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Daily Emerald on Knight Law School troubles

Point-counterpoint in the ODE here:

Background: The Daily Emerald reported last week that the University of Oregon Law School will waive the LSAT requirement for UO undergraduates who have a 3.5 GPA upon graduating and scored in the 85th percentile of the ACT or SAT. Emerald opinion columnists weighed in on the decision:

Cappelletti: The real reasoning behind this policy change

The real reason that the UO School of Law decided to waive LSAT scores is very simple: Their enrollment has been decreasing at an alarming rate since 2010. Instead of making fundamental changes to fix this decade-long problem, the school will now be accepting unqualified students in hopes of boosting enrollment.

From the fall of 2010 to 2018, law school enrollment went from 583 students to 410. In that same period of time, enrollment in the School of Journalism and Communication and College of Arts and Sciences increased. The UO Law School’s response to this has been to exploit an American Bar Association policy that allows 10% of incoming students to not take the LSATー the standardized test required for admission into law school that many students spend months studying for.  …

The reason that the UO School of Law desperately needs more applicants is that in 2014, then-Provost Scott Coltrane gave the school a bailout of $10 million over the course of five years. The law school needs to improve their enrollment in order to pay back the bailout and fund the school going forward. …

Birch: Increasing diversity at the law school

This new policy could have potential benefits, however, including an increase in the accessibility of attending law school. …

The basic cost of taking the LSAT is $200, but this does not take into account the necessary prep courses and tests that most students take. Though a few free practice resources are available, most students will choose to pay for prep courses that will better prepare them for the test. One of the most popular and highly ranked of these courses is Kaplan, which costs at minimum $799.

This price could be a hindrance for low-income students to choose to go to law school, as there are high costs before you even get accepted, if you do get accepted.


  1. Charles Dunaway 02/04/2020

    So pardon my ignorance, but why is Law School enrollment declining? The ABA notes that overall US law schools saw a 3% enrollment increase in 2018-19 and a 8% increase in applicants. Might there be some reason the UO Law School isn’t sharing in this overall improvement?

  2. Dogmatic Ratios 02/04/2020

    The extremely bloated executive administration, and the increasing centralization of top-down power by wasteful and always-wrong technocrats, is directly responsible for turning this university into a stifling, unappealing, and stagnant environment. No wonder nobody wants to be here. People on the front-lines are fighting back. But the state government backs the corporatist board of trustees. So the only hope, for the future, is to organize, to make the U of O a democratically-run institution, without an executive class. Then we’ll attract people again.

    • honest Uncle Bernie 02/04/2020

      I’m afraid those days are over. It’s been a long time coming, and I don’t think any one group is entirely to blame. But by the time it had gotten to the point of unionization, I concluded that it was basically over. Nothing has changed my mind since. In contrast to the old days, when there was a true feeling of “shared governance,” with the union in place it is an adversarial relationship. There is management, and there is us, represented by the union. Again, I don’t blame one side or the other entirely (and again, it is more than a two-sided situation, but to a first approximation, it is us and them). A “democratically-run institution, without an executive class” is not a possibility. The trustees hold all the “stock” and they are not going to turn it over to the employees. The state is not likely to intervene, and if they did, I doubt that they would do so for interests in consonance with those of most of the faculty. On the other hand, I wouldn’t expect that the union is ever going to vote to disband itself. So, it is going to be what it is going to be.

  3. Richard Bohloff 02/05/2020

    Wait, since when was the law school going to “pay back” anything?

  4. uomatters Post author | 02/06/2020

    The quality of your trolling is not high and has been declining. I suggest you put in a little more effort, or just go away.

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