A law school sacrifices the queen

An American law school has joined colleges and universities in making harsh cuts to its core academic mission. Cooley Law has announced its own version of what I call the queen sacrifice.

Cooley LawThis case has many of the queen sacrifice’s now-established parameters.  According to their official statement, they face financial problems:

Cooley Law School’s enrollment and revenue have continued to decline while health care and legacy costs continue to rise. Despite ongoing cost control efforts, the school can no longer avoid the financial imbalance between the revenue and expenses it faces.

Again that combination of declining enrollment with growing costs.

The strategy requires cutting professors: “The plan includes: Faculty and staff reductions”.  No word yet on which legal specialties are in the dock.

There are also reports of one Cooley campus no longer accepting first-year law students.

Cooley’s move comes in the wake of a several-years-old law school crisis.  I’ve written about this regularly in the FTTE report: a drop in graduates’ job placement, a decline in applications and enrollment.  That crisis is sharper than that afflicting higher education in general, but it does make us wonder: are law schools canaries in the coal mine?

Here are all of my previous queen sacrifice posts.

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