The dean of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law says the school is downsizing its student body and staff.
The McGeorge campus at 3200 Fifth Ave., in Sacramento was closed Friday for the July Fourth holiday weekend, but the school's dean, Francis J. Mootz III, issued a statement, through McGeorge spokeswoman Bethany Daniels, about the reductions.
That statement read: "In response to the unprecedented drop in applications to law schools across the country, McGeorge School of Law is reducing the size of its student body.
"The law school has reorganized the staff in Sacramento to align with its new size. The school first offered a voluntary severance plan to all staff members. This week it was necessary to lay off several staff members. McGeorge is going to be a smaller law school, but it will continue its proud tradition over 90 years of educating excellent attorneys."
The Bee contacted Daniels early Friday after receiving an email tip of a "round of involuntary staff layoffs" at McGeorge this week.
Daniels was contacted after a call to longtime McGeorge spokesman Mike Curran was answered by a recorded message that said that he was no longer with the school, effective July 1. His voicemail provided Daniels' contact information.
Daniels said in a midafternoon email that "the number of layoffs was very small and the majority of reductions were voluntary." That email included the statement by Mootz.
Law schools nationwide have been struggling with enrollment in recent years.
The industry has cited a decline in jobs available to law school graduates, and graduates across the county have complained about compiling significant debt in pursuit of their degrees.
Last November, a National Law Journal report cited an American Bar Association figure that "approximately 8,000 fewer first-year law students will show up nationwide this year compared to two years ago, when enrollment reached an all-time high."
The report said those numbers represented a 15 percent decline over two years.
The ABA's Task Force on the Future of Legal Education, formed last year, is expected to release preliminary recommendations on law schools and the legal education industry by this fall.
Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.