Law School Applications Are Down 20%: What does this mean for law school admission?

Law School Expert Blog

LSAC has just reported that law school applications are down 20 percent from a year ago. The reason for the decline is obvious: it’s the debt versus job prospects analysis. If you’ve missed the headlines about hiring trends for lawyers, especially from lower ranked schools, then you haven’t been doing your research on law school admissions.  The statistic demonstrates that people are more informed and that the headlines are impacting people who might have otherwise gone to law school. But what does the  decrease mean for law school applicants?

There is no question that people are getting into more reach schools this year. My clients with mid-160 LSAT scores are getting into schools that two years ago would not have considered them without a high 160s score. Are they equally bright and deserving? Yes. But the LSAT is now less of a barrier, and for that I am grateful.



9 Responses

  1. Ann,

    Can you recommend any websites where we can find reliable information about schools, the job market, etc.? I know there’s a lot of sites, but it’s hard to sort out the real truth.


  2. I am curious about this post. In the state I live in I applied to the only 2 schools here in October and my application was placed in the “pending” (on hold) category. Both schools informed me they will not make a decision until after (possibly well after) the application deadline. Suffice to say, my LSAT is very low, but my GPA is fairly high. I am a 50 year old who has done mostly administrative work and a LOT of community service work. I was nervous about the schools not making a decision on my app right away, but now seeing your post above am more hopeful due to the lower number of applicants. I was curious if there are others this has happened to and if so, what did they do? I have visited both schools and written letters of continuing interest. Any suggestions are very appreciated. Also does this put me out of the running for scholarships? Since I wouldn’t get a decision until well after the scholarship deadline. I went ahead and submitted my FAFSA anyway knowing that the sooner that’s submitted the better.



  3. Hi Ann,

    First, thanks for providing such great information. I’m in a bit of a strange application situation. I’ve reapplied to a school to which I was accepted last cycle, but did not matriculate. The school was (and still is) my first choice, but couldn’t attend due to family reasons. I matriculated to another school, completed the 1st semester in good academic standing, but GPA in the bottom 25%. I now have a chance to move to the city of my first choice law school, so have reapplied as a first year student, and withdrawn from my current school (have been quite unhappy there). My question is, how much weight will be put on my first semester GPA? Will I still be considered a strong candidate given that they admitted me last cycle? Will the significant drop in apps help my case? Or, will my weak first semester GPA be the dominant deciding factor? I have very strong softs, strong LSAT compared to median.

    1. Shawn, I’m really surprised that the school is letting you do this… You already have one semester of law school credits…. I’m surprised they didn’t have you transfer in….

      1. Hi Ann,

        The school gave me both options: either to withdraw with proof of good academic standing, reapplying as a first year student and getting no credit for courses taken at the previous school, or the traditional transfer route. Do you believe this hurts my chances of admission?

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