It has recently become in vogue for current law school graduates to hurl verbal rocks at their alma maters. Some of the most popular refrains are the school did not adequately prepare them to find a job upon graduation and that the school is more concerned about its ranking in the many law school ranking metrics, than the individual students who are often going into six figures of debt to finance their education.
In many cases, these gripes are fair. We live in a ‘Buyer Beware’ society, but it is hard not to conclude that the state of law school education in the U.S. is at some kind of Waterloo, or watershed, moment. Something has to give and likely soon. The center cannot hold. Students keep applying to law school, law schools let in more students and then raise tuition, yet fewer graduates can find jobs.
News out of Villanova University will throw more gas on the fire. The law school was censured by the American Bar Association for submitting false admissions data for several years. Law school administrators took part in the practice and did so to improve the school’s ranking and to make it look more selective. The former dean resigned and other top school officials have been shown the door.
The school risked being de-accredited by the ABA for the practices, but was spared because it self-reported the problem. It’s hard not to feel for the kids at Villanova who are wondering how this will affect them and their job search.
You also wonder that in the uber-competitive law school ranking game, if this is the last kind of one of these stories we will see?