Law School News, 1219 WYBJ, Vol. 42 No. 7. 42

AuthorKlint W. Alexander, Ph.D. J.D. University of Wyoming College of Law Laramie, Wyoming
PositionVol. 42 7 Pg. 42

Law School News

Vol. 42 No. 7 Pg. 42

Wyoming Bar Journal

December, 2019

Closing Out the UW College of Law's 99th Year

Klint W. Alexander, Ph.D. J.D. University of Wyoming College of Law Laramie, Wyoming

2019 was an extraordinary year for legal education in the Unit-2ed States. The University of Pennsylvania Law School received the largest donation to a law school in U.S. history ($125 million), changing its name from "Penn Law" to "Carey Law." A U.S. District Judge in Massachusetts ruled that Harvard's race-conscious admissions policy holds an important place in society. Law student organizations at 13 elite law schools have pledged to stop accepting funding from any law firm that uses mandatory arbitration. And Columbia, Stanford and Chicago law schools now cost more than $100,000 a year to attend.

In 2018, the big news was the "Trump Bump," as law schools saw an 8.1% jump in applications, with a total of 60,401 people applying to law school (it was called the "Trump Bump" because 32 percent of law school applicants indicated that the 2016 presidential election influenced their desire to become lawyers). This year, law school applications increased a modest 3.1%, with a total of 62,427 applicants. However, there was more diversity in the 2019 admissions cycle, and the number of female applicants reached 34,000 (54% of all applicants).

In Wyoming, 2019 marked the 99th year of the University of Wyoming College of Law's founding. UW again was recognized as one of the Best Law Schools for Practical Training by National jurist and Pre-Law Magazine, and we were ranked as one of the Top Ten Most Affordable law schools in the nation by Affordable Law Schools, which combines overall ranking and cost. Importantly, too, the UW bar passage rate for first-time bar exam takers jumped significantly to 79 percent. This boost in bar passage comes on the heels of the ABA's recent decision to implement a new bar pass standard, requiring at least 75% of law school graduates to pass the bar within two years of leaving campus in order to retain accreditation.

Indeed, 2019 was an interesting year, but 2020 is expected to be even more eventful. With the 2020 elections on the horizon, Americans on both sides of the political aisle are gearing up for heated debates on impeachment, immigration, abortion, trade, and climate change, among other issues. For law schools, this likely means a second "Trump...

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