"Other schools are losing enrollment and decreasing their academic indicators," Bilek said. "To be stable and be increasing academic quality, at a time when nationally legal education is trying to figure out what to do, I would say is where we want to be.That was Dean Mary Lu Bilek, quoted in an article published September 21, 2014. And there's more!
"Every law school in the country has to resize, unless you started out the right size. We just came in at that moment where we could start out at the right size.
If and when UMass Law is granted full accreditation, Bilek said she'd like to double enrollment.You have to admire the moxie here. With dozens of public law schools, and numerous regional private law schools, struggling to find warm bodies who can pass a bar exam, Bilek and UMass were going to double enrollment in one of America's newest law schools. This is the sort of bold, dictatorially reckless ambition that is usually lacking the risk-averse legal field, but occasionally finds its way into administrative positions. It's the kind of thinking that made InfiLaw America's largest and best law school consortium; to take that basic stuff-'em-in model, but make the school, like, public service-y? That's brilliant.
Fast forward to May of 2015:
The University of Massachusetts School of Law has a mounting deficit, which hit $3.8 million last fiscal year, a gap expected to widen next year....Ah, yes! They're still going to double enrollment by 2018; that part hasn't changed in the last eight months. Because if there's one thing Boston needs, it's an additional 150 lawyers dumped into the market every year. But before they do that, they're going to fool everyone into thinking they have a higher academic profile by reducing enrollment and getting higher LSAT scores.
The law school for now has scrapped plans to increase enrollment and instead decided to cut the size of its incoming class by a third, to 72 students.
The school has adjusted its goals, and now expects to be self-sufficient when it increases its enrollment to 450, hopefully by 2018. This year it has 213 students.
Bilek is frank about how UMass is trying to bolster its academic profile, by admitting fewer students and those with higher LSAT scores, and by offering more scholarships. Last year it spent $1.3 million on scholarships for its 268 students.
Per the Globe, the school currently has around 9.3 million in expenses and 5.5 million in revenue. They're going to offer more scholarships to get better students next year. Got to spend money to make money, bro'.
This school's whole existence and forward financial model is
After all, UMass's raison d'etre is that the grads being pumped out by Suffolk and Northeastern are too fucking rich and too uninteresting in the plight of the poor to be trusted with something as important as The Law.
The law school was created with a noble mission: To make a doctor of laws degree affordable, and to educate people who will use their degrees to help people who direly need legal services.Indeed. If there's one thing that can be collectively said about graduates from Harvard, Boston U., Boston College, New England, Northeastern, Suffolk, Massachusetts School of Law, Yale, UConn, Quinnipiac, Roger Williams, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, it's that no one's interested in public service or legal aid work in the region, not even with programs like PSLF.
Bilek calls it “making sure that not only people born with silver spoons in their mouths are making the law.”
UMass will likely continue to lose money every year. But come 2018, watch out, richers. New England is going to get a Marxist curbstomp of public-serving justice doers.
You can use your silver spoon to swallow the cold medicine of 150 new legal aid-friendly graduates hitting the market every year. Boston may finally have enough lawyers.