Linda Keller, Thomas Jefferson's new dean, gave this explanation (which was probably drafted by a public relations person):
The Law School is committed to providing the best environment for our students. We've decided to forego the revenue that a spring entering class would provide because a proportionally smaller spring entering class might not provide the vibrant, collaborative atmosphere for our new students that is an essential part of the first-year law student experience.My cynical interpretation of this cheery blather is that Thomas Jefferson didn't recruit enough students to make up a decent cohort for spring 2019. Indeed, TJ's student enrollment dropped from more than 400 in 2010 to less than 300 in 2017.
Thomas Jefferson School of Law should close--period. By almost any measure, the school is not producing lawyers who can find decent jobs in the legal profession. According to Law School Transparency, which reports important metrics for law schools, TJ's 2017 graduating class had an employment rate of only 21.3 percent. Graduates' under-employment rate was 42.3 percent.
Not a single 2017 graduate got a judicial clerkship, jobs that go to the most able law graduates. And none went to work for large law firms, which generally pay the highest salaries.
And most shocking of all, TJ's 2014 entering class had a 2017 bar passage rate of only 26.5 percent! That's right, only a little more than one in four of TJ's 2017 graduates passed the bar.
Why do students enroll at a law school with such a dismal record? Is it cheaper than more prestigious schools? No, it is not. The non-discounted cost to get a law degree from Thomas Jefferson is $280,000! That's right, it costs more than a quarter of a million dollars to get a law degree from Thomas Jefferson, and only one out of four 2017 graduates passed the bar.
This country has too many law schools. There simply are not enough jobs for the newly minted attorneys coming out of the nation's lawyer factories. The American Bar Association, which accredits law schools, has done a poor job and allowed too many schools to operate. Based on their bar passage rates and poor job-placement rates, at least 20 schools should be shut down immediately.
Some of Thomas Jefferson's graduates sued the school awhile back for fraud, but TJ beat the wrap. But enrollment is dropping, bar pass rates are awful, and the time has come for TJ to close its doors.
|Thomas Jefferson School of Law|
Scott Jaschik. Thomas Jefferson Law Won't Admit Students for Spring. Inside Higher Ed, October 18, 2018.
Staci Zaretsky. Struggling Law School Will Not Accept New Students This Spring. Above the Law, October 17, 2018.
Staci Zaretsky. Verdict Reached in the Alaburda v. Thomas Jefferson Landmark Case Over Fraudulent Employment Statistics. Abovethelaw.com, March 24, 2016.
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