Monday, July 27, 2015

Even With Unaccredited Indiana Tech Law School Offering Free Tuition, Cost of Legal Education May Still Be Too High

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports:
A law school in Indiana is offering students an unbeatable price — a year of law school tuition free. 
Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, which opened its doors two years ago, is waiving the more than $30,000 it normally charges tuitionand fees, promising a full one-year scholarship to any student who enrolls this fall.   
Students have to cover room and board but the rest is on the house. To stay eligible, they 
Indiana Tech Law School
don’t even have to maintain high grades, as long as they stay in good academic standing, according to its dean.
There is a catch, though.   
*Graduates of the school may not be able to take the bar exam and become a practicing lawyer.    
The American Bar Association last month refused to grant Indiana Tech provisional accreditation for reasons neither the school nor the ABA will disclose. That means at least until next spring, enrolled students will be stuck in law school purgatory.
Most states, including Indiana, don’t let students take the bar exam unless they graduated from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.
It is not clear that even a free law school education is a good value.  While such an education might be useful background for a lot of non-legal jobs, employers generally are underwhelmed with prospective non-lawyer employees showing up at their door with a J.D. in hand.   A J.D. tends to pigeonhole law school graduates into narrow "lawyer" openings and overqualifies individuals for non-lawyer positions.  If Indiana Tech gets its ABA accreditation then that puts the schools graduates out in a saturated attorney job market which has, according to one study, nearly attorneys competing for every legal opening.

Thanks to the Indiana Law Blog which has closely followed Indiana Tech Law School developments.

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