Paul L. Caron

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Booming Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Season: Applicants Are Up Over 35%, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands

Following up on last month's post, Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Season Opens With A Bang: Applicants Are Up Over 35%, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands:

In my remarks on A Dean's Perspective on Diversity, Socioeconomics, The LSAT, And The U.S. News Law School Rankings at Friday's Black Lawyers Matter conference, I reported on the current state of the Fall 2021 law school admissions season. We are 16% of the way through the cycle, and the number of law school applicants are up 37.1%, and the number of LSAT scores are up 34.7%.

Applicants are up the most in the New England (61.6%), Midwest (55.4%), and Far West (49.6%); and up the least in the South Central (20.8%), Northwest (25.4%), and Great Lakes (27.1%):

LSAC Region

Applicants' LSAT scores are up 83.8% in the 170-180 band, 40.9% in the 160-169 band, 23.0% in the 150-159 band, and 15.2% in the 120-149 band:


Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander applicants are up 47.8%; Asian applicants are up 42.1%; Black/African-American applicants are up 40.9%; Puerto Rican applicants are up 38.4%; White applicants are up 38.1%; Hispanic/Latino applicants are up 34.6%; applicants who did not reveal their ethnicity are up 34.5%; and American Indian/Alaska Native applicants are up 19.7%.

LSAT Race Ethnicity

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Contrarian: Whenever I bring up Ivy League schools engaging in racial discimination, today, against protected groups, the Unemployed Troll harps about something from 30 years ago. That's his non-response on pretty much everything: deny, ignore, avoid the issue.

Par for the course.

Posted by: MM Classic | Nov 8, 2020 12:53:45 PM

Unemployed Northeastern:

"Obligatory mention that one political party is still trying to get rid of GradPLUS Loans [...]"

Obligatory mention that this has been going on seemingly forever and still hasn't yet happened, nor, at this stage, is it likely to happen. There are considerably bigger fish for both parties to fry in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Contrarian | Nov 7, 2020 10:05:32 AM


About a decade ago there was a change that let law schools just take an applicant's highest LSAT score, whereas prior they had to average multiple LSAT scores. This led to a lot more applicants taking the LSAT more than once, as the risk of averaging into a lower score if you didn't do as well the second time disappeared.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Nov 4, 2020 7:34:23 PM

have the LSAT scores been modified over the years?

Posted by: lloyd harmon | Nov 2, 2020 3:06:02 PM

Obligatory mention that one political party is still trying to get rid of GradPLUS Loans while the other party is mostly indifferent. Law school is a very different proposition in a potential world wherein you can only borrow $28,500 per year in federal student loans. Hint: it's not a world where law schools will drop their cost of attendance to $28,500/year, it's a world where law students will have to make up the difference in private student loans and pray they find a job that can swing the four figure loan payments they'll face shortly after graduation.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Nov 2, 2020 8:55:46 AM

Is it really booming, or are candidates getting their applications in earlier? Remains to be seen.

I remain curious how the law school pyramid scheme is going to deal with a bulge of applications in the 160-165/3.5 range, as these candidates are savvy enough not to fall for debt traps, but not qualified enough for elite law schools or full merit scholarships at lower schools. I think this is setting up for a highly adversarial relationship, where these students want tuition breaks and a real legal education, where schools want $ and to teach niche classes in their area of interest with a strong personal bias.

Posted by: JM | Nov 2, 2020 8:03:56 AM