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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fall 2018 Law School Admissions Season Opens With A Bang: LSAT Test-Takers Increased 19.8% In June, The Biggest Jump In 8 Years

LSACThe number of LSAT test-takers rose 19.8% in June, the first test administration in the 2017-18 admissions season.  The 19.8% increase is the biggest increase since the September/October 2009 test administration and comes on the heels of a 3.3% increase in 2016-17 and a 4.1% increase in 2015-16,  which followed five consecutive years of declines.


LSAC also has announced that "As of 7/7/17, there are 350,205 applications submitted by 54,871 applicants for the 2017–2018 academic year. Applicants are down 0.5% and applications are up 1.2% from 2016–2017. Last year at this time, we had 98% of the preliminary final applicant count."


Legal Education | Permalink


The Trump Effect! Let's give ourselves all a raise!

Posted by: mike livingston | Jul 13, 2017 4:22:15 AM

There's been an 8% increase in annual LSAT administrations over the last 2 years and no increase in applicants*, so it remains to be seen how this really effects the admissions cycle.

*Actually traditional "applicants" i.e. individuals with a chance of actually becoming lawyers, are down significantly over this two year period, but this has been offset by a large increase in sub 150 LSAT applicants who's role in the legal world will never be anything more than to pay tuition to vulture schools.

Posted by: JM | Jul 13, 2017 6:19:58 AM

To put it another way, fewer LSATs were administered in 2016-17 than in, uh, 1987-88.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 13, 2017 7:07:59 AM

"Applicants are down 0.5% and applications are up 1.2% from 2016–2017."

Doesn't this suggest that the corner has not been turned? Just struck me that way. Members of the pool of applicants appear to be submitting more applications to more law schools to hedge their bets in a "crapshoot". And probably those applicants understand that in the traditional market they would not be admitted to a "top" or elite ranked school but are rolling the dice and hoping.

Posted by: David | Jul 13, 2017 9:19:23 AM

I detect a frisson (of anxiety) amongst the scammers.....

Posted by: anon | Jul 13, 2017 12:24:54 PM


True enough. My LSAT score today would get me an outside chance at a few T14 schools and about even odds for most of the 14-25th ranked schools.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 13, 2017 1:33:18 PM

David, FWIW, that's how I read this post.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Jul 13, 2017 7:26:38 PM

"detect a frisson (of anxiety) amongst the scammers....."

Uh, why? Other than being a yawn-inducing ad hominem, in what way would any of us "feel anxiety" about this 1.2% increase from 2016-17? Let's take a second to reflect that as recently as 2012, there were 67,700 applicants. In 2009, 86,600 applicants. In 2004, 100,600 applicants. Say, in 2004 there were 100,600 applicants and 55,900 admitted applicants, but by 2013 there were 45,700 admitted applicants for just 59,400 applicants. So the aggregate acceptance rate went from 55.6% to 76.9%. 76.9 percent! That’s almost ten percentile points higher than the average acceptance rate for undergraduate programs! And the picture hasn’t really prettied since then. But yeah, obviously us proles with our laminated *scammer* cards and secret double Freemasons handshake are feeling anxiety over this 1.2% increase from last year – but what does that say about the law school defenders, seeing as the number of applicants is still down well over forty percent since Bush 43’s first term in office? Thirteen years is pretty long to be talking in “cyclical” terms. Yeah, yeah, I know - all data since the Great Recession is to be dismissed because reasons. That's some strong economic reasoning!

Hey, speaking of anxiety, though, how are you with the Trump administration talking about getting rid of PSLF? And about extending IBR repayment for graduate loans to 12.5% of all income (not just disposable income beyond 150% of the poverty line) for 30 years? And about Congress talking about getting rid of GradPLUS? How does that sit with the professional “everyone needs a law degree” set? To say nothing of the niggling fact that in six years under the modern ABA employment reporting regime, at no point has the long-term, full-time, license-required, non-law school funded number cracked 60%. Can’t even crack the D minus. Six years of objective failure. Ouch.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 14, 2017 6:58:29 AM