When an industry has excess capacity, it would be sensible for the industry to close down its weakest members. Unfortunately, neither the law nor the market encourage sensibility. Instead, everybody in the industry cuts back. And so, as ATL reminds us, layoffs have come to the law school world:
Back in July, following the news of the possible purge of junior faculty at Seton Hall and the staff massacre at McGeorge, we wondered: “Which law school will be next?” With law school applications still in free fall, something, somewhere, had to give, and it certainly wasn’t going to be beautiful buildings, the price of tuition, the number of tenured professors, or their similarly splendidsalaries.
No, the easiest way to save money — $4.4 million of it — is by dropping the unimportant human weight, and the most expendable souls seem to hail from the adjunct faculty and staff ranks at the latest law school to conduct layoffs. Which esteemed academy of legal education could it be?
We’ll give you a clue. The school is no stranger to controversy, seeing as it served as the origin of the very first law school lawsuit over deceptive employment statistics ever filed….
The law school in question is none other than the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and it is kicking off the new academic year with 12 fewer employees, thanks to a series of layoffs and budget cuts to the tune of a few million dollars. But that’s not all that got cut.
I stand by my oft-stated view that the optimal result would be for the bottom third of American law schools to close. Unfortunately, I see no plausible oath for getting there.