Miami Law to Offer Students $5K Public Interest Scholarship to Defer

U. Miami Law will offer incoming students a $5,000 public interest scholarship towards tuition to defer a year”.

Our incoming Dean Patricia White just sent the following offer to all currently enrolled future 1Ls:

Every year our Admissions Office uses our past experience with acceptance rates to decide how many students to admit. In these economically troubled times past experience has turned out to be a poor guide. An unprecedented percentage of applicants admitted to the University of Miami Law School have accepted our offer. This will give us a larger than optimal first-year class. Accordingly we are offering an incentive to defer admission until Fall 2010. If you wish to take advantage of this offer you must notify us by e-mail ( or facsimile (305 284 3084) by July 10, 2009.

While I would like to believe that this year’s elevated acceptance rate reflects the great sense of excitement about the Law School and its future that led me to become its new Dean, I fear that some of it may be related to the shortage of jobs in the current economy. Perhaps many of you are looking to law school as a safe harbor in which you can wait out the current economic storm.

If this describes your motivation for going to law school I urge you to think hard about your plans and to consider deferring enrollment. Law school requires an enormous investment of work, energy, time, and money. It is very demanding intellectually and emotionally. Beyond this, in these uncertain and challenging times the nature of the legal profession is in great flux. It is very difficult to predict what the employment landscape for young lawyers will be in May 2012 and thereafter.

If you are choosing to join us this Fall because you are strongly committed to the study of law we welcome you with open arms and promise to do our best to provide you with an exceptional and challenging educational experience. But if you are approaching law school with ambivalence or the thought that it will be a safe haven, perhaps you should take a year to decide whether it is the best choice for you.

To encourage this we are offering incentives to admitted students to defer admission until Fall 2010. The basic idea is that we will give you a $5000 Public Interest Deferral Scholarship for the 2010-11 academic year if you defer starting law school until August 2010. There is one additional condition: performing and documenting 120 hours of public service by June 1, 2010. This requirement reflects the commitment to public service we try to instill in all our students.

The following are the benefits of taking advantage of this unique offer and deferring your enrollment to Fall 2010:

  • Guaranteed $5,000 Public Interest Deferral Scholarship when completing 120 hours of public service. This scholarship would be in addition to any other scholarship award you may receive (not to exceed the cost of tuition).
  • Increase your likelihood of selection for a $75,000 Miami Scholars Scholarship award ($25,000 each year for 3 years). This is a scholarship designed to encourage and reward public service.
  • If qualified, be among the first group considered for all 2010 scholarships (see offer details).
  • Apply your entire $300 seat deposit to Fall 2010, rather than receiving only a partial refund and forfeiting the balance.

For further important details about this offer, click here. (

If you would like to defer your admission to Fall 2010, please contact us by e-mail ( or facsimile (305-284-3084) by July 10th. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Admissions (305-284-2527).

I am delighted that the University of Miami is your law school of choice. I am very excited about its future and hope to welcome you either this August or next.

Warm regards,

Trish White
Dean Designate

I had heard that our yield rate was way up this year. I guess it was waaay up.

I wonder what the takeup rate on this offer will be?

(7/2) Comments closed here — see the update at Some More Facts About Miami Law’s Over-Enrollment

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14 Responses to Miami Law to Offer Students $5K Public Interest Scholarship to Defer

  1. elliottg says:

    So entering law students get a tax-free $40/hr while exiting lawyers get $15/hr taxed for their public service.

  2. rank skank says:

    Its a game to boost the USNWR rankings. Northwestern runs the same game. Note that USNWR rankings are influenced by years of 1L work experience prior to beginning studies.

