The University of Iowa has only 94 students in this year's entering law school class, down from 155 members a year ago.
The College of Law has been working to lower the number of law students in incoming classes but the drop from last year’s class size was not anticipated. The law school wants to cap incoming class sizes at 150, university spokesman Tom Snee said. The fall class of 2012 is a drop from the 180 students entering in the fall of 2011 and the 203 students in 2010.
"As you can see from there, we've been reducing the size of our incoming class each year. The goal is to get it to 150 students,” Snee said. “This is obviously beyond what we anticipated.”
Snee said the law school could have admitted more students to reach the 150 goal, but limited the class size instead of lowering academic standards.
“With significantly fewer applicants to choose from this year, we were left with a decision: maintain the number of students in the incoming class or maintain the high quality of our student body,” Dean Gail B. Agrawal wrote in a letter last month. “You will not be surprised to learn that we chose to protect the caliber of the class, rather than its size."
Recently, other law schools have announced plans to place limits on the number of new students in response to the job market for graduates.
In March, Northwestern University School of Law announced plans to cut the size of its fall 2013 incoming class by 10 percent.
Last fall, the University of California Hastings College of the Law admitted 20 percent fewer students than in years past. Hastings College of the Law chancellor and dean Frank Wu said the decision was made to reflect the shrinking job market for law school graduates. Previously, three law schools —Touro Law Center and Albany Law School in New York and Creighton University School of Law in Nebraska — developed plans to decrease the size of incoming classes.