January 25, 2011
LSAT Applications Down
Perhaps all that noise in the press about angry law graduates struggling for jobs and ways to pay off their debts is making some impression on potential applicants. Applications for the LSAT are actually down, according to the December 2010 LSAC President's Report:
For the June and October 2010 tests, the total number of tests administered was 87,318, a drop of 6 percent from those same two tests in 2009. The October 2010 test saw 54,345 test takers, down 11 percent from last year, but it was still the second largest single test administration in the history of the LSAT. Registrations for the December 2010 LSAT administration were, at press time, down 17 percent from last year, but are still quite healthy in historical context.
That doesn't mean reality has set in for everyone everywhere:
The very early read on US applicant and application volumes is similar. To date, the number of applicants to at least one ABA-approved law school is down 9 percent from last year, and those applicants have generated 10 percent fewer applications than at this time last year. However, applications are not down across the board. Currently, 5 percent of schools have an application-volume increase of 30 percent or higher, while 3 percent show a volume decrease of 30 percent or higher. Nearly one-quarter of the schools show an increase in applications, while three-quarters show a decline. Six law schools are showing no change in volume compared to this time last year.
The report goes on to suggest that some of the decline comes from people who weren't serious about going to law school but took the test anyway. Still, the volume statistics page shows that Fall 2010 applications (87,500) were up 2.2% from 2009 (85,600). These numbers are well short of the high mark of 98,700 applicants recorded in Fall 2004.
I realize that a few thousand applicants here or there isn't going to affect the circumstances or personal success for individual graduates today. This potential smaller pool of applicants will hit the job market in three years, assuming they even get through law school. There will still be a glut of lawyers compared to good jobs, even then. In this context, then, I wonder why anyone would want to start a new law school at all. There is public law school proposed for the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. An article in the New York Times points out that the Valley has one of the lowest lawyer-to-citizen ratios in Texas. Wouldn't it be better to organize a program that brings graduates to these areas than create a local option that just adds to the glut? Just asking. [MG]
That is surprising news, because lately I have met more people that have claimed to have just taken or that are preparing to take the LSAT, than ever before. I took the LSAT in 2006, but did not pursue law school. I chose to pursue a masters in libary science. I think I became discouraged, because I spoke with a successful lawyer whom expressed to me that the market is becoming flooded with wannabe lawyers. The other day I was watching a news channel and a caller called in, and said that her daughter had just recently graduated from law school and she was deeply in debt, from school loans (approximately 120,000 in debt). The caller expressed concerns, because her daughter had not yet found work, and she was deeply in debt. Could this be why there is a drop in LSAT applications? Has the world become flooded with lawyers?
Posted by: Dindi | Jan 27, 2011 10:15:19 PM