Law prof hiring half of what it was; Texas A&M new dean

It was a BAD week for …

Prospective law professors, after entry-level hiring of law profs dropped to 71 in 2014, down from 155 in 2011. The numbers were fairly constant from 2006 to 2011, before they started to drop. Law schools are employing fewer law professors to help balance budgets in light of the drop in enrollment. More than 50 percent of the new hires had an advanced degree, with 27 percent holding a PhD.

It was a GOOD week for …

Getting a chance to walk the talk, after Texas A&M University School of Law announced that Andrew Morriss will be the school’s inaugural dean. In announcing Morriss, the university referenced his involvement in “enhancing two previous schools of law. Serving at the University of Illinois as it advanced from the Top 100 to No. 23 and at the University of Alabama, which advanced from Top 80 to No. 23.” Morriss, however, is not a fan of U.S. News rankings. He wrote an article in The National Jurist in March 2011 about how the U.S. News rankings were undercutting morality at law schools. The article blamed U.S. News for incentivizing the bad behavior of law schools, six months before University of Illinois admitted it had falsified data to help it rise in the rankings. Morriss will now have the chance to improve Texas A&M’s ranking without crossing moral boundaries. 

Wayne State, after the Law School’s state bar exam passage rate climbed to 76 percent in Febraury, six points higher than Wayne Law’s February 2013 passage rate of 70 percent and higher than this year’s state average of 64 percent.