January 18, 2013
Law School Applications Are Still Sliding
So, how are we doing on law school applications for the current application cycle? Here’s the latest from the LSAC :
As of 01/11/13, there are 179,147 Fall 2013 applications submitted by 25,423 applicants. Applicants are down 20.4% and applications are down 23.2% from 2012.
Last year at this time, we had 47% of the preliminary final applicant count.
Charts are available at the link. For whatever it’s worth, these numbers are slightly better than what appeared last December. See my post Current Law School Admission Stats Not Looking Good. Slightly better in these circumstances mean slightly less terrifying to law school deans and budget officers. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, downsized law schools are coming to the USA. Read Megan McArdle’s take on dropping applications in an article posted on today’s Daily Beast. Here’s a sample:
My guess if a law school closed, many of those out of work faculty couldn’t even work as a reference librarian. Most of them wouldn’t have the right skills set to make it in the service class. [MG]
But the largest knock-on effect is, obviously, more unemployed law professors. Ideally, this will happen mostly through attrition--people who simply never get hired into the legal academy (note that this worsens the job outlook for law grads at least slightly). But when an entire school shuts down, its professors are going to be thrown on the job market. And it's going to be pretty hard for them to find another teaching job, given those enrollment numbers.