The Incredible Shrinking Law School

7 Pages Posted: 4 May 2010

See all articles by Phillip J. Closius

Phillip J. Closius

University of Baltimore School of Law

Date Written: Summer 2000


The University of Toledo College of Law faculty and administration performed a task that may be unprecedented in modern American legal education. During a series of luncheon meetings we focused on the topic of enrollment--what size student body should we have given the realities of our market and the pedagogical goals we wish to achieve. We analyzed this issue without either an extensive reliance on our revenue stream or the risk of losing resources if we admitted fewer students. Since we administer both a full- and part-time (mainly evening) program, we also discussed our obligation to serve our metropolitan community in addition to the dictates of establishing a regionally recognized full-time program.

We concluded that our ideal size should be reduced from 525 down to 430 students - approximately 110 part-time and 320 full-time matriculants. These insights provided the basis for a strategic plan that embraced the downsizing, contained specific quality goals, and detailed a resource commitment from the University. The plan was eventually adopted by the University. The major resource concession made by the College of Law was a reduction in the tenure track faculty from 32 to 28. This article is an attempt to indicate the considerations that led to our decisions and to begin the process of analyzing the effect the strategic plan will have on the future.

Keywords: law schools, enrollment, downsizing, student body size, strategic planning, legal education, resource concessions, tenure track faculty, law school enrollment, evening legal education, part time legal education

JEL Classification: K19, K39, I21, I29

Suggested Citation

Closius, Phillip J., The Incredible Shrinking Law School (Summer 2000). University of Toledo Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 4, 2000, Available at SSRN: or

Phillip J. Closius (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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