Paul L. Caron

Monday, December 7, 2015

Muller:  Dramatic Increase In Quality Of Fall 2016 Law School Applicants

Following up on this morning's post:  Derek Muller (Pepperdine) reports that with roughly 25% of the applicant pool for the entering Fall 2016 law school class now in, not only are law school applicants up slightly, but the quality of those applicants (as measured by LSAT scores) is up significantly:


Whether these trends hold steady is, of course, the most uncertain element of this process. But so far this cycle, it's not simply the marginal uptick in applicants; it's a pretty sizeable improvement in that cohort's predictors.

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I am really curious what choices the applicants in the 165-174 range make. The large majority will have the option to attend a top 14 school at sticker price or a lower ranked school at steep discount or full scholarship. The first option has only become less enticing since last year, as tuition rises annually at nearly all of those schools and Biglaw salaries are flat. So perhaps this is a more open-minded group that will look down the US News scale. If that turns out to be true, then this is a negative for all schools, since these applicants won't yield any tuition dollars, and they won't attend top schools, thereby pushing lesser applicants down the food chain.

Posted by: JM | Dec 9, 2015 7:34:27 AM

This is good news. For this profession to serve the public well, we need fewer law grads but bright law grads.

Posted by: Jojo | Dec 8, 2015 5:12:31 AM

This outcome makes sense, fewer applicants now compared to prior years, but this new, smaller cohort is made up of a higher percentage of high-LSAT applicants compared to prior years. Because of the new transparency in employment outcomes people who score below 160 on the LSAT are increasingly opting not to even apply to law school (let alone matriculate).

Posted by: anon. 25 | Dec 7, 2015 2:14:43 PM