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Applications to Law Schools Continue to Decline Across the Country View Count: 417

Compared to one year ago, the applications at Duquesne University’s School of Law have dropped by 15 percent. Dean Ken Gormley said that he is not trying to find more enrollees though, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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“We want to stick with our standards. We don’t want to admit students to fill seats if they may not succeed and pass the bar and be able to practice law.”

Across the country, law school applications have dipped by 11 percent in 2011 and 14 percent in 2012. This data is released by the Law School Admission Council.

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Duquesne now offers course concentrations that permit students to focus in fields such as energy law, intellectual property and health care law. First-year curriculum now offers skills training and clinical practices in specialized legal issues for groups of veterans and prisoners.

“We need to focus on giving students practical experiences,” he said.

As of mid-January, application numbers have dropped by 20 percent compared to the same time in 2012, according to the Law School Admission Council. If the rate continues, the total rate for the year could drop by 38 percent.

The dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, William Carter Jr., said, “Certainly there’s the down economy for legal hiring of new graduates over the last couple years. There’s the issue of negative press in the mainstream, and the blogs about the economy and the state of legal education. And there is the issue of growing student debt. As someone still paying off his student loans, I understand that completely.”

Carter did not discuss application statistics about Pitt, saying, “fluctuate from week to week. We’re neither doing much better or much worse than the national trend.” In 2011, Pitt’s law school had 253 graduates. Data released by the ABA shows that 55 percent of the 2011 class had full-time, long-term jobs as lawyers nine months following graduation.

Carter said that the school will not be changing its marketing system because of decreasing numbers of applications. “I wouldn’t say our strategy is different in terms of the downturn. We continue to talk to students about all the good things going on here.”

Carter did say that the law school is working to provide its students with better exposure to legal skills using law clinics and the Pitt Law Academy.

“We’re training students to develop analytical and reasoning skills,” Carter said. “The question becomes as the market is changing: How do we best position students for the opportunities that are out there? We cannot create jobs, but we can position students best for the jobs that are there.”

Applications to Law Schools Continue to Decline Across the Country by

  • lolzskoolzbclozing

    Don’t go into $200K in debt with student loans when there are no jobs! The administrators and faculty have cooked the golden goose with their greed and sloth. Many law professors spend less than 8 hours per week actually on the law school premises. They teach their one or two classes, keep a couple of office hours, then it’s splitsville. Seriously. I’m sure they’d respond that they work real hard from home. Many many hours on their laptops writing their law review articles that nobody reads. “Scholarship” (or, as the law students and practicing attorneys call it, “scholarsh*t). Yes, yes. You must not overextend yourselves you hard-working law professors…we are all depending on your hard, hard labor that you perform from home. Or while on sabbatical to exotic locales. I understand that some of you even blog from time to time. Oh my, so much to do and they only pay you $200,000/year to do it. Good thing those kiddies keep paying you with their student loan money. Oh, wait…the kid’s don’t apply to law school anymore. Uh oh….

  • Randy Soames


  • Catch

    Don’t let your babies grow up to be lawyers… the simple fact is people are catching on that lawyers on the whole work more and get paid less then most any other professional with an advanced degree. I have friends with only an undegraduate degree that are earning six figures. They have three more years of earning potential and hundreds of thousands of dollars less in student loans. The law firm model is broken. Insitutional clients no longer will pay $400/hr for a first year associate for document review, nor do they want to pay rates that support marble floored offices in high rent districts. In the next 5-10 years, lawfirms will have to forego offices for cubes or for vitrual offices in toto. Law school is just not worth the investment for the 90% of graduates that don’t work in mega firms (who by the way need to bill close to 3,000 hours to support their high hourly rate). Is this the life you really want?

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