College of Law decreases fees in US

US law school, the James E. Rogers College of Law, has lowered its tuition fees by more than 10 per cent.

The Arizona-based school will charge resident students 10.6 per cent less for the next academic year and non-resident students 8.2 per cent less.

Interim dean at the law school, Marc Miller, told the Arizona Daily Wildcat: “We’re seeing changing times for legal practice and for legal education. One of the most sustained critiques of legal education is that it has become too expensive, so that the debt that students pick up … seriously inhibits their job options.”

The decision follows a 30-year low for law school applications in the states. The New York Times reported in January that, as of that month, there was a 20 per cent decrease in applications compared to January 2012 and a 38 per cent decline from 2010. The Times stated that in 2004 there were 100,000 law school applicants but estimated that for 2013 the number would be around 54,000.

Law school fees for students from Arizona are set at $24,306 while non-resident students will pay $38,768.

Miller said: “It’s actually a very good time here at the law school. That seemed to us like the right moment to become more accessible. Not out of fear, but out of a sense of real opportunity to change the game.”

The situation contrasts with the pricing structure in the UK where LLB fees tripled, along with all undergraduate degrees, this academic year and professional legal education prices also rose.

Lawyer2B reported last month that fees had been hiked for both the Bar Professional Training Course and Legal Practice Course.

BPP Law School’s Holborn Centre and Manchester Metropolitan University raised their LPC fees by three per cent while the University of West England and Kaplan Law School increased their fees by four per cent and the University of Law increased its London prices by 5.5 per cent (20 March 2013).

At City University both LPC and BPTC fees were frozen this year, with the LPC costing £12,500.

Kaplan hiked its BPTC fees by 11 per cent, while the London bases of the University of Law and BPP increased their prices by 6 per cent (6 March 2013).

Northumbria Law School and Cardiff Law School increased their BPTC fees by 4 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.

Happily, the James E. Rogers College of Law is planning to increase its intake for the Juris Doctor with Advanced Standing programme, aimed at lawyers from outside the US. We’ll always have Arizona, it seems.