Strongly Committed to its Mission
Last night, Jackie Pruitt, Director of Admissions issued the following press release, which elaborates on the changes the law school is experiencing. I've added links to topics I've covered as The Red Velvet Lawyer.
For Immediate Release
Director of Admissions
276-935-4349, ext. 1245
APPALACHIAN SCHOOL OF LAW MAINTAINS STRONG OUTLOOK
DESPITE REDUCED DEMAND
BOARD OF TRUSTEES REMAINS COMMITTED TO
PROVIDING QUALITY LEGAL EDUCATION
As the Appalachian School of Law anticipates smaller incoming class sizes in the fall, the Board of Trustees remains committed to offering quality legal education, promoting the school’s nationally recognized educational programs, maintaining a strong community, supporting the school’s alumni, and providing the region with practice-ready lawyers.
Grundy, Virginia. March 22, 2014 - The school’s Director of Admissions, Jackie Pruitt, shed additional light on the subject, saying:
While the smaller overall class size is a reflection of the economy, we see this as an opportunity to refocus, reorganize, and regroup to strengthen our school offerings and serve our students for the long-term. We do anticipate a smaller class next year, which is in line with the national landscape for law school admissions.
The current national projections show a 10% decrease in applicants from last year, which was the third consecutive yearly decline. Appalachian School of Law is institutionally strong and is backed by a committed Board of Trustees.
Appalachian School of Law’s admissions team is fielding inquiries from qualified regional candidates and will continue to do so over the next six months of the enrollment cycle. Historically, a large percentage of students are recruited during this period making it difficult to predict accurate final enrollment numbers.
The Admissions Office and Admissions Committee will continue to be selective as we invite the prospective students whom we feel our school is best equipped to serve and who are most likely to thrive and grow as contributing members of our close-knit community.
Appalachian School of Law will continue to support its current students in fostering a unique and intimate learning environment unmatched by other area law schools. Small class sizes allow deeper discussion and collegiality, experiential and clinical learning opportunities, as well as increased opportunities for leadership positions with the law reviews, in student government, in other student organizations, and on the moot court, mock trial, and ADR competition teams.
In planning for the future success of the Appalachian School of Law, the Board, administration, and faculty are building a Natural Resources Law program that will rival any similar program found east of the Mississippi River. The school is also creating a Public Health Law program. With the two programs, Appalachian School of Law will graduate students with degrees sought by high-demand industries.
We are also partnering with a marketing specialist to strengthen the school’s identity, promote its nationally recognized programs, and attract students who will excel at Appalachian School of Law. Those students are often first generation college graduates, people with professional degrees, and traditional blue-collar workers looking to transition into white-collar positions. The students Appalachian School of Law serves best are those who value the personal touch of establishing close relationships with professors. They will also return to their home towns to provide much needed legal services in small firms and will serve as leaders and public servants in their communities.
Appalachian School of Law’s mission is to provide practice-ready lawyers with strong problem-solving skills and a deep sense of professional responsibility. It assists students in realizing their dreams by providing one-on-one academic support, tutoring, and the preparation needed to successfully pass the bar exam.
Appalachian School of Law will continue to support its alumni and is proud of the accomplishments and work its alumni are doing to serve their local communities across the region and nationwide. ASL alumni hold positions as trial judges, state legislators, prosecutors, and public defenders. They are partners at major area law firms, work in many positions tied to energy production, and provide legal services to underserved populations across all demographic and socio-economic categories, especially in Appalachia. Access to justice in the region depends on Appalachian School of Law’s continued success, an issue its Board, administration, and faculty take seriously.
Appalachian School of Law’s faculty, staff, and students have given over 150,000 community service hours to the local community, and the law school is proud to be the recipient of U.S. Presidential Community Service awards. ASL regularly participates in the service programs of a battered womens’ shelter, FIRST Lego League robotics competitions for grade school students, Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children, free tax preparation for low-income families, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Students and faculty members have developed area hiking trails, stocked local food pantries, provided Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic support for ill and injured Appalachians, served as volunteer firemen, and helped convert a local animal shelter into a no-kill shelter. In addition, ASL students tutor local children and support children’s outreach projects.