Law School Applications Stagnate Despite Rise in LSAT Takers
June 14, 2017
While more students are sitting for the LSAT, administrators see a drop in the number of law school applications. Here’s what’s trending on the admissions landscape.
Law school application volume drops
Despite predictions (which were based on the increasing number of LSAT takers), an increase in the number of law school applicants this year never materialized. New statistics from the Law School Admission Council show that while more prospective lawyers took the exam and more applications were sent to law school, there was a .5 percent drop in the number of actual law school applicants.
That’s not good news, but here’s a trend that is even more worrisome: Students who actually scored highest on the LSAT may be deciding not to apply, says the ABA Journal. “The story could be that better credentialed college graduates are turning away from going to law school, because they feel they have other opportunities that they feel are more attractive,” says Paul Carron, the dean of Pepperdine School of Law and editor of TaxProf Blog. “For several years, legal education has taken a pounding. It’s not providing the kinds of opportunities it provided to students in the past.”
None of this is to discourage you from taking the LSAT or going to law school. We just want to keep you up to date on the latest law school application trends. If anything, this news shows you how special a high LSAT score will render you in the eyes of admissions officers.
North Texas gets a law school
With the number of law school applicants stagnating, one might think a new law school is the last thing the legal education community needs. But the American Bar Association has other ideas: It just granted provisional accreditation to the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law. As Above the Law explains, this law school provides something unique, beside its low tuition:
“While America faces the troubling lawyer supply conundrum of too many lawyers for declining top-flight jobs and simultaneously not enough lawyers for public interest and underserved market roles, UNT is filling the niche of providing a low-cost legal education for people who won’t then run away from lower-paying work. In fact, UNT makes expanding legal education to low-income communities part of its mission, offering its scholarships based on financial need, not on LSAT mastery.” (Above the Law)
New testing dates
The Law School Admission Council just made a big announcement that’s sure to please future LSAT takers: Beginning next year, there will be six opportunities to take the LSAT instead of just four, reports The ABA Journal. Also, the LSAC is removing the limit on how many times you can take the exam over a three year period.
These student-friendly measures come at a time when the LSAT is facing increased competition from the GRE and slumping application numbers. “The additional test dates are an important part of LSAC’s continuing efforts to reduce barriers to entry into legal education,” says Susan L. Krinsky, an associate dean for students and student services at the University of Maryland School of Law and chair of the LSAC’s board of trustees. “The LSAT has always been the most valid, reliable, and widely used test in law school admissions. It is the best test for predicting success in law school, and therefore LSAC constantly explores ways to improve its delivery.”
One word of caution: Just because there is no limit to how many times you can take the LSAT, don’t let your first practice test be an actual LSAT. Go into Test Day prepared and determined to only take it once. Save yourself the money, time, and stress.
Football or law?
Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Lawrence Okoye had a big decision to make this year: Accept an offer to study at England’s prestigious Oxford Law School… or continue playing for the Miami Dolphins. He chose the latter—but it’s unclear if the Dolphins will even decide to keep him. He’s taking the risk anyway though, as ESPN reports.
What’s really interesting about this story is that Okoye himself is from Great Britain, where American football isn’t all that popular. But Okoye said he fell in love with the sport as a child and it’s always been his dream to play for the NFL. It’s unclear if he can defer admission or if he has to reapply. In any case, playing in the NFL isn’t a lifetime gig and he has plenty of time for the law.
View our free LSAT prep options to help you tackle the law school application process.