Wednesday, March 30, 2011

While law school applications are up in Iowa, in Kansas, not so much

Apropos to the below post, this story from Lawrence Journal-World tells us that U. Kansas expects law school applications to drop by as much as 20% compared to last year.  One 2L interviewed for the story suspects it's because applicants have become more knowledgeable about the realities of the legal job market in light of news reports like the New York Times article "Is Law School a Losing Game" that got so much coverage a few months back.

KU extended its [application] deadline by one month, to April 15. Even with that extension, [interim Dean] Mazza said the school expects a drop from 15 to 20 percent from last year’s group of about 1,100 applicants.

Those figures would place KU below the national average of 11.5 percent smaller pools of students, Mazza said, and would be “one of the steepest declines we’ve seen in the past decade.”

That’s no surprise to Tonda Hill, a second-year law student from Leavenworth. She’s noticed a lot more focus on the realities of the job market facing law graduates, who are typically laden with high debt loads.

Dean Mazza says that while the number of applicants is declining, the quality of those applicants is getting better. He believes that's because students who are really serious about wanting to be lawyers continue to apply despite the tough job market while those who are only interested in riding out a bad economy are foregoing the law school option. 

In addition, Dean Mazza notes that KU is bolstering its legal skills curriculum in order to better prepare graduates for the tough job market.

You can read the full story here.

A big hat tip to the ABA Journal for alerting us to the story.


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