From today’s New York Times, a sea change in the demand for legal education:
As of this month, there were 30,000 applicants to law schools for the fall, a 20 percent decrease from the same time last year and a 38 percent decline from 2010… Of some 200 law schools nationwide, only 4 have seen increases in applications this year. In 2004 there were 100,000 applicants to law schools; this year there are likely to be 54,000.
The demand decrease, it seems, is largely due to a combination of the law school price tag (a movement along the curve) and a sour job market (a shift in the curve). If the short-run supply curve for providing legal education is somewhat inelastic, expect a free fall in tuition rates.
A few schools, like the Vermont Law School, have started layoffs and buyouts of staff. Others, like at the University of Illinois, have offered across-the-board tuition discounts to keep up enrollments.
Demand decreases, quantity decreases, price decreases.
I wonder what this portends for undergraduate institutions?