Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Following up on Monday's post, Projections For Fall 2021 Law School Applicants: +28% (+53% In 160-180 LSAT Band): Karen Sloan (Law.com), Law School Applicants Are Way Up. Is It an 'RBG Moment'?:
Is law school suddenly a hot ticket? Or are aspiring attorneys submitting their law school applications earlier in the year because they have extra time on their hands thanks to COVID-19?
Admissions officials at law schools across the country are struggling to make sense of an early surge in applications this cycle, as well as what looks to be a notable uptick in the number of applicants with high scores on the Law School Admission Test. As of Monday, the total number of law school applicants was up 32% compared to this time a year ago, and the number of applications submitted thus far is up nearly 57%. Thus, not only are more people applying, but they are also submitting applications at more schools than in the past. Applications are up at 194 of the 199 American Bar Association-accredited law schools, the data from the Law School Admission Council show.
“It has become trite, but 2020 is a unique year,” said Council president Kellye Testy on Tuesday. “We are seeing a real surge in candidates taking the LSAT and applying. There are a lot of factors at work here. But we hear a lot of about motivation from [Ruth Bader Ginsburg]—the RBG moment. We’re been saying our candidates have ‘really big goals.’ They are talking about racism, COVID, economic inequality, political polarization, and climate change. They are inspired to make a difference.”
It’s too soon to know whether these strong numbers will be sustained for the remainder of the admissions cycle. ... The timing of LSAT score releases could also be a factor, noted law school admissions consultant Mike Spivey in a recent blog post.
The council has upped the number of LSAT administrations in recent years, and scores from the 2019 October test were released later than scores from the 2020 October exam, meaning more people had LSAT scores with which to apply this year than the previous one.