Paul L. Caron

Sunday, September 9, 2012

LSAT Scores at Top Schools Are Dropping Like Flies

The Careerist:  LSAT Scores at Top Schools Are Dropping Like Flies, by Vivia Chen:

If you think you're a pretty smart cookie—but not spectacularly so—this might be the year that you can squeeze into a better law school than you thought possible. The reason is simple: There are fewer applicants, which results in more opportunities at more prestigious law schools. You've probably heard about that 25% drop in law school applications in the past three years or so, but did you know that the top 14 law schools will be forced to accept students who are below the top 2 percent of their LSATs?

From Matt Leichter:


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Walter, I think the concern was that the use of the word "scam" was "incendiary." I personally feel, and I know others may disagree, this is just my own opinion, wouldn't want to impose it on anyone, that the word "incendiary" is horribly "incendiary."

Posted by: David | Sep 11, 2012 3:02:36 PM

"normalize" the scores to adjust them upward.
After all, it's only just.

Posted by: Flavius Minimus | Sep 10, 2012 4:05:59 PM

Loyola Grad doesn't seem to disagree with justin b. He merely objects to the use of the word "scam." But what else would you call an enterprise that had to be "forced" to tell the truth about the value of what it was selling?

Anyway, I don't see why this is a problem for the scammers . . uh, the law schools and the universities that "non-profit" from them. Won't they just admit classes with lower average scores? Talk about Greater Fools. Or am I wrong? Just askin.

Posted by: Jim O'Sullivan | Sep 10, 2012 8:43:28 AM

Sounds like a scam to me.

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Sep 10, 2012 8:07:46 AM

How many of the lower scores are the same students not trying so hard to get high LSAT scores? Look at the sales of prep materials and prep classes and I bet they are way down. If a particular good student is going to get in anyway, why go to the extra effort and cost?
It has become less a supplier and more a buyer's market.
How long until lower tier schools either drop tuition or close when unsuccessful efforts to "add value" (by their definition)(with successful efforts by definition not needing to yet) fail to bring in students at full price.

Posted by: jhn1 | Sep 10, 2012 7:43:02 AM

Law school used to represent a 3-year post-undergraduate commitment that many students hoped would yield them 6-figure incomes. Law schools and the ABA was more concerned with the status quo than providing accurate information for potential law students to consider in order to make an informed choice. Instead, there is a vast oversupply in law students in a market that will not sustain high salaries, but will not support the fees that law firms charge for their services.

Oddly enough (or maybe not), many law schools seem committed to doing things the way that they have always been done, and the ABA is late to the game, trying to act like the scold, to save any shred of credibility as an oversight body.

Posted by: SteveS. | Sep 10, 2012 7:18:01 AM

When I told a friend that about a youth who was gambling everything on law school, betting everything on getting through law school and getting a job, he said, "Looks like he's chosen the Evel Knievel strategy of career development."

Posted by: Lowellguy | Sep 10, 2012 7:07:14 AM

Let's put aside disctracting and incendiary terminology such as "scam,":

Now that law schools are being forced to tell the "truth" about their graduates' employment outcomes, it's evident to all but the most naive and unsophisticated consumer that attending law school is a termendously risky financial gamble that probably isn't worth it, at least for those that actually want to become lawyers capable of paying their bills.

The most priveleged and sophisticated among us typically catch on to these sorts of market truths first - and this dynamic is being played out by the LSAT figures.

But, I think the the rest of the market isn't far behind (God bless the internet).

It's simple math.

Move along...back to Law and Philosophy scholarship, or whatever the case may be, while the decadence lasts...

Posted by: Loyola Grad | Sep 9, 2012 5:46:36 PM

That is because all the smart people know law school is a scam.

Posted by: justin b. | Sep 9, 2012 8:19:10 AM