(1) Matt Pitts, “Massive Tuition Increase for UB Law Students,” from WGRZ
SUNY’s Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 9% for in-state students and 20% for out-state students. To be fair, annual tuition is under $30,000 even for out-state students, which is, like, two-thirds the cost of tuition at an NYC area school. Presumably, with a lower cost of living in Buffalo, the breakeven starting salary would be lower too, though you know I’m skeptical there will be many jobs for these graduates.
Aside: if you’re one of those law school die-hards, going to a public school and making sure you have residency before you go isn’t the worst plan. Buffalo’s in-state students pay a mere $17,000 annually in tuition, which is fairly close to what typical law school tuition would be had it cleaved to inflation (~$14,000 I think). This is a good idea if you are willing to open your own practice or work in rural New York, but it’s better than paying $50,000 per year to a school that has no better access to the job market.
Vice Dean Lillie V. Wiley-Upshaw’s (like how that one rolls off the tongue) letter points out the Board of Trustees raised tuition on all professional students after the state government passed its budget. That means SUNY saw a shortfall and required the professional students to pay more into the system. I have no desire to look into the state budget, so I don’t know if it explicitly determines what monies go into SUNY’s programs or if it’s a lump sum to the system. My guess is it’s the latter, meaning the Board considers law students more capable of paying for other university programs despite the fact that jobs will likely be scarcer in three years.
[Given the current economy], there is a flight to the supposed safety of education. Whether that assumption of a safe bet is valid is irrelevant. All that counts is that serving this market can be a gold mine.
I recently, wrote: “Recycling recent law grads into legal academia is cannibalism because they’re not producing a net economic benefit.” The same goes for the pre-law school market: LSAT prep, tutoring, coaching, &c. If you’ve been doing this for the last several years, I choose not to quarrel with you. If you just finished law school and can’t find work, think about the above quote good and hard. Can you tell a doe-eyed college junior to her face that you went to law school, can’t find work because of the economy, are unlikely to land a job that will make the investment economically worthwhile, but you’re willing to take this person’s money so she can be in the same situation as you? I couldn’t, and I’d have misgivings hiring someone who could.