Vol. 5 No. 9
There are strong forces at work on the practice of law, and law schools are understandably concerned about how economic conditions will impact them. At the UH Law Center, we have taken several important steps to alter our business model, and I want to report on the outcomes.
At my recommendation, the University of Houston has approved both a tuition increase and a reduction of 15% in the size of our class. In a climate where further declines in state support must be seen as inevitable, we have made the necessary changes to transform us into primarily a tuition-supported school. In a climate where jobs in law are less plentiful, we have adapted to the change.
Reducing our class size may seem counterintuitive in tough economic times and reduced state funding, but it is not. When we ask students to pay higher tuition, I believe we have an obligation to deliver a product of even higher quality. Our smaller class size along with a substantial increase of faculty over the past five years moves our student/faculty ratio to approximately 10:1 – a number that is seen only among law schools of the highest rank. As we continue the momentum of excellence we have worked so hard to achieve, our smaller classes will be a critical component of our success.
The market has obviously responded well to our strategic decisions. This year, the Law Center attracted a record number of applications and admitted the strongest class in our history.
Our Law Center clearly is a superior school that can open the doors to a rewarding career in the law. We are located in Houston, one of the largest legal markets in the world, and our faculty and programs hold worldwide reputations for excellence. Regardless of which way the economic pendulum swings, the market will always recognize excellence. With the continued support of our alumni, I believe we are making the proper choice by refusing to compromise on quality.
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