Monday, July 22, 2019

Maine Potentially Investing Heavily in Law School

One could argue that Maine is our smartest state.  Indeed, I do so here solely because some blue ribbon report just recommended that Maine invest in its law school.  In 2019.  In Maine, a state that - the naysayers claim - could probably get by with one law school shared between it and half of New England.
A report released Friday calls for sweeping changes at the University of Maine School of Law, including the addition of new faculty and administrative positions, expansion of course offerings and an overhaul of governance and operational practices.
“Maine (School of Law) has already begun to cannibalize core functions in order to balance budget priorities,” the report says. “If Maine is to have a law school, then it must be repositioned within three years, funded and led by a skilled team as soon as possible.”

University officials Friday did not have an exact figure on how much it would cost to implement the wide-ranging recommendations of the report, but James Erwin, chairman of the UMaine System Board of Trustees, estimated it would require “millions of dollars at least.”
Fuck, boing, yes.  Sure, this is sorta like the institutional equivalent of buying your 51-year-old wife breast implants and new cheekbones instead of just leaving her on the curb and embracing swingin' singledom, but you work with what you have.

The list of suggestions reads like Christmas in July for a law school sycophant.  Big, new investment in diversity (read: getting non-white people to move to Maine)?  Check.  Investment in specifically training lawyers for rural Maine, which has a dreadful lawyer shortage?  Check.  Expanded tenured faculty and an administrator devoted to fundraising?  Big-dick-energy check.

Of course the article discusses the "financial" "issues" of operating a law school in a remote, small population state.  The government isn't giving them nearly enough, admissions have been stagnant, law applicants nationwide are down, blah blah blah.  It's had to make tuition concessions to draw new students and the faculty has even gone without cost-of-living increases since 2013.

But fold the cards?  No, baby, it's time to go all-in.  Student loan money ain't coming in like it used to?  Well, time to amp up state funding!  Get some new tenured faculty and funnel some o' that ol' internet money or somethin' this way! 

I like the cut of your jib, folks.  Tell that blue ribbon task force to go on tour, please.  I've got a few more states they can visit...


  1. Maybe Maine should figure out how to attract businesses to rural areas. Then maybe the hicks out there wouldn't be so poor and need free everything.

  2. Maybe Maine could figure out how to live within its means, cut taxes, and retain if not attract productive people and entities.