  3. umlaw10 says:

    absolutely speechless. this school has got to be kidding. as a current student who is already disgusted with most everything except for the great professors, i can’t reserve my immediate emotional thoughts on this.

    what is it going to take to get a legitimate administration, admissions office, registrar and career development office at this place? its unbelievable. the faculty is world class and everyone else is seemingly near brain dead.

    maybe the people who hire professors (coincidentally, aren’t you part of that group professor froomkin?) should hijack the school and hold it hostage until it emerges from its current diseased state. and while you’re at it, get alfieri in there to break some heads. if there were ever a person to lead anything.

    the exact same thing happened with my 2007 class and the office continues to illustrate how poor it is at predicting its class. c’mon, do we hire need to hire nate silver to do our admissions?

    the one thing a school has complete dominion over is who it admits and allows to study with its professors and students. and this school continually botches it. how can this keep happening and happening and happening. this has nothing to do with the economy. it is only accentuated in degree this year. for the most part, the students here are intelligent and conscientious. but for every one that matriculates who really has no business being here, it hurts the school and the other students as much as 10 good students help.

    seriously, professor froomkin, doesn’t this type of stupifying nonsense irritate you and your colleagues??? i know you say no, but c’mon. and every school will have its flaws but as far as miami is concerned i’d say out of its total problems combined, 97% concern the administration and other offices.

    all we students can hope (of course since the sba has deal with same dim bulbs who run the school) is that at some point the distinguished and highly intelligent faculty at this school just says enough is enough and gets tired of not receiving their deserved and complete national recognition as a consequence of unbelievably inadequate administrative leadership that drags down the school.

    yes, hopefully trish white will start down that path and be great, but unfortunately she cannot oversee or perform every function and task for the school and until it addresses its organizational issues from the bottom up, nothing will significantly improve. here’s to hoping she tries to do that.

  4. Tim says:

    Who would take this deal? Seriously? Anyone who would take this deal should never have been admitted to any law school. $5,000?

    The “economy fell apart” is no excuse. The economy fell apart in fall/early winter. That left PLENTY of time to realize that more people than usual would want to feel better about their unemployment by entering grad school.

  5. michael says:

    elliottg: I made the same calculation. But there is one difference — the higher payment is a discount, the lower one is cold hard cash. I don’t know anything about the calculations that underpin this decision — I’m far from Miami at present — but I’d imagine that if you have waaay too many students, treating them right imposes a lot of costs, making the discount seem reasonable by comparison. And the school has an obligation to treat them right. On the other hand, the school does not have an obligation to find money for post-graduate scholarships. So I don’t think the two things are totally comparable.

    rank skank: I do not believe that USNWR rankings are affected in any way by the years of work experience of graduates. There’s nothing about that at the official site. See

    umlaw10: One question is how Miami’s yield rate increase compares to the national average yield rate change this year. To the extent that we’re suddenly more popular because of the very good things that are happening here, I’m not sure it is entirely fair to blame the folks in the administration for the over-enrollment.

    As to the quality of the law school administration, I’d say the current crew is the strongest group of administrators we’ve had since I got here in 1992. You may think that is damning with faint praise, but in fact I think Dean White is, in general, inheriting a strong team. And the Admissions Office is one of the strongest part of the operation, headed by an award-winning and nationally respected Director; if he got it wrong, lots of other people would have too. (But Nate Silver is a great suggestion….)

    A final point: it’s certainly true in past recessions that law school applications have gone up. But`the issue isn’t applications — it’s YIELD — the % of people who are accepted who send in deposits and then turn up. (“An unprecedented percentage of applicants admitted to the University of Miami Law School have accepted our offer.”) I don’t think it was obvious six months ago that yield would go up. And, indeed, given all the news about law firm layoffs, I could imagine some reasonable people thinking it might not go up, or might even go down. And if the yield went up relative to the national average, that means people chose us — a smart bet on a school whose reputation will, I trust, continue to appreciate. It is good to be popular, but it is not, it seems, without its pains.

  6. LACJ says:

    I don’t know what you all are on about, this is a perfectly acceptable move, and will benefit some of the younger and less experienced students.

