Thursday, August 04, 2011

Law School as the University's Cash Cow

TaxProf Blog addresses a controversy where a university allegedly rakes off 45% of its law school's revenue. This is nothing new.

In the mid-70s, the U hired one of my former law professors at UChi as its dean in order to catapult the 'Canes into at least the second tier of national law schools. (This effort, I believe, was successful.) She asked me to come on as Dean of Students. In our discussions, she said just exactly what is alleged in the TaxProf post, that law schools make big money for the university. (I declined the offer.)

Our experience with Mary indicates that med school costs for the student are not all that much higher than law school costs, but the resources that UR pours into its med students dwarf those of anything I saw at UChi. The major expense of the law school, apart from the library and a thin layer of faculty, are the class rooms and lecture halls, furnished mainly with desks. The laboratory class rooms and their furnishings and equipment for the med students are more costly by several factors. The teaching teams for the med students are deep and dense, PhDs, MDs, and more. Class sizes are smaller. I don't think I have ever heard of universities making money off their med schools.

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