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Pacific News

New Directions for McGeorge School of Law

Nationwide changes in legal education call for redefined vision for Pacific's law school
Mar 18, 2013

This is a transitional time in legal education, with a changing economy that is driving a decreased national demand for lawyers and shrinking law school applicant pools. The McGeorge School of Law is facing these challenges with determination and a new vision for its future, building on nearly one hundred years of history preparing excellent lawyers and leaders. Last week, President Eibeck and Dean Jay Mootz announced a plan to redefine McGeorge as one of the best law schools in California. 

"We are one University, and we are all in this together," said Eibeck. "I am excited to work with McGeorge as it takes advantage of market volatility and transforms itself in the years ahead."

The new vision for McGeorge is a smaller, more distinctive school that is responsive to the new needs in the legal profession and also leverages its strategic location in the state capital. McGeorge will set three goals: 1) reduce its entering JD class to approximately 200 students, 2) offer a compelling curriculum that is aligned with new legal practice and is "distinctly McGeorge," and 3) achieve bar exam passage rates of at least 80% and in the top one third of the California ABA accredited law schools. 

"These goals will take hard work and many important but difficult decisions," said Dean Mootz, "but I am confident our faculty and staff, with the support of our 13,000 alumni, will adjust and build on the singular education McGeorge has always provided."  

The University will assist by contributing funds to help with the transition, lowering the law school's administrative fee to the University, and taking responsibility for more of the physical plant as the school decreases its size.  

Eibeck added that the new plan should help improve McGeorge's US News ranking, which slipped from 103 to 124 this year. She cautioned that the rankings should not be a driving factor in decision-making at McGeorge and pointed out that many schools had dramatic changes this year. All California law schools lost ground in this year's rankings, as a result of changes in criteria and rapid decreases in legal employment.  

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