I don't know if McGeorge was promoting this 40% number - it seems to be giving the school some press, and it also appears to explain the recent layoffs - or whether the reporters at the Sacramento Bee pulled out their calculators and ran the comparison between the 2010 student census and the projected tally in 2016. But pretty soon, this drop may no longer be newsworthy. I'm guessing that there will be plenty of schools that reduce their 1L class by 20% this fall. And, I assume, some will reduce payroll accordingly.
Time is running out for schools to to get out in front of their small 1L yield in such an upbeat fashion.