Will Law School Applications Follow LSAT Upswing?
October 8, 2015
Will diminishing law school applications see a turnaround this year? Is the legal job market finally rebounding? Where does your dream school fall on the political spectrum? Get the answers to these questions and more in our roundup of legal education news.
Law school application volume rising
ICYMI: Kaplan Test Prep’s 2015 survey of law school admissions officers found that the longstanding slump in law school applications may finally see a turnaround this year. Nearly 90% of respondents told us that they predict law schools will see a jump in applications this year, much higher than we found in our 2014 survey. Compared to last year, fewer law schools said they cut the number of seats for their entering classes. This optimism may be warranted, as data from the Law School Admission Council shows an increased number of LSAT takers in the last three administrations of the LSAT (not including this month’s). We’ll have a better idea of whether this optimism turns into reality sometime early next year. (InsideCounsel)
Improved market for legal jobs
It’s hard to argue that the increased number of LSAT takers has nothing to do with the slowly improving job market for lawyers. In fact, we’d venture to say there’s a correlation—and on that front, there’s some good news. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last week that the legal services sector added nearly 5,000 jobs in September. The BLS also reported last week that although jobs were lost in August, the number was only 900—not the originally reported 2,000. (The ABA Journal)
The JD fast track
If law school application and enrollment numbers are going to hit their pre-recession numbers and thrive once again, it will probably require some new thinking. That’s exactly what’s happening in Michigan. Oakland University and Wayne State University Law School have teamed up to allow aspiring lawyers to earn their JD a year quicker—in six years instead of seven. The move will save students a full year of undergraduate tuition (not law school tuition, however, which is much higher), a savings of about $13,350. But there’s still no escaping the LSAT. All program participants must take the exam and meet all other law school admissions requirements. The partnership takes effect for the entering law school class of 2016. (The Detroit Free Press)
Blue and red law schools
As you probably know, law schools are one of America’s hottest breeding grounds for aspiring politicians and public servants. But each law school has its own political leanings, meaning the student body tends to lean either towards the left or right. Charlotte School of Law, Northern Illinois University and Howard University School of Law are the most liberal law schools in the study. The study finds that the most conservative law schools are Brigham Young University, Ave Maria School of Law, University of Wyoming. (National Jurist)
Standing in line
This is truly something. The Supreme Court just announced a verdict that will displease many lawyer: No longer can they hire placeholders to wait in line to hear oral arguments. Some lawyers have even taken to paying homeless people to wait in the long lines for them and then right before they are admitted, they swap spots. Slate.com (a sister company of Kaplan) reported that during the SCOTUS same-sex case, it cost about $6,000 to ensure admittance through the public line for an oral arguments. (The Washington Post)
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