Elon reports higher enrollment due to curricular changes

Elon University School of Law’s bold gamble to switch its curriculum to two-and-a-half years, instead of the standard three, may be paying off. The school recently reported that enrollment for the entering class of 2015 is up 18 percent to 132 students.

“We’re not too big or too small,” Dean Luke Bierman said.” We can still provide personal attention and help students achieve their goals. This year showed that students are still excited for law school.”

This year’s jump, according to Bierman, is a sign of how well the redesigned curriculum is working to garner more interest among applicants. Elon Law announced last October that it would be moving from a traditional six-semester academic model to a seven-trimester one. This accelerated program would allow students to graduate in December rather than May of their third year. It will save students an estimated $14,000 in tuition, not including living expenses, and make them eligible to take the February bar exam, getting a jump-start into the job market.

“Considering the gap that exists between traditional law schools and the skill sets demanded in modern legal practice, this is not a time for incremental change in legal education," Bierman said. “Experience-based learning is woven throughout the entire course of study, pairing students with practicing attorneys from start to finish and integrating hands-on learning throughout.”

The entering class will be tied for the largest in the institution’s history. The class was selected from an applicant pool of 681 students, rising 14 percent from last year. Students were drawn from 85 different undergraduate colleges, more than any other previous entering class.

Apart from the faster and more focused education, Elon Law students will be guaranteed a full-time, course-connected residency-in-practice, something that no other law school has yet to offer, Bierman said. Students will also be assigned to a four-member advising team, based on their area of interest in law and career goals.