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Law School News--Stanford and Mizzou

Vivia Chen

February 16, 2011

Stanfordbanner From Above the Law comes news that Stanford Law School is raising its tuition by almost 6 percent:

While the rest of the university will endure a 3.5% tuition hike for the 2011-12 academic year, Stanford Law School will receive a special 5.75% tuition hike. The law school currently charges $44,880 in tuition alone. Once you include books and other living expenses, the suggested budget for a Stanford Law student is $71,535 per year.

According to the school, that’s a bargain. The school should be charging way more. Why? “Because they can,” said one Stanford Law student we heard from.

While I agreee with Elie Mystal at ATL that Stanford makes some lame arguments for increasing tuition, I can't really feel that sorry for the law students in Palo Alto. Truth is, many lawyer-aspirants would gladly sacrifice a beloved relative to go there.

But if you can't get into Stanford (or even if you do), maybe it's a good time to take a pause, and ask how much you really want to be a lawyer.

Perhaps people are finally doing just that, and realizing that going to law school might not be such a great investment--fiscally or emotionally. There are signs that the law school applications might be dropping, according to a post by Nathan Koppel in Wall Street Journal Law Blog:

The University of Missouri School of Law’s admissions coordinator told the school’s newspaper, the Maneater (woah-ohh here she comes!), that applications are down over last year, when the school enjoyed its highest application total since 2004. 

Missouri as a barometer of the nation? Yes, says the WSJ, which notes that as of February 4, "law school applications were down nationwide by about 12 percent, according to a spokesman at the Law School Admissions Council." Moreover, the post says that "if the trend continues, applications will be down for the first time in four years." The WSJ also says that The New York Times’s Economix blog reports that "the number of people who took the December 2010 LSAT was also down 16 percent from the previous year."

But as Koppel also noted in WSJ, this decline in law school applications is a bit confusing, considering that the legal market has actually stabalized in the last year.

Are law school applicants just contrarians?

Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at [email protected].


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I love your blog, you should add an RSS feed feature so I can get automatic notifications of new blogs. If you set one up please email me! i will bookmark you for now. Again Excellent Blog!

i heard a lot of good comments about Standford the way of teaching..i think this is the 2nd in the best Law school in the world the 1st is Harvard

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Thanks!

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: [email protected]

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