It may be hard to imagine after you've just finished writing a $15,000 spring semester tuition check to your law school, but apparently they’re feeling the economic pinch these days, too.
I haven’t heard about this happening at my school, but according to recent articles in the National Law Journal and an item on TaxProf Blog, several schools have instituted hiring and salary freezes. Other schools have made library adjustments and begun limiting faculty travel.
For instance, according to the National Law Journal, UC Hastings has cut cost-of-living and merit-based raises for administrators and slowed hiring. Law schools in other state systems like the University of Missouri are considering similar measures, and Arizona State has already furloughed many faculty.
Public schools in California have been facing budget cuts and corresponding tuition hikes for several years, and it looks to get even worse now that the legislature has passed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget which cuts education funding by about $8 billion.
More surprising to me was the fact that private law schools are also feeling the pressure. The endowments at Harvard and Yale have dropped 22% and 25% respectively since last summer, due to the tanking financial markets.
You have to applaud the public law schools who have sacrificed faculty salaries and hiring rather than announcing tuition raises or cutting education-related funding, but I wonder how long it is before these budget woes are passed on to students.