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Cuts in government subsidies to law schools that suffer from sluggish enrollment of students and poor bar exam passage rates are likely to trigger the closure or consolidation of many of such schools created just a decade ago in a major reform of the nation’s system for training legal professionals. One concern is that such developments could result in a concentration of law schools in large metropolitan areas, limiting education opportunities for aspiring students in other parts of the country.

The education ministry last week decided on the amount of subsidies to law schools for fiscal 2015 under a new system that grades each institute according to its enrollment situation and students’ bar exam performances. Of the 52 schools under review, the amount was reduced for 42 institutes and increased for eight others. Seven schools have had their subsidies cut by 50 percent from fiscal 2014 levels, while 12 others’ subsidies were slashed by 40 percent.

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