The Great Recession has had both positive and negative impacts on law schools in Georgia and across the country. Enrollments swelled at the height of the downturn, as newly minted college graduates unable to find jobs sought to extend their educations. But since peaking at the beginning of this decade, law school enrollments have been declining.
According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, all five law schools in Georgia had fewer students enrolled during the fall semester of last year than in the fall of 2011, according to data from the American Bar Association.
In addition to economic factors, Barry Currier, managing director of accreditation for the American Bar Association, says technological advances are letting law firms get by with fewer lawyers.
Currier also points to waning interest among college grads in becoming a lawyer, particularly among millennials.
“We don’t know why,” he said. “Part of it may be the cost of getting a degree.”
But admissions officials at Georgia law schools say most of the reasons for declining enrollments are directly tied to the recession. Greg Roseboro, director of admissions at The University of Georgia School of Law, said the big law firms aren’t hiring as many lawyers because they’re not attracting as many clients.
Dave Williams covers government for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.