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UNC School of Law Sees Decline in Applicants

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The acceptance rate at the University of North Carolina School of Law has increased over the past couple of years as its ranking remains high, according to the Daily TarHeel.

The admission rate at the school has increased from 36 percent to 45 percent over the past year, according to the ABA.

The assistant dean for admissions at the UNC School of Law, Michael States, said that applications have dropped by more than one thousand over the past two years. He noted that despite the drop in applicants, the quality of students enrolled at the law school has not suffered based on GPA and LSAT scores.

The median GPA for the law school’s students was 3.5 in 2011 and it stayed the same in both 2012 and 2013. In 2011, the median LSAT score at the school was 163. It dropped slightly to 161 in 2013.

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The dean of the UNC School of Law, Jack Boger, said that the decline in numbers is happening across the country, not just at UNC.

“Our law school’s applications are pretty much following the pattern of every other law school around the country,” States said. “There are fewer applicants, fewer people taking LSAT, and a lot of people just decide they want to do something else besides law school.”

The Law School Admission Council said that 59,400 people applied to law school this past fall. In 2004, the number peaked at 100,000 applicants.

“The job market certainly has something to do with it,” States said. “People think it’s much more difficult to find employment with a law degree than it used to be.”

States said that because tuition is so high, some students don’t want to take out loans to attend law school due to the gloomy job market.

“Most schools are so expensive,” said senior Tara Gore. Gore will attend the UNC School of Law in the fall. “People come out of undergraduate, and they are just in so much debt piling on law school, which makes it worse.”

The pool of students is affected by the decline in applicants, according to Boger.

“There are fewer people applying from the very top — those people with highest GPA and LSAT scores — fewer people applying in the middle and fewer people applying in the bottom.”

Over the past couple of years, the law school has been able to add more than $1 million in scholarships. Gore said that both students at the law school and faculty members were very helpful during the application process.

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