Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Northwestern Law Dean Cites School's 'Difficult Time' As Reason For Faculty Cuts

Amid the recent law school closings, even the big boys like blawprof11/06/18
Interesting. It seemed like enrollment number were ticking u 6figuremistake11/06/18
Here's the full article: https://www.law.com/2018/11/05/n 6figuremistake11/06/18
Smaller 1L classes and large transfer to the 2l class...no s irishlaw11/06/18
Hmmmm... I wonder why this is? If you can get into Northw wearyattorney11/06/18
Big lawl needs click monskeys for doc review plantations... triplesix11/06/18
The Cravath model predates the doc review factories. The fa wearyattorney11/06/18
Not sure how monkey work was done prior to 2000 but I was un triplesix11/06/18
"Alternatively, you could become a social worker and make ba thirdtierlaw11/06/18
My hospital social worker makes about 80,000 a year and I do bigsal11/08/18
This is overly pessimistic, at least with respect to Northwe brassica711/06/18
" after five years, a ninety percent chance you’ll struggl zuma11/06/18
Probably not 90% but the number may be higher than you think mtbislife11/07/18
Maybe this will resurrect Campos. massivemissive11/06/18
I find this very hard to believe. A school like Northwe patenttrollnj11/08/18
I disagree. If you can get into Northwestern, you have othe wearyattorney11/08/18
Right, sure the elite schools could pack the halls with stud 6figuremistake11/08/18
Agree wholeheartedly. Fifteen years ago, I would have said dupednontraditional11/08/18
Harvard being the school that was paying then Professor Eliz patenttrollnj11/08/18
The schools work for the faculty, and the faculty captured t wearyattorney11/08/18
Then why do we have Northwestern making cuts? Obviously, so patenttrollnj11/09/18
Exactly. Sometimes corporations and other conservative enti dupednontraditional11/09/18
I mean, these days something like 30 to 40 % of a school's b patenttrollnj11/09/18
Just to join the chorus, the opportunity cost for someone ab thirdtierlaw11/08/18

blawprof (Nov 6, 2018 - 6:16 am)

Amid the recent law school closings, even the big boys like Northwestern are not immune from making cuts.

Northwestern Law Dean Cites School's 'Difficult Time' As Reason For Faculty Cuts

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is cutting staff and teaching positions amid a financial shortfall.

Dean Kimberly Yuracko informed the Chicago school’s faculty of the downsizing plan and budget problems in a message to its internal listserv, saying the school is in a “challenging financial position.” In an interview Monday, Yuracko, who sent the message to the school’s faculty in late September, said that the law school is not in dire financial straits. She said that a directive from the central university to reduce expenses and her new deanship—she took over in September—spurred her to take a close look at how and where the law school was spending its funds. ..

Reply
6figuremistake (Nov 6, 2018 - 9:03 am)

Interesting. It seemed like enrollment number were ticking upward again. Maybe it's just too little, too late - enrollment will never get back up to pre-recession levels unless there's a sudden shortage of attorneys.

Still, while I could see TJSL and FL Coastal joining the ranks of the fallen, I'm surprised that anything in the top 25 is hurting enough to make serious cuts. I'm not saying we'll see any institution this high up the food chain collapse, but if Northwestern is struggling, it's not outside the realm of reason that some T2's would eventually shut down.

Reply
6figuremistake (Nov 6, 2018 - 12:20 pm)

Here's the full article:

https://www.law.com/2018/11/05/northwestern-law-dean-cites-schools-difficult-time-as-reason-for-faculty-cuts/

An additional tidbit:

"In addition to reducing staff, clinical, and lecture positions through eliminating vacant jobs and not renewing certain short-term teaching contracts next year—tenured faculty positions are not under review—the school is increasing the size of its LL.M. class to increase revenue, she said."

Obviously, their JD program can only be so liberal with admissions before torching their reputation and UNSWR ranking, but fortunately, there's no such problem when it comes to LLM's. If anyone ever questioned whether these programmers were primarily cash cows to further fleece law school scam victims and international students, here is some pretty solid evidence.

"We need cash and you can't find a job - as long as you can sign a promissory note, feel free to take another shot with a LLM!"

