Law School Applications are Down: Chances of Admission are Up

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The following is a guest blog post by Evan Jones of Lawschooli.com.

You may have heard that fewer people are taking the LSAT and applying to law school, but just how different is it than a few years ago? Well, the difference is pretty huge. Big enough to change the admissions game. Let’s take a look at some figures. (Click on the link below each infographic for a full view.)

Here is a chart of the total LSATs administered in recent years:

This includes all retakers. There’s been about a 35% percent decrease just since 2009. Also, because more and more people retake the exam these days, there are probably a lot fewer total test takers. Last year, 26% of all takers took the test twice, and 7.4% took it three times.

All the numbers aren’t in yet, but LSATs are down even further so far this year. Take a glance at the data for June and October takers. When you click on the current cycle, you can see the group has gotten substantially smaller:

So far this year, a meager 33,673 people showed up to take the October LSAT. That’s close to half of the 60,746 who took it in October 2009. It’s also the fewest people to take the LSAT in October since 1987!

So you’ve got a lot fewer people taking the LSAT with you. How about applications? They are, unsurprisingly, WAY down as well. I rolled applications, total candidates admitted, and total students enrolled into one chart for you:

Flip through the years and watch the red bar drop. That’s the number of applicants tumbling. There’s been nearly a 35% drop off just since 2010! Expect the number to fall even further for the class entering in 2014.

You may have noticed that enrollment has stayed fairly high. That’s the yellow bar. Law schools need people to come right now, and they are doing everything and anything they can to get students in the door. This is a big game changer.

How Should You React?

You, the potential student, have to know how to gain from this situation. It’s easier than ever to get in to law school, that’s true, but that doesn’t mean you should charge in foolishly. Blindly going to the highest ranked school that will take you may be a worse idea now than ever. Instead, listen to the advice of insiders, like Ann Levine, who know which schools can offer you the best value.

I posted recently on the best strategy for taking advantage of desperate law schools. Read that, and you’ll be able to discuss your best game plan intelligently. You are in a strong position to negotiate from. Work it to your advantage.

Evan Jones

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