Northwestern Law Cuts Size of Class as Graduates Can’t Land Jobs

The Northwestern University School of Law will cut admissions by about 10 percent and increase financial aid as legal students across the U.S. are graduating in debt and unable to find jobs.

The law school will cut the 2013 incoming class size by about 20 to 25 students and increase financial aid by at least 25 percent, Daniel Rodriguez, the dean, said yesterday in a letter on the Chicago-based school’s website.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 75,000 new legal jobs will be created this decade while the nation’s law schools are producing 40,000 graduates a year, Rodriguez said. Law school graduates left with an average of $100,433 in debt, according to a 2012 survey from U.S. News & World Report. Applications to U.S. law schools have fallen an estimated 38 percent since 2010, although Northwestern hasn’t seen as steep a decline, Rodriguez said.

“We are not immune, however,” Rodriguez said in the letter. “And we are not going to ignore the ways in which the legal economy affects our alumni, current students and prospective students.”

Northwestern Law, ranked 12th in the U.S. by U.S. News, charges $53,168 in tuition per year for a two-year law degree. According to its website, 4.5 percent of the class of 2011 is unemployed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Staley in London at ostaley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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