Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New UM Dean starts with a bang

Apparently, incoming 1Ls are being asked to defer a year because UM accepted too many students. Here's the incoming Dean's memo to the incoming 1Ls, courtesy of AboveTheLaw:


Every year our Admissions Office uses our past experience with acceptance rates to decide how many students to admit. In these economically troubled times past experience has turned out to be a poor guide. 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.

Accordingly we are offering an incentive to defer admission until Fall 2010. If you wish to take advantage of this offer you must notify us by e-mail [Redacted] or facsimile [Redacted] by July 10, 2009.

While I would like to believe that this year's elevated acceptance rate reflects the great sense of excitement about the Law School and its future that led me to become its new Dean, I fear that some of it may be related to the shortage of jobs in the current economy. Perhaps many of you are looking to law school as a safe harbor in which you can wait out the current economic storm.
If this describes your motivation for going to law school I urge you to think hard about your plans and to consider deferring enrollment. Law school requires an enormous investment of work, energy, time, and money. It is very demanding intellectually and emotionally. Beyond this, in these uncertain and challenging times the nature of the legal profession is in great flux. It is very difficult to predict what the employment landscape for young lawyers will be in May 2012 and thereafter.

If you are choosing to join us this Fall because you are strongly committed to the study of law we welcome you with open arms and promise to do our best to provide you with an exceptional and challenging educational experience. But if you are approaching law school with ambivalence or the thought that it will be a safe haven, perhaps you should take a year to decide whether it is the best choice for you.

To encourage this we are offering incentives to admitted students to defer admission until Fall 2010. The basic idea is that we will give you a $5000 Public Interest Deferral Scholarship for the 2010-11 academic year if you defer starting law school until August 2010. There is one additional condition: performing and documenting 120 hours of public service by June 1, 2010.

This requirement reflects the commitment to public service we try to instill in all our students.
The following are the benefits of taking advantage of this unique offer and deferring your enrollment to Fall 2010:

* Guaranteed $5,000 Public Interest Deferral Scholarship when completing 120 hours of public service. This scholarship would be in addition to any other scholarship award you may receive (not to exceed the cost of tuition).

* Increase your likelihood of selection for a $75,000 Miami Scholars Scholarship award ($25,000 each year for 3 years). This is a scholarship designed to encourage and reward public service.

* If qualified, be among the first group considered for all 2010 scholarships (see offer details).

* Apply your entire $300 seat deposit to Fall 2010, rather than receiving only a partial refund and forfeiting the balance.

For further important details about this offer, click here.
If you would like to defer your admission to Fall 2010, please contact us by e-mail or facsimile

[Redacted] by July 10th. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Admissions [Redacted].

I am delighted that the University of Miami is your law school of choice. I am very excited about its future and hope to welcome you either this August or next.

Warm regards,
Trish White Dean Designate


Anonymous said...

just once, post something original, that is not cut and paste from anohter blog or publication.

Ed Williams said...

My old friend and drinking (milk) buddy UM Law Dean SM is rolling her grave.

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous and insulting. Can you say poor planning? Reminds me of an airline overselling seats on a flight and then begging volunteers to take a $100 voucher and travel on a later flight. How humiliating for the prospective law students. Any of the prospective students accepted by U of M law and another school ought to go to the other school just as a matter of principle. I'm embarrassed to be a U of M law grad today - and now wish I had gone to one of the other law schools to which I had been accepted (back in the day). THAT'S JUST GROSS AND IN VERY BAD TASTE.

Anonymous said...

disagree completely. preface: not a UM grad. (Ivy league actually, thank you very much, but that is beside the point.) This deferral option is a mature, thoughtful way of dealing with a real problem, which is likely that their admissions are likely far exceeding past years for the reasons stated in the email. Rather than overproducing even more lawyers, which UM and other law schools have repeatedly done in the past, the school is now realizing that it is not in the best interest of anyone to do that. Rather than shafting people altogether, a deferral option makes a whole lot of sense to me, for those who can take it. Those people who are reacting with simplistic outrage are not thinking this through. Frankly, all law schools should do this, especially big second tier schools like UM. So, no, it is not outrageous nor insulting. It is realistic and responsible.

swlip said...

Why no blogging of the Ricci decision? Is it because none of the 9 justices on the SCOTUS accepted Judge Sotomayor's perfunctory reasoning?

Oh, yeah, this situation at UM is an example of chickens coming home to roost. Back when I started at UM Law in 1998, the school was supposed to have started downsizing. Had they stuck with the plan, they wouldn't be faced with this crisis.