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THE COSTS OF EXPERIENTIAL LEGAL EDUCATION: MYTH AND REALITY Robert R. Kuehn Washington University in St. Louis.

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Presentation on theme: "THE COSTS OF EXPERIENTIAL LEGAL EDUCATION: MYTH AND REALITY Robert R. Kuehn Washington University in St. Louis."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE COSTS OF EXPERIENTIAL LEGAL EDUCATION: MYTH AND REALITY Robert R. Kuehn Washington University in St. Louis

2 Is the cost of expanding experiential legal education prohibitive? “Requiring all law schools to provide 15 experiential credit hours to each student will impose large costs on law schools, costs that would have to be passed on to students..... In-house clinics, simulations courses, and properly supervised externships are all resource-intensive and therefore substantially more expensive compared to other law courses.... Even a law schools with significant financial resources could not afford such an undertaking.” -Yale Law School Sterling Professors (Jan. 2014)

3 City University of New York (CUNY) 12- to 16-credit law clinic or field placement $14,472 in non-resident tuition (average tuition of public law schools ≈ $24,000)

4 University of the District of Columbia (UDC) 7-credit law clinic in second year 7-credit clinic in third year $11,265 in tuition (2 nd lowest outside P.R.)

5 Washington and Lee (W&L) 20 credits in 3rd year experiential courses including at least one law clinic or externship $44,707 in tuition “The new curriculum is not more expensive to run than the prior third year curriculum, nor the current first or second year curricula; indeed, it is less expensive.” Professor James Moliterno Washington & Lee School of Law

6 W&L: Increase in Positions in Experiential Courses Academic Year SimulationsLaw Clinics Field Placements Total 2007/ / / / / /08 – 2011/12 ↑63%↑104%↑87%↑71% Tuition increase 2007/ /12: W&L: 29% Private Law School Median: 27%

7 The Relationship of Experiential Legal Education to Tuition – Data Tuition, size of 1L J.D. class, and experiential course enrollment: ABA 2013 Standard 509 Information Reports Law school and clinical training ranking: U.S. N EWS, B EST G RADUATE S CHOOLS (2013) Participation rates in law clinics and field placements: Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) ( survey) Cost of Living: Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States (2012)

8 Adjusted R-squared 0.74 VariableEstimateConfidence Intervalp-value Private School to <0.001 Ranked (U.S. News) to <0.001 Cost of Living to <0.001 Significantly Related to Tuition

9 Relationship of Experiential Course Positions Available to Tuition: None *The sum of… the number of positions available in simulation and faculty supervised clinical courses plus the number of field placement positions filled (full-time & part-time). Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Experiential Couse Positions* / # of 1Ls to

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11 Relationship of Clinical Experience (law clinic & externship) Capacity to Tuition: None (comparing tuition at schools where sum of “number of positions available in faculty supervised clinical courses” plus “number of field placement positions filled - full-time & part-time“ divided by "J.D. Enrollment - First- Year Total" ≥ 1.0 with tuition at schools with ratios < 1.0) Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Sufficient Clinical Experience Capacity to

12 (comparing for each school the ratio of the sum of “number of positions available in faculty supervised clinical courses” plus “number of field placement positions filled - full-time & part-time" to "J.D. Enrollment - First-Year Total" with tuition and fees) Relationship of Increased Availability of Clinical Courses to Tuition: None Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Increased Availability of Clinical Courses to

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14 Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Simulation Course Capacity / # of 1Ls to Relationship of Simulation Course Positions Available to Tuition: None

15 Relationship of Field Placement Participation to Tuition: None Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Field Placements / # 1Ls to Field Placement Participation to

16 Relationship of Law Clinic Positions Available to Tuition: None Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Law Clinic Positions / Number of 1Ls to Sufficient Clinic Capacity to Law Clinics / Field Placements to Law Clinic Participation to

17 Relationship Between Clinical Program Ranking and Tuition: None *Compared with schools without ranked programs. Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Top 15 U.S. News Clinical Programs* to

18 Relationships of Experiential Variables to Discounted Tuition* VariableDiscounted Tuitionp-value Experiential Course Position Availability <0.001 Sufficient Clinical Course Capacity <0.001 Clinical Course Position Availability <0.001 Simulation Position Availability <0.001 Field Placement Positions Filled < Law Clinic variables to to 0.79 * An estimated discounted tuition rate for each private law schools was calculated using reported grant and scholarship information and verified by three schools as within 1% of their actual rate.

19 Why Doesn’t It Cost Students More? perhaps instructional costs for experiential courses are not more, or not significantly more, than the costs for non-experiential courses and therefore not influencing tuition sufficiently to be captured by the model perhaps experiential courses do have higher instructional costs but the overall amount of those costs is relatively small in comparison to the many other substantial law school costs perhaps schools do incur higher costs from experiential courses but are unable to recoup those added expenses through higher tuition because prospective students are unwilling to pay for that educational feature

20 perhaps law school tuition is not sensitive to costs but largely driven by demand -- schools set prices to reflect the prestige of the school and perceived value of the degree to prospective applicants, not based on the cost to provide educational services university officials: “The goal of pricing is to get into a pack. You want to be part of a group, not an aberration.” “Once tuition is set, costs are controlled - or permitted to grow - to match the maximum revenues each institution believes it can get.”

21 Independent Variable Estimated Tuition Change Confidence Intervalp-value Student / Faculty Ratio to Library Materials Expenditures / J.D. Student to Evidence of the Insensitivity of Tuition to Costs

22 Perhaps some of each theory could be occurring: experiential and clinical courses may not be as expensive as often thought; and those courses may constitute a relatively small part of the expenditures that influence tuition; and price setting among similarly situated schools reduces the influence of costs on tuition so schools generally choose to reallocate resources when confronted with higher experiential or clinical course costs

23 ● Contrary to popular opinion, enhanced experiential or clinical courses are not a measurable factor in what students pay in tuition. ● Students provided more experiential or clinical education opportunities, or required or guaranteed a clinical experience, are not paying more in tuition. ● Providing or requiring more experiential courses or clinical training need not cost students more in tuition. C ONCLUSIONS

24 Pricing Clinical Legal Education at (92 Denver Law Review (forthcoming 2014))


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