UC Hastings and a “Crisis” in Legal Education

The National Law Journal reported that the UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco will reduce the size of its student body by 20% over the next three years. Hastings is ranked 44th in the US News and World Report rankings of US law schools.

At a time when new law schools are opening in Canada, and some schools have increased their enrollment, the reason for the reduction in the class size as stated by Hastings’ Dean is very interesting and timely given the New York Times declaration last November that “legal education is in crisis“, and SLAW’s own Omar Ha Redeye’s excellent commentary on the market and career prospects for new lawyers here last week. As quoted in the National Law Journal Dean Frank Wu states:

The critics of legal education are right…There are too many law schools and too many law students, and we’re going to fix that. We would easily be able to fill 425 seats, but to do so would be irresponsible.

While there will be staffing cuts, including to the library, the school plans to fill new faculty positions. The details can be found here in a message from Dean Wu to the Hastings community.

For early reactions to the announcement see here and here.

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