The University of New Hampshire's Franklin Pierce School of Law launched its new hybrid law degree program Wednesday.
The juris doctor degree program is primarily online, with some in-person learning on the Concord campus. The available hybrid JD program is in intellectual property, technology, and information law.
According to the American Bar Association, enrollment at law schools across the country is declining, and many schools are operating at a deficit. UNH Law is no exception. It’s been spending more money than it’s been making in recent years.
Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, estimated that at least 80 percent of law schools across the country are losing money.
But UNH Law Dean Megan Carpenter says the new offering has helped the school’s enrollment numbers, and is part of its effort to innovate law programs.
"This year, we have 101 entering students in our residential program. And then with our additional program, we're bringing in another 42, so for a total of 143. [Enrollment is] significantly higher,” Carpenter said from Portsmouth, where she was leading an “intellectual property scavenger hunt” with the new students. Those students, she says, come from across the country, some as far away as California.
"I think a lot of law schools have not changed the way that they've done things for the last 150 years, so I think what we're doing is ushering in a new wave of legal education,” Carpenter said.