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December 13, 2013


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David Yellen

Dan, This is an excellent post. I can tell you that the story is quite similar in Chicago.

Anon observer

That "MacK" (whoever he is) thinks there are too many law schools in Philadelphia is relevant to...what exactly? Professor Filler points out that the actual tuition for law school in Philly is a lot lower than it appears, due to the downturn in applications and the fierce competition for students. Dean Yellen reports that the same is true in Chicago. What is wrong with that, exactly? Isn't this just the correct "market" response to the economic downturn in the legal profession?

Judgement Day is Coming

Boomers have profited off of the economics of law school for quite some time now. What they failed to appreciate is what would happen once students started to push back on price. We basically had the perfect storm for this market. With the COA law school reaching a level where students were increasingly unwilling to pay at the same time the job market for lawyers was getting much worse. What this is going to do moving forward in continue to squeeze more and more schools at the bottom going up. COA law school in the aggregate will not go down because the top law schools know they can continue to raise tuition and still fill their seats. Lower ranked schools enrollment will follow trends in overall law school enrollment. Their is only so much they can do.

Pennsylvania is a somewhat unusual market in that their are a number of schools with a comparable reputation. In other markets its much more clear who is "better" than who. I don't expect to see the competition on price in other markets. Schools will most likely just fall in inverse order of their law school ranking.


An interesting comparison to Philly is Boston, a metro area of comparable size or maybe a bit smaller. There you have even more schools and much larger ones as well. There's BC and BU which used to be viewed as reasonably good, but then you also have Northeastern, Suffolk, and New England. I'm too lazy to look up what their enrollments are, not to mention nearby schools like UMass Dartmouth (or just Dartmouth as they like to say), Bryant, Western NE, UNH, Vermont, and Maine, but the enrollment must be double that of Philly. I don't know who will collapse first although I'm confident that O'Brien will make sure that New England will outlive Harvard but I'm sure that there will be a whole bunch of out of work professors soon.


MacK is right. This is pro-Drexel admissions puffery.

LSAT scores and discounting over 1-2 years is meaningless without also knowing how much these schools classes shrunk - that is, who is about to get caught by the bear.

One suspects it's in reverse US News order, from Widener to Penn.

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