Chicago Tribune, After Trump's Election, More Students Consider Law School, Hoping to Make a Difference:
[There is] a group of students across the political spectrum who were so moved by last November’s election that they decided to take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, because they view law school as a means to making a difference
In the past year, the number of people taking the test, which is administered nationally four times a year, has surged. In February, 21,400 people took it, up 5.4 percent from a year earlier. In June, the number of test-takers was up 19.8 percent year-over-year, to 27,606 people. And the number of people who took the test in September rose 10.7 percent from a year ago, to 37,146 people. As of Oct. 30, registrations for the Dec. 2 exam were up 21.4 percent.
It’s been called the “Trump bump” by some in the legal community who believe strong reactions to the current political climate are spurring people on both sides of the political spectrum into action. ...
“It may very well be that more recent college grads and early professionals are choosing to pursue careers in which they believe they can truly make a difference,” said Don Rebstock, associate dean of strategic initiatives at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.
Legal educators theorize that one of the major motivators for the recent spike in LSAT takers is Trump’s controversial executive order, issued shortly after his inauguration in January, halting refugee admissions and temporary travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries. Blocked by the courts, Trump issued two subsequent travel bans. ...
“People against Trump are saying, ‘I want to be the judge that stood up to him.’ People for Trump are saying, ‘I could’ve won that case for him’,” said Kellye Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council, which administers the LSAT. “Young people were saying, ‘Wow, the lawyers are really stepping up to talk back to power and help guard the rule of law and democracy.’ The positive role of a lawyer was made visible in a way that it’s often not.” ...
But politics isn’t the only explanation for the recent surge in law school interest, according to Noascono. Schools are doing a better job of marketing themselves to potential students, she said. ...
[P]re-law advisers say they are swamped with students considering law school. “It is still quite early in the process but I can say that we are outpacing the LSAT test-taker increase,” said Northwestern’s Rebstock. ...
Increased interest in the profession doesn’t necessarily mean the job market is ready for them. Employment of lawyers is expected to grow about 9 percent between 2016 and 2026, on average with other jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But there’s a catch: More people are graduating with law degrees than there are jobs available, making for a competitive job market. ...
The job market is “way better than it was in the worst of the aftermath of the recession,” said James Leipold, executive director of the National Association of Law Placement. “It’s not nearly as good as it was in the glory days before the recession.”
Update: ABA Journal, Increase in LSAT Test Takers Is Seen as Evidence of 'Trump Bump'
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage of the Trump bump:
- Will Donald Trump Solve The Law School Crisis? (Feb. 2, 2017)
- Is Donald Trump Making Law School Great Again? (Feb. 17, 2017)
- The Atticus Finch Effect: Has Donald Trump Made Attorneys (And Law Schools) Popular Again? (Feb. 23, 2017)
- Brooklyn Dean: Donald Trump Is Causing A Legal Education Renaissance, Just As Woodward & Bernstein Inspired A Generation To Pursue Journalism Careers (Feb. 25, 2017)
- Will Law Schools Experience A Late 'Trump Bump' This Admissions Cycle? (Mar. 21, 2017)
- The 'Trump Bump' for Law Schools Is (Kind of) a Thing (Mar. 24, 2017)
- George Washington Law School Applications Jump 9%, Thanks To A 'Trump Bump'? (Apr. 6, 2017)
- Did 'Trump Bump' Cause Surge Of LSAT Test-Takers? (July 16, 2017)
- Survey Confirms Significant 'Trump Bump' In Law School Applications (Aug. 30, 2017)
- Why Are LSAT-Takers Trending Up Following 5-Year Plunge? (Nov. 13, 2017)