Paul L. Caron

Thursday, April 22, 2021

2021 Law School Applicant Pool Shaping Up To Be The Largest In A Decade

Karen Sloan (, 2021 Law School Applicant Pool Shaping Up to Be the Largest in a Decade:

The surge in law school applications this year has not abated.

The number of applicants to American Bar Association-accredited law schools is up 20% compared to a year ago—the same increase the Law School Admission Council reported in early March. The fact that people continue to apply in large numbers even as the admissions cycle winds down throws cold water on the theory that prospective law students were simply applying earlier than normal because the COVID-19 pandemic left them with more time on their hands.

In fact, data from the Council show that the number of people who have applied to ABA law schools for this fall has already surpassed the total number of applicants from 2020 with weeks still to go. Thus far, 63,733 people have applied for fall 2021 admission. That’s more than the 63,384 total who applied last cycle. Put another way, the national law school applicant pool already has 10,723 more people than it did at this time last year. If that trend holds steady in the final weeks of the cycle, law schools will end the year with approximately 76,000 applicants. That would be the single-largest applicant pool since 2011, which represented the beginning of a sustained downturn in law school applicants.

Meanwhile, this year’s applicant pool has proven to be unusually strong. The number of people who have applied thus far with LSAT scores falling in the top range of 175-180 is double what it was at this time last year.

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