U of I College of Law sees increase in applications and admissions

MOSCOW, ID - Data from the Law School Admission Council shows that nationwide, law school applications have decreased since the fall of 2011.

Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin is here to explain why this national trend isn't as concerning to administrators at the University of Idaho's College of Law.

That's right, Veronica. This fall, the U of I actually saw an increase in law school applications of nearly 12%. We spoke with the dean of the school, and a few law students to try and find out why that is.

Applying to law school is a big decision.

"I decided to go to law school because it's something that I've always wanted to do from the time I was a child," said U of I Law Student Stephanie Russell.

"It's a lot of work, but I like it so far," said U of I Law Student Taryn Basauri.

But it looks like more people are deciding against it. According to the Law School Admission Council, the nationwide volume of law school applications has declined for the last three years. However that's not the case at the University of Idaho.

"We're one of only four schools that saw an increase in both applications and an increase in admissions," said University of Idaho College of Law Interim Dean Michael Satz.

This fall, law school applications at the U of I increased by almost 12% when compared to the previous year, and that resulted in an eight-percent increase in admissions.

"That really means we're doing our job and telling the world how good we are, and what we have to offer potential students," said Satz. "I believe we're the thirteenth least expensive law school in the nation, in addition to that, we also have some very good programs to prepare lawyers, or prepare future lawyers."

U of I College of Law Interim Dean Michael Satz said getting a law degree at a good value is important, but the experience is what really sets this school apart from the rest.

"We're a small school," said Satz. "We're a collegial school, you get to know people, we have a good community here. A lot of professor's doors are open and a student can actually just come in and start talking to one of our professors. And that's a real big advantage."

And the students we spoke with seem to agree.

"I know half my professors already, I think they know us," said Basauri. "I made friends really quickly."

"The professors really care about your success in law school and I love the fact that they're doors are always open," said Russell. "And you can go talk to them about any issues that you have in class."

"The support staff here is amazing," said U of I Law Student Ryan Squires. "And they work very closely with their students, which is a very good thing for us. It's a huge benefit."

"And I feel like at a larger community law school, it wouldn't be the same," said Russell.

Idaho Law enrolled 110 first year students this fall, which is about an eight-percent increase from the 102 students that were admitted in the fall of 2012.