    Every class has a mix of ages and experience level, with of course the majority straight out of university. I can definitely see some of the youngest students saying, hey, the job market sucks, maybe I didn’t take a year off during or after college like some, or I did but wouldn’t mind another year before I get swamped with work in law school, here is a great chance to get some experience, my place in the 2010 class is assured…

    Applicants will reject an offer of admission for a variety of reasons, including acceptance to another school and lucrative employment (or other business) opportunities. I would suppose those lucrative opportunities are a little rare right now. Another alternative is other areas of study, but I can imagine that this serious downturn, with concurrent uncertainty about future prospects, has got applicants focused on traditional (and hence relatively safe) industries.

    The extreme downturn took almost everyone by surprise, including CEOs, government appointees, and really any other group imaginable. Everyone was running to cover their bases in October. For Miami Law to have been caught out is…unexceptional.

    The downturn means less jobs for graduating students, more job competition and pressure, and ultimately more students who are left to find their own way. That plus a larger incoming class is a bit risky.

    So I don’t agree with the complainers here. This is a reasonable move.

  7. umlaw10 says:

    characterizing this as whether it is reasonable not only misses the point but also provides a means of justifying the now yearly failures in reining in class size. of course this is a reasonable move considering the predicament. the point is to not be in this situation in the first place.

    using the economy as an excuse is lazy and convenient. this happened in the years before the financial crisis. and it will continue to happen in lesser degree until changes are made, like 07, even when (if) the economy strengthens.

    this is not about the applicants or the available opportunities. it is about the admissions office and their institutional prerogative in how they accept people and who they allow to enroll. the majority of the students who have dealt with the other administrative offices in the school like the registrar and career development are continually left feeling that those resources are wholly inadequate. as far as admissions, this is guilty by association/extension thing, but the proof is in the numbers from the last few years.

    clearly the standards for admission need to be raised, and even if this means, gasp, that an incoming class will be under capacity, isn’t that good? every year this school gets closer and closer to being like an overcrowded miami-dade public school. when will it end?

  8. FAH-Q says:

    Frmkn y?r stll spwng t tht grbg y cll blg. Y r n f th wrst Prfssr?s hv vr cm crss n m Crr. Y?r nthng mr thn plgrzng scmbg. gss t s tr wht th s ths wh cn?t d, tch. dn?t knw hw y lk t y hds fc vr mrnng. f ws y wld hv tkn myslf tbck lng g.

  9. FAH-Q says:

    Yr dt s wrng n yr blg y SSHL!!!!!!

  10. michael says:

    Commentators are reminded that this blog has a comments policy.

  11. anotherone says:

    I think this is a completely acceptable move. It’s about time the school has taken proactive steps to limit the number of incoming students. It’s ridiculous that the class size is as large as it is. I applaud the new Dean for her frankness and honesty with the incoming student body. I’ve heard that similar plans/offers have been utilized at other (much more prominent) US law schools.

    UMLAW10: I totally agree with you that the class size situation is out of control, but I think you are oversimplifying the problem a bit. Clearly there is more to it than having the “professors hijack the school…” Though I’m guessing that comment wasn’t meant in its most literal sense, I’m assuming that there is a lot to this process that we just don’t know. Maybe that’s part of the problem at UM — students are often left in the dark about procedures that affect the school’s ranking, and ultimately, our ability to get jobs.

    On another note — where is all of our tuition money even going? Maybe some of our ridiculously high tuition should go to hiring an admissions consultant who actually knows what he/she is doing.

    Also, check out the mostly rude comments RE this new policy on above the law:

  12. FIUHialeah says:

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  13. umlaw10 says:

    the loser idiots and rejects who continually post insulting and worthless attacks really need to go away forever and never return to this blog. can we get a life sentence for these people in discourse prison, due process not a concern!

  14. FIUHialeah says:

    Bro I don’t see why u disemvolbled me – I was jus trying to advocate para FIU law eskool y por Hialeah & Wes-kendall.

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