Law School at Valparaiso University Plans to Cease Operations
Valparaiso University, a private university located in Valparaiso, Indiana, announced yesterday the University’s decision to continue to teach-out the current Law School students in a timely manner and cease operations.
The University will work closely with its relevant accreditors, the Higher Learning Commission and the American Bar Association (ABA), to continue with its plan to teach-out the remaining law students. Currently, there are approximately 100 second- and third-year law students enrolled in the Law School.
The University administration pursued a number of alternative strategies to transition the Law School, including an educational collaboration with Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission voted not to permit MTSU to create a juris doctor program. As a result, the option for Valparaiso University to transfer its law school to MTSU was no longer available. This led to the University’s decision to complete the teach-out of current law students and cease operations.
In November 2017, Valparaiso University announced its decision to suspend admission of a first-year law school class in fall 2018, and its intention to pursue strategic alternatives regarding the financial viability of the Law School. Significantly declining law school enrollment, especially in the Great Lakes region, and a lessening demand for those entering the legal profession significantly impacted the sustainability of the Law School.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision and is the result of several years of careful discernment,” said Frederick G. Kraegel, chairman of the Board of Directors of Valparaiso University. “We have explored a number of strategic alternatives. Despite these efforts, we have not been able to achieve a more positive outcome.”
Founded in 1879 and fully accredited by the ABA since 1929, the Law School has educated thousands of successful law graduates who lead and serve across the nation.