Failure to Launch: The Curious Case of Wilkes Law School, PA

Most criticisms of new law schools target UC Irvine and UMass School of Law.  Too bad the critics missed an opportunity to celebrate: last month Wilkes Law School’s opening was delayed two to four years according to Citizen’s Voice’s Andrew Staub, “Financial Worries Stall Wilkes Law School Plans.”

I'm proud to say this emerged from my imagination.

Eyeballing the Wikipedia, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s population is probably 1.2 million, and with only 325 students leaves 3,738.5 inhabitants per law student.  That looks pretty good, but the state average is much lower.  Pennsylvania, according to my research, is just above the national average (17th) in law students/state population (2,118.8), has a somewhat low law school/state population ratio (34th), but has one law student for every $93 million gross state product (18th, below national average).  With eight law schools operating, another law school adding 325 full time students (alone!) would move the state to 15th in law students per population, 25th in law schools per population, and 16th in law students per $1 million GSP (2,009, 1,400,529.7, and $88.2 million).  It’s not as severe as the rest of the northeast, the Valley of Death for law students, but including part-time students, Widener’s Wilmington, DE campus (close to Philadelphia) and law schools in badly-saturated New York, the new law school probably wouldn’t do students, the region, or the state much good.

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