Published on: Monday, May 2, 2011
The Business section of the New York Times published an article on May 1, 2011 about the impact of law school scholarship renewal policies that featured University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Jerry Organ. It also quoted Associate Professor Jennifer Wright. Although the article does not directly identify the UST School of Law scholarship renewal policy, it clearly describes the struggle that law students face at most law schools in the country. Scholarships are often tied to minimum GPA or class rank levels, which can be difficult to achieve due to grading curves that limit the number of A’s and B’s given in each class. Many law students who are awarded renewal scholarships and who plan their law school expenses accordingly often find themselves ineligible for renewal after a semester or two of law school, facing much higher expenses than they originally anticipated.
In contrast, scholarships at the University of St. Thomas School of Law are renewable so long as the law student remains on good academic standing. This policy helps create an environment where students can view their fellow students as colleagues, establishing an atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork (important soft skills for any lawyer who works in a law office) rather than isolation and competitiveness. The policy also makes the law school distinctive with the audiences of prospective students and admitted applicants. Each year, a separate letter is sent to admitted applicants who have been offered scholarships; the letter explains the UST law school scholarship renewal policy and urges applicants to look closely at the policies of other law schools and discount the value of their scholarship offers by the likelihood that they might lose it after their first year.
UPDATE THURSDAY JUNE 9, 2011: Professor Organ has also been featured in an interview with Bloomberg Law.