Sunday, July 26, 2015
Kaplan Test Prep services periodically surveys pre-law students to better understand their concerns and aspirations in making the decision to attend law school (here and here). For this year's survey, Kaplan asked 466 pre-law students to identify their biggest worries. The results show that students today care most about earning good grades, maintaining a healthy schoolwork-life balance and avoiding too much debt - in that order. From Kaplan's press release:
Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Pre-Law Students’ Top Concerns About Their First Year of Law School are Academic and Financial — But Not Social
Pre-law students say that their biggest concerns about their first year of law school are academic and financial, according to a June 2015 Kaplan Test Prep survey of 466 pre-law students*. As they put together their law school applications at a time when the number of LSAT® takers is noticeably on the rise, here’s what prospective students are thinking about most when it comes to their first year (1L) experience:
Achieving High Grades: Understanding how academically intense the 1L experience can be, nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) pre-law students surveyed said they are concerned about achieving high grades.
Maintaining a Healthy Work/Life Balance: Students’ first year is considered to be the most rigorous of the three-years long law school experience because of the many exams and reading. With that in mind, 82% of surveyed students said maintaining a healthy work/life balance was a concern.
Debt: With tuition at many law schools topping $40,000 a year and the job market for lawyers still struggling to return to healthy levels, more than three-quarters (76%) of pre-law students surveyed said that taking on large debt is a concern.
Securing a Summer Internship: Securing a summer internship, which can lead to post-graduation jobs, is an extremely competitive process, which may explain why 73% are concerned about this aspect of being a 1L. The critical piece to secure a summer internship: high grades.
Fitting In: Whether due to confidencein their social skills or indifference to being socially accepted, just 38% of pre-law students said that fitting in socially was a first year concern.
“Your first year of law school is undoubtedly your most important. It’s the start of what will hopefully be a rewarding three year experience, and when you earn the grades that are most determinate in launching a successful legal career,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “The fact that pre-law students are concerned about achieving everything from high grades to covering tuition is an appropriate and natural response to the real challenges that await them.”
*The e-survey was conducted in June 2015 of 466 pre-law law students who prepared for the LSAT with Kaplan Test Prep. The LSAT is a trademark of the Law School Admission Council, which is not affiliated with this survey or Kaplan Test Prep.
Hat tip to JDJournal.