Paul L. Caron

Thursday, April 6, 2017

George Washington Law School Applications Jump 9%, Thanks To A 'Trump Bump'?


The GW Hatchet, Law School Application Numbers Rise With Waived Fees, ‘Trump Bump’:

Applications to the law school jumped up by 9 percent for this year’s admissions cycle as the school received the second largest number of applications nationwide, a law school spokeswoman said last week.

A 9-percent increase means more than 7,500 students applied to the law school this year – up from about 6,900 a year ago and the largest pool since 2011. Faculty and experts said the school’s decision to waive its application fee coupled with President Donald Trump’s administration sparking an increased interest in law, likely contributed to the increase. ...

The law school ... dropped its $80 application fee this admission cycle for the first time. John Banzhaf, a public interest law professor, said the fee waiver was likely the biggest driver of the increase in applications. “If they can do it on the cheap then they have a better chance of applying to that school,” he said about potential law students. Banzhaf said it was possible that resistance to Trump has created a greater interest in legal professions. After Trump signed his first executive order banning immigration from several Middle Eastern countries, immigration lawyers flocked to airports to represent those who had been detained entering the U.S.

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The "Trump Bump" is nothing more than a fantasy among legal academics. They are really grasping at straws now. The reality is that applicants are down 1.9 for the year. But the real picture is worse than that. Applicants with LSATs higher than 165 are down over 9%. These are the applicants that GW relies upon to maintain any connection to BIGLAW, as well as their standing in the rankings. Either there will be fewer of them on the GW campus, or they will be there on huge scholarships. This year will be worse than last year for GW, their application bump aside.

Posted by: JM | Apr 7, 2017 8:43:17 AM

If they take in enough 1L's next year, maybe they won't have to poach one-fifth of American's rising 2L's, as appears to be the case nowadays if I am reading the two schools' Form 509 disclosures correctly.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 6, 2017 2:25:33 PM