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ERIC Number: ED532874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec-7
Pages: 30
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 54
American Law Schools in a Time of Transition
Ehrenberg, Ronald G.
Cornell Higher Education Research Institute
American law schools are part of a much broader higher education system. So to set the stage, the author begins his remarks by discussing the stresses that the American higher education system is under and the changes that everyone has seen in it over the last three decades. This discussion should convey to everyone that the challenges law schools are facing are not unique and that there are lessons from the broader academic experience that may prove useful to law schools. The author then turns to a more targeted discussion of two issues: the role of tenured and tenure track faculty in law schools, and the pressures to diversify the faculty teaching at law schools. In discussing these issues, he talks about relevant empirical research that has been previously conducted and illustrate similar types of research that might be profitably undertaken for law schools. Finally, he concludes with a discussion of some issues relating to the continued increase in law school tuitions at rates exceeding the rate of inflation and the role that the "USNWR" ranking of law schools plays in the tuition setting process. The author argues that reports of law school unintentionally or intentionally misreporting a variety of types of data to "USNWR" should not be surprising; everyone has long seen similar problems occurring with respect to its rankings of undergraduate institutions. The fact that rankings schemes can induce such behavior emphasizes the need for our law school deans and faculty members to always stay focused on the social purpose of higher education, rather being obsessed with perceptions of prestige and rankings. (Contains 43 footnotes.)
Cornell Higher Education Research Institute. ILR-Cornell University 273 Ives Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Tel: 607-255-4424; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Authoring Institution: Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI)