Paul L. Caron

Friday, January 8, 2021

Students Of Color Are Driving A Spike In Law School Applications

Reuters, Students of Color Are Driving a Spike in Law School Applications:

For many in the U.S., and especially students of color, one answer to the calamities of 2020 has been to apply to law school. Law schools in the U.S. are reporting an unprecedented surge in applicants, with a 33% increase for the fall 2021 cycle compared with the previous year, according to recent figures. The trend among Black applicants is even stronger, with applications up 39%.

There were 31,486 law school applicants in the United States in the year ending Dec. 22, compared with 23,614 the year before, according to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and compiles data on the application and admissions process. LSAC publishes updated applicant data on its web site every day. "I've never seen anything like this," said Andrew Cornblatt, dean of admissions at Georgetown Law School, where applications were up about 60% year-over-year as of December.

Paul Caron, the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law dean and a regular analyst of law school application data, said last week that Pepperdine has seen a 54% increase in applicants for fall 2021, following a record set the previous year. The number of Black applicants has doubled over the previous year, he said.

Cornblatt, Caron and other experts attribute the overall increases and the spike in applications by minority students to several forces, including the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy, the killings by police of George Floyd and other black men in the U.S., the 2020 presidential election, and social media. ...

Mark Murray, an LSAC spokesman, said LSAC expects the flood of applications to ease as the fall 2021 application season continues. The surge has already slowed a bit in recent weeks, down from a 45% increase as of mid-November.

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