One of the first responses I get to MCL’s announcement of its new campus in San Luis Obispo is “how can Monterey College of Law be growing at a time when law schools across the country are reporting the lowest enrollment in more than 40 years?”
The simple answer is that small communities throughout California still need good new lawyers. There are a surprising number of communities across Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo Counties that do not have a single lawyer practicing in their area. In fact, as best we can tell, there is not a single law firm between Salinas and Paso Robles in southern Monterey County. Not one lawyer practicing in Greenfield, Chualar, Soledad, Gonzales, King City, San Ardo . . . and yet, the people who live in these towns are entitled to, and need, qualified legal representation.
That is why community-based law schools such as Monterey College of Law and San Luis Obispo College of Law will continue to prosper while many large urban law schools are in serious trouble.
We believe that for prospective law students who want to practice law in their local communities, it is still a great time to go to law school and enter the legal profession.