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If You Build a Fifth Law School in Indiana, Will They Come?

You might think that with the legal economy still firmly stuck in a miserable state, the last thing one would want to build right now is a new law school. That will be unaccredited when it opens its doors. In Indiana, where there are already four law schools.

But the folks at Indiana Tech Law School think you are all wrong. Here they are breaking ground on their new law school, which is set to open in the fall of 2013 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

IndianaTechLawSchool


No, seriously! You can watch the building's progress right here on the Law School construction cam! According to an August 2012 press release, ITLS recently hired its first four faculty members, who join Peter C. Alexander, dean of the new law school.

A post on Top-Law-Schools.com this weekend asking if anyone knew anything about ITLS kicked off what has become a hearty discussion about the merits of, and the need for, this new school. Alexander himself joined the discussion, and stated, among other things:

  • the school's "Charter Class" in Fall 2013 would include only 100 students
  • ILTS intends to be a "new and different kind of law school, one that intentionally blends theory and practice and one that focuses on ethics from the very start of school"
  • Tuition will be $29,500 per year, with academic scholarships available
  • the school may not apply for ABA accreditation until it has been open for one year with students

Alexander also told Business Insider that he didn't foresee any problems with getting ABA accreditation (although receiving accreditation is not always a "gimme," as Lincoln Memorial School of Law learned last year).

In a post Monday on Inside the Law School Scam, law professor Paul F. Campos came down hard against ITLS. Campos wrote that 

Indiana, which contains 2% of the US population, already has four ABA-accredited law schools, including two "top 30" institutions, both of which feature legal unemployment rates for their grads of around 40%, and which are currently placing only 20% to 25% of their graduates in firms of more than ten attorneys.

Chutzpah has been defined as murdering your parents and then pleading for mercy because you're an orphan. How about setting up another legal diploma mill in a hyper-saturated market, while claiming that what will set your school apart is its emphasis on "ethics" and "professionalism?"

The comments to Campos' post were, predictably, just as hostile to the idea of building a new law school. As one commenter stated,

In Indiana Tech, we truly have a marvel: a place conceived and built after the scam became well known and opened long after the downturn in applications. It's like building an investment bank in 2010 or a milk man service in 1980 or a CD megastore in 2005.

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 9, 2012 at 04:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

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