Thursday, January 31, 2013

Washington & Lee is the Best Legal Education Story of 2013 | William Henderson - JDSupra

The Times reports today  on the dramatic drop in law school applications.  There are lots of reasons for declining demand for lawyers, though too little mentioned is that the people who need them most can't afford them (think criminal defense, deportation).  Another slight is the shift of public funding of education from public funding of higher education to (non-dischargeable in bankruptcy) loans to students.  Irrelevant to the job market but relevant to law schools competitive position vis a vis each other  is the lament about the failings in legal education - too much theory, too little practice, etc..  William Henderson reports on Washington & Lee's switch to an "experiential" program for the third year. Washington & Lee is the Best Legal Education Story of 2013 | William Henderson - JDSupra:
There is empirical evidence that Washington & Lee’s experiential 3L curriculum is delivering a significantly better education to 3L students—significantly better than prior graduating classes at W&L, and significantly better than W&L’s primary competitors. Moreover, at a time when total law school applicants are on the decline, W&L’s getting more than its historical share of applicants and getting a much higher yield. When many schools are worried about revenues to survive next year and the year after, W&L is worried about creating the bandwidth needed to educate the surplus of students who enrolled in the fall of 2012, and the backlog of applicants that the school deferred to the fall of 2013. The evidence is based on several years’ worth of data from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE).
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