1973 - Should a Law School be Established at the University of Massachusetts?

THemstock's picture

Recently there has been much discussion on the proposal to merge the Southern New England School of Law with the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. (See: here, here, and here.)


The desire for a state law school in Massachusetts is nothing new. A 1973 article from the Boston Bar Journal (available here via HeinOnline's Bar Journal Library) discusses the viability of a UMass law school with many of the same pros/cons as in the 2009 debate. Read more. . .


Interestingly many of the arguments in favor of a public law school are identical to today:


1. Scarcity of places in Massachusetts Law Schools. The article notes that 15,961 applicants to Mass. law schools were turned down in the 1971 admission year.


2. Cheaper tuition. Tuition of $2000 is too high for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator this is $10,683 in 2009 dollars.

Tuition Comparison

School                  1971 Tuition              1971 Tuition in 2009 Dollars                 Actual 2009 Tuition                 
Harvard 2400 12,819 43,900
Boston University 2625 14,021 39,658
Boston College 2450 12,953 39,856
Suffolk 750 4006 39,670
New England Law School 850 4540 38,500

All tuition figures from:

Charles H. Jr Lewis, Should a Law School Be Established at the University of Massachusetts, 17 Boston Bar Journal 23 (1973).  

All figures are tuition+fees only per year and do not include books or living expenses.