U of Miami School of Law Motivates New Students To Stay Away

An unusual phenomenon over at The University of Miami School of Law – they are paying students a premium for deferring their law school adventure. Instead of starting in the Fall of ’09, they are motivating students to begin their studies in the Fall of ’10.


Law school pays students to stay away
by Karen Sloan

The unstable economy created a tricky situation for law school admissions offices this year.

Would the downturn prompt more applicants to accept offers of admission?

Would the prospect of thousands of dollars of law school debt dissuade accepted applicants from enrolling at the last minute?

Admissions officials didn’t know whether they could rely upon the formulas they traditionally have used to determine how many admissions offers to extend to reach their desired incoming class size.

For at least one school, experience was little help.

The University of Miami School of Law saw a significant increase in its so-called yield rate — the percentage of accepted students who enroll — and has offered incentives for students to defer their starts until the fall of 2010.

“In these economically challenged times our past experience has turned out to be a poor guide,” incoming Dean Patricia White said in an e-mail that was sent to incoming students on June 30 and picked up by the legal blog Above the Law. “An unprecedented percentage of applicants admitted to the University Of Miami Law School have accepted our offer. This will give us a larger than optimal first-year class.”

Students have until July 10 to tell the school whether they want to defer, but the law school is already preparing for a larger 1L class, White said in an e-mail message to the NLJ. It has added an extra 1L section and has secured additional classroom space.

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