Thursday, June 19, 2014

Double Pennsylvanitration, or, Go, Nittany Fatcats

Where once there were three public law schools in Pennsylvania, there soon will be four.  Collapsing bubble?  I think not.  That's a 33.3% increase, for you math-less law graduates out there (i.e., all of you who think paying $200k for the prestige of the J.D. is a "rip off").

Penn State is going for double the fun:
The American Bar Association has granted Penn State’s request for separate accreditations for its two law school campuses, starting with classes entering in fall 2015, the university said Wednesday. 
The name Dickinson School of Law will remain as an umbrella, but the independent campuses will now be known as Penn State Law at University Park and Dickinson Law in Carlisle.
Remember how New Jersey's state public university is called Rutgers, and they decided to have separate law school campuses and it worked flawlessly and the benefits have been worth it long-term?  It's become the envy of other states, I guess, and the craze of having two public law schools under the state public flagship is sweeping westward.

Let me put on my Nostradamus hat and tell you all where this is going:

The Ohio State Moritz College of Law (Columbus)
The Ohio State Moritz College of Law (Cleveland)
Indiana-Fort Wayne Art District
University of Illinois-Urbana
University of Illinois-Chicago
University of Illinois-East St. Louis
Iowa College of Law (Iowa City)
Iowa College of Law (Sioux City)
Iowa College of Law (Quad Cities)
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis)
University of Minnesota (Crookston)
University of Minnesota (Morris)
University of Minnesota (Rochester)
University of Minnesota (Duluth)
University of Minnesota (Frostbite Falls)

If there's one thing Minnesota needs, it's five more law school campuses outside of the Minneapolis St. Paul area.  Also, Rocky and Bullwinkle references.  You and your negativity are fracturing your own fairy tale of JD riches.  Get in your damned wayback machine and go back to a time when schoolchildren understood Soviet villains and lousy whiny lawyers could make bank.
“Penn State is very serious about the law school business,” James Houck, who is serving as interim dean for Penn State Law, said Wednesday. “Penn State has had a full opportunity to look at this and decide they are all in. They want to have two terrific law schools.”


  1. It's obvious that Crookston, MN would be the ideal place to establish an innovative law school blending theory with practice.

  2. I see possibilities here, actual non-ironic ones. Maybe the idea here is not so much division as amputation-- to divide the law school into one possibly viable one at about half the size, and one that is set up to fail.

    Right before law school mitosis occurs, perhaps forward-thinking college presidents or law deans can transfer dead-weight tenured faculty to the nonviable school.

    1. It looks quite likely that University Park is going to be the more viable school, complete with carefully tended medians and newly recruited faculty. Then Dickinson will compete with Drexel for a few years before they both close. Oh well, those law school paychecks were a great deal while they lasted.

  3. It's going to be *munching popcorn* to watch the two schools compete with each other for the same students. How will the scholarships work?

  4. Now Penn State-Dickinson can merge with Widener-Harrisburg and save the extra money that's being spent on two parasitic bureaucracies.