AKRON, Ohio - At one time, many people saw law school as a way to a good paying career, but now, jobs for attorneys, and even attorneys themselves are becoming harder to find.
But the University of Akron working to change that by offering first-year students to get a head start on classes needed for their law degree.
“It’s all about making law school more accessible,” said Christopher Peters, Dean of University of Akron’s Law School.
Over nearly the past decade, law school enrollment has been on the decline.
Some, like Whittier Law School in California—the first accredited law school—are even shutting their doors.
But Nolan James, Assistant Admissions Dean for the University of Akron’s Law School said they’re not giving up hope just yet.
“I think it’s us responding to the market, as it is now, and also anticipating future needs,” he said.
The law school just announced they’ll be offering first-year students an early start on their degrees, allowing them to start taking classes as early as May, which traditionally law classes start in August.
It’s the first school in Ohio to do so.
The goal is to encourage flexibility, allowing students to either graduate early or have more time to get their law degrees.
Since 2015, nearly 10 percent of fewer students graduated from law school in the U.S. than in 2010.
The decline has also gotten to the point where some law schools are not even requiring students to take the LSAT anymore, instead just offering the GRE standardize test as an acceptable entry.
Lack of jobs security, excessive loans and an increase in technology have all been significant reasons for that decline.
The University of Akron law instructors said offering classes early will help boost interest again, and students like Christopher Young, say it’s important, believing lawyers are still needed to make a difference.
“Our country is changing fast, and the law is one area where you can really make measured change in this country,” said Young.