ABA may weaken tenure standard; Students negotiate better scholarships

It was a GOOD week for…

Negotiating a free ride, after Fortune magazine reported that some incoming students at Washington University School of Law and Vanderbilt University Law School, among other schools, negotiated better scholarship packages, largely based on their strong LSAT scores. Applicants are down 12.3 percent from a year ago, and applications are off 17.9 percent, according to the Law School Admissions Council. That gave applicants a leg up.  Law schools gave out nearly $1 billion in financial aid last year, up from $721 million in 2007. 

It was a BAD week for…

Professors’ job security, after an ABA committee approved two proposals which would allow law schools to hire faculty without tenure. Currently, the ABA requires full-time faculty to teach most classes, which some schools argue has hampered their flexibility in cutting costs. Under the first proposal, law schools would be required to offer full-time faculty a degree of job security short of tenure. However, with the second proposal, law schools are not required to provide any job security so long as schools protect academic freedom and attract and retain full-time faculty. The proposals now go to public comment, and one could become effective as soon as 2014.