Reply
irishlaw (Nov 6, 2018 - 1:09 pm)

Smaller 1L classes and large transfer to the 2l class...no scholarships or hits to their LSAT/GPA. I don’t think transfer grades factor into any ranking.

Reply
wearyattorney (Nov 6, 2018 - 1:39 pm)

Hmmmm... I wonder why this is?

If you can get into Northwestern, and you want to make money, here are the odds and options: 50/50 shot you’ll make around 250k (average) for five years working 80 hours a week and with a debt load of 200k, and then, after five years, a ninety percent chance you’ll struggle for employment for life, a 9 percent chance you’ll remain at 250k inhouse somewhere, and a 1 percent chance you’ll make 7 figures at some point in your career.

If you go the finance route at a comparable school, you’ll have a 50/50 shot of making an average of 500k a year and 100k in debt working 80 hours a week for a decade, and then an eighty percent chance you’ll be struggling for employment for life, a ten percent chance you’ll make 250k for life as a comptroller somewhere, a nine percent chance you’ll be making seven figures a year for at least a decade after the first decade, and a one percent chance you’ll make 8 figures at some point in your career.

If you want to go the public service route:

You have a 50/50 shot of trying to become an ADA or public defender and make bad money for life and dealing with dirtbags and being hated by society. You’ll carry a debt load of over 200k which may or may not be forgiven. You will work 40-80 hours a week.

Alternatively, you could become a social worker and make bad money for life, but everyone will love you. You’ll have a debt load of 60k which may or may not be forgiven. You will work 40-60 hours a week.

What sounds more promising...?

The sad thing is the smart kids are figuring it out, hence the situation at Northwestern, whereas the lemmings of many lower tier schools remain blissfully unaware of the horrors that await.

When ITE2 happens, the state of the profession is going to be absolutely biblical. Harvard grads are going to be struggling to get rural prosecutor positions.

And why is all this happening? For Lower legal costs? No. For the poor? No. To make the profession more meritocratic? No. For more choice in curriculum? No. For a more practical education? No. It’s happening so liberal dirtbags can make several hundred k a year in guaranteed income provided by the Federal Tax Payer, without risk, effort, or accountability.

Reply
triplesix (Nov 6, 2018 - 1:57 pm)

Big lawl needs click monskeys for doc review plantations... Another big factor why this is happening. Shortage of labor would crush their margins since they can't up the rate anymore but would have to pay losers more.

Reply
wearyattorney (Nov 6, 2018 - 2:04 pm)

The Cravath model predates the doc review factories. The factories exist in response to the surplus, not to protect the model.

Reply
triplesix (Nov 6, 2018 - 2:52 pm)

Not sure how monkey work was done prior to 2000 but I was under impression that Jr associates did it.

Reply
thirdtierlaw (Nov 6, 2018 - 7:18 pm)

"Alternatively, you could become a social worker and make bad money for life, but everyone will love you."

What are you talking about? I deal with social workers quite a bit, nobody likes them and it has to be one of the most thankless jobs in existence.

I'd take my chances with being an attorney over being a social worker any day of the week.

Reply
bigsal (Nov 8, 2018 - 2:40 pm)

My hospital social worker makes about 80,000 a year and I do most of replacements

Reply
brassica7 (Nov 6, 2018 - 7:22 pm)

This is overly pessimistic, at least with respect to Northwestern grads exiting biglaw. It's true that a few of them will crash after biglaw, but I think the vast majority will successfully exit to midlaw, in house, or government work, and enjoy an upper-middle-class (or better) lifestyle. Most won't make 7 figures, but many will find long-term careers paying $100,000 to $500,000.

Reply
zuma (Nov 6, 2018 - 10:58 pm)

" after five years, a ninety percent chance you’ll struggle for employment for life,"

What are you smoking? You really think 90% from a background of Northwestern law and biglaw struggle for life? I'd say closer to 90% of that group does just fine.

Hell, 8 or so years of biglaw should be enough to pay off your loans in full, buy a condo and have a hundred grand in the 401k/bank.

Reply
mtbislife (Nov 7, 2018 - 10:25 am)

Probably not 90% but the number may be higher than you think. Many of those that end up doing well did well for the same reason they were able to get into Northwestern in the first place - family/connections and not solely because of the Northwestern name.

Reply
massivemissive (Nov 6, 2018 - 3:45 pm)

Maybe this will resurrect Campos.

Reply
patenttrollnj (Nov 8, 2018 - 1:30 am)

I find this very hard to believe.

A school like Northwestern should not be having financial difficulties like this.

If it were some tier 3, yes I can see this being the case. But Northwester???

Obviously, there must have been some profoundly irresponsible conduct by the school's administrators for them to get into this situation.

Reply
wearyattorney (Nov 8, 2018 - 1:50 am)

I disagree. If you can get into Northwestern, you have other options.

This is why Harvard is trying to open up the GRE as an alternative avenue for law school admissions. The bottom feeding closures are a canary in the coal mine. In fact, many bottom tier schools may survive and more respectable schools may find themselves in difficulty, as students considering the latter are more likely to do research than students considering the former.

Reply
6figuremistake (Nov 8, 2018 - 8:20 am)

Right, sure the elite schools could pack the halls with students (and their bank accounts with cash) if they would just relax admissions standards, but that would undermine both the law school and the NW overall brand, and they just aren't going to do that. Hence, why they're trying add revenue under the radar via the LLM program.

As wearyattorney noted, accepted students likely have other options - including getting free rides at slightly less prestigious institutions. Does NW open some doors that are closed to students from lesser schools? Sure, but it's certainly not a guarantee of a great job. I wouldn't want to graduate in the bottom half or even bottom 2/3rds from this place - particularly with $200k in loans.

Reply
dupednontraditional (Nov 8, 2018 - 11:44 am)

Agree wholeheartedly. Fifteen years ago, I would have said NW was a Golden Ticket to Greatness. Knowing what I know now, while it's still an achievement, I wouldn't want to be in the bottom 2/3rds either. Knowing me, that is exactly where I would have been in that scenario.

Reply
patenttrollnj (Nov 8, 2018 - 1:55 pm)

Harvard being the school that was paying then Professor Elizabeth Warren $250K per year to teach one class per semester. Seriously, is it any wonder why these schools are underwater?

Reply
wearyattorney (Nov 8, 2018 - 4:37 pm)

The schools work for the faculty, and the faculty captured the regulatory apparatus.

The schools are not going to be underwater. In Harvard’s case the endowment is spectacularly large, and for most of the other schools, the government will provide a bail out.

Economic theory doesn’t work when the regulatory state shields bad actors from liability.

Reply
patenttrollnj (Nov 9, 2018 - 1:09 am)

Then why do we have Northwestern making cuts? Obviously, some form of economics does apply to the schools as well.

Although, the "regulatory apparatus" is why school faculties are so liberal. They like to mooch off the government, like welfare recipients.

Reply
dupednontraditional (Nov 9, 2018 - 6:36 am)

Exactly. Sometimes corporations and other conservative entities are bad actors, but the hypocrisy of holier-than-thou liberal profs sending student cattle to the killing floor is astonishing.

Reply
patenttrollnj (Nov 9, 2018 - 8:58 am)

I mean, these days something like 30 to 40 % of a school's budget goes towards administrative costs and faculty teach about 9 hours per week.

So, where does the money come from to pay the Dean, the Assistant Dean, the Associate Dean, the Associate-Assistant Dean, the Dean of Students, the Dean of "older" Students, the Assistant Dean of "older" Students ...... ?

Reply
thirdtierlaw (Nov 8, 2018 - 9:35 am)

Just to join the chorus, the opportunity cost for someone able to get into a top law school is typically much higher than someone who can only get into a T2 or below school. They are many times coming from highly ranked undergrads where they finished towards the top of the class. So they are giving up what may be lucrative or at the very least decent jobs to go to school for 3 years and take on a ton of debt.

Then add in that even top law schools are no longer a guaranteed path to success and still leaves you with a ton of debt, there are many reasons to look elsewhere for future career paths.

Then Northwestern can't lower their admission criteria too much or they'll drop dramatically in the school rankings. So you're likely to see dwindling class sizes and they can only raise tuition so much to make up the deficit.

Reply
Post a message in this thread