Law schools are looking at an enrollment shortfall of up to 10,000 students this admissions cycle, and that shortfall is almost certainly going to fall disproportionately on a few particularly vulnerable schools. We want to know where you think the hammer will fall hardest, and who will be the first to close their doors. Here are the contestants, with their Employment Score, Under-Employment Score, unknown outcomes/non-responders, tuition rates, and whatever commentary we felt like:
Cooley: 29.9% ES | 21.7% U-ES | 26.5% Unk | $34,340
Cooley has a ton of students, so even with a huge drop it can still be a massive program. But, that size can also be a liability and cause budget shortfalls to pile up faster than at smaller programs.
Thomas Jefferson: 24.2% ES | 54.2% U-ES | 3.8% Unk | $41,000
What's there to say?
La Verne: 31.9% ES | 51.7% U-ES | 0% Unk | $39,900
La Verne's class size has already taken a huge it into the mid-double digits, putting them a year ahead in the collapse game.
Vermont: 48.3% ES | 29.3% U-ES | 3.4% Unk | $43,468
While Vermont is only slightly worse than the national average when it comes to employment stats (and only because the national average sucks), it makes our watch list because of their recent announcement to cut faculty and staff. This might be a preventative measure to head off a disaster, or it could be a sign that the end times are already upon them.
Whittier: 17.1% ES | 61.0% U-ES | 4.9% Unk | $39,140
Having the highest Under-employment Score automatically gets you a bid into the top 10.
Golden Gate: 18.8% ES | 56.5% U-ES | 2.1% Unk | $40,515
If Whittier is the Alabama of under-employment, Golden Gate is the UGA.
Western State: 26.7% ES | 38.9% U-ES | 4.4% Unk | $37,284
Not the worst of all schools, but Western State makes the list by having a name that sounds like they're hoping not to be found. Maybe they're trying to dodge bill collectors.
Florida A&M: 28.3% ES | 15.1% U-ES | 34.2% Unk | $32,069
We had Florida Coastal on the list for its 49.2% U-ES, but reconsidered when we saw A&M's dismal placement numbers and the huge unknown rate. If your students aren't talking to you, look out.
District of Columbia: 16.7% ES | 30.8% U-ES | 19.2% Unk | $9,480 (in state), $18,330 (out of state)
Even UDC's out of state tuition is cheap, but the school also has the distinction of the lowest Employment Score in the country.
American: 35.8% ES | 42.4% U-ES | 0.9% Unk | $45,096
The highest ranked school on our list (US News #49) also has the 30th lowest employment score nationally, the 14th highest under-employment score, and its high tuition combined with high cost of living makes it the 33rd most expensive. Combine that with the number of other good schools that compete with it in the DC market, and American defines "trap school."