Degrees to decline if law school funds slip

Standards on law degrees will start to slip unless law schools receive more funding and better resources, a leading academic has warned.

Professor Tony Bradney, of Leicester University’s Law School, told delegates at the Society of Legal Scholars’ annual conference that law faculties do not receive all the funding they are entitled to from university coffers.

“Law schools look very good to vice chancellors – they get a lot of happy students, with great job prospects. So most universities take money from their law school to support less popular departments – typically the sciences,” said Bradney. “This is a good option in the short term, but there is a limit to what you can take away while still retaining a viable law school.”

The financial plight of law schools is made worse by the fact that law undergraduates attract the lowest levels of funding of any discipline – an annual sum that allows for “one quill pen between 10 students”, in Bradney’s opinon, rather than the high-tech IT requirements of a modern university.

“One of the greatest dangers to law schools is the students themselves,” he added. “The mass of law students is growing so rapidly. Problems may arise in the future when law schools just can’t give students as attractive a course as they would like.”