Often we at Outside the Law School Scam discuss the über-toilets, those laughable schools that make the generality look good. And the generality is poor indeed: a clear majority of law schools—107, to be exact—draw at least a quarter of their entering students from the bottom half on the LSAT.
But not all is well even in such pseudo-exalted circles as the upper fourth tier. The University of Minnesota has been subsidizing its law school to the tune of $39.9M for the past five years. That's $8M per year. And it's already planning to kick in $12M two years from now. That's almost $22k for each student in the law school.
The U of Minnesota's law school has heavily reduced its faculty and staff, yet it goes on sponging off the university "to the point where it's too painful for other elements of the university to continue to bear", according to regent David McMillan.
Financial considerations are forcing a discussion of the classic toilet strategy of increasing enrollment by lowering standards. "We need to go out and earn these ['more marginal'] students to balance our budget", insists regent Darrin Rosha. Others, however, fear "a drop in the school's ranking, further reducing applications".
Of course, "the school's ranking" refers to the one published for profit by defunct magazine US News and World Report. Falling a notch or two according to the silly criteria of You Ass News is universally viewed as a calamity. By Old Guy's superior ranking, however, the U of Minnesota is unlikely to move in the coming years: it will remain a fourth-tier institution even if it becomes considerably more or less selective. And its fourth-tier status makes it a poor choice for all but the wealthy and the well-connected.
But note the usual scamsters' infatuation with prestige: "ranking" relative to other law schools trumps other considerations. Marginal students, we are told, should be kept out not because they are marginal, not for their own sake, but because they would harm "the reputation of the school", suggests provost Karen Hanson. Apparently the school's narrow interests, and by extension those of its faculty, push everything else out of the frame.
Why exactly should the university, using money from other students and the public, go on lavishly subsidizing a law school that puts its overpaid faculty and administrators first? Shut the school down and apply the savings to some public purpose.