TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, April 13, 2017

64% Of Law Grads Want Law Schools To Raise Admissions Standards; 58% Say Their Debt Load Is 'Unmanageable'

KaplanKaplan Bar Review Survey, Law School Graduates Want Law Schools to Raise Their Admissions Standards:

Law schools might want to reconsider who they let in … according to their own alumni. A new Kaplan Bar Review survey of nearly 350 recent law school graduates shows that almost two-thirds (64 percent) think law schools should raise their academic standards — which would include higher LSAT scores and GPAs — when deciding who gets in.

These results come at a time of both introspection and infighting among law schools about who’s to blame for the low bar passage rates for some state bar-specific exams and the lowest Multistate Bar Examination scores in recorded history. In recent years, many law schools have begun to admit students with lower LSAT scores and GPAs than they previously had because of the multiyear slump in applications. In addition, to boost application numbers and diversify the pool of prospective students, a handful of law schools now allow applicants to submit scores from the GRE [more here] — the exam traditionally used for graduate schools and more recently business schools— instead of the LSAT, though the jury is still out on what the results may be. ...

The survey also found that among law school graduates who carry student debt, 42 percent described the amount as “manageable,” but 58 percent described it as “unmanageable.” Exactly 50 percent of law school graduates say they are satisfied with the amount of financial aid their alma mater provided them, while the other half of law school graduates say they are not satisfied.

Above the Law, Recent Grads Are Drowning In Debt, Think It’s Too Easy To Get Into Law School:

Perhaps law schools ought to take the advice of their recent graduates and raise their admission standards so that more of their alumni will be given the opportunity to get the high-paying jobs that will allow them to pay down their debts in a timely fashion.

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Can't wait to hear the law school defense brigade try to spin this one.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 13, 2017 11:17:00 AM

It has become abundantly clear to us real lawyers out here that the interests of many, many law schools (i.e., staying open at any cost) are contrary and destructive to our profession itself. It's really disturbing.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 13, 2017 8:15:20 PM

Please reduce the number of competitors in my profession, and while your at it, drop my monthly payment.

What with my luxury condo, german car, and annual Caribbean vacations and ski trips, and eating out four nights a week, my debt burdens sure are hard to manage.

Posted by: protectionism | Apr 15, 2017 11:19:08 AM

As usual, protectionism's comment says much more about that poster than it does about the legal profession. One glance at the NALP reveals that the real median starting salary for attorneys (for the 50% of law school graduates who become attorneys, anyhow) is just $63k, STILL down 20% in real dollars from what the median starting salary was for the Class of 2008.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 15, 2017 3:24:10 PM