The Most Competitive Law School Admission Cycle Ever?

Law School Expert Blog

First, it felt like it. As soon as the pandemic hit, I felt the shift: law school applicants were contacting me in droves. And, with the first month of application season behind us, it seems my intuition was spot on – application numbers are up. Way up. Ridiculously up.

See this chart from LSAC:

People keep taking the LSATFlex, and to me it feels like scores are inflated: I’m seeing more 173+ scores than I’ve ever seen. Of course, that’s not a scientific finding, but with 17 admission cycles as Law School Expert, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on these things.

So, with the influx of applications, what do I expect in terms of results for applicants this cycle?

  1. Fewer seats available due to deferrals from the COVID-19 1L class.
  2. More competition in the T-14; the LSAT and GPA numbers will skew higher this year than in previous years.
  3. Fewer scholarship dollars since schools are struggling financially.
  4. More waiting lists since schools are hedging their bets on who will actually attend versus find employment once the job market rebounds post-vaccine (fingers crossed).
  5. The January 2021 LSAT will not help you for this cycle – if you’re not taking the LSAT by November you’ll be applying too late this cycle to be competitive at reach schools. And maybe even target schools.

Sorry to be depressing, but it’s better to be prepared. What can you do?

  1. Add more safety schools to your list.
  2. Demonstrate actual interest in attending a school.
  3. Take time to create strong application materials including your resume, personal statement, optional essays, and making sure your letters of recommendation are strong.
  4. Consider waiting out this cycle if you can. It’s going to be a bruiser.

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