Monday, January 28, 2013
National Law Journal: Avoiding Law School in Droves:
The Numbers of Applicants May Slump by 20 Percent:
Nearly everyone in legal education expected the number of law school
applicants to fall off this academic year. But they weren't prepared for
As of mid-January, 27,891 people had applied for seats in
American Bar Association-accredited law schools. That represented a 20
percent decline since last year (and 2012 was hardly a banner year
itself, as the number of applicants fell by nearly 14 percent.) If the
trend holds through the final months of the admission cycle, law schools
would see a 38 percent crash since their peak in 2010. ... At the present rate, between 53,000 and 54,000 applicants will vie for
places in ABA-accredited schools this year, down from 68,000 in 2012. ...
Law School Applications v. Enrollment
Law schools basically have two options at this point. ... They can reach deeper into their applicant pools and take students with
lower academic credentials, risking their U.S. News and World Report
ranking; or accept smaller classes by continuing to insist on higher
LSAT scores and undergraduate grade-point averages — both of which are
weighted heavily in the magazine's law school rankings. Most
schools will probably decide upon a combination of approaches, according
to a survey of incoming class sizes and the academic credentials of
this year's crop of students at U.S. News' top 100 schools, as reported on their websites.
Interestingly, the decline in law school applications is greatest among those with the highest LSAT scores (170-180, 24%-25% decline) and is least among those with LSAT scores below 140 (15% decline) and 165-169 (16% decline). Full data here.