Law Students

How the Law School Enrollment Crisis Affects Harvard
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Photo credit: Harvard Law School’s Facebook page

Summary: As one of the most elite law schools in the country, Harvard Law School can pick from the top candidates, but they have been taking on more transfer students than ever before for some reason.

Harvard Law School annually gets rated as one of the top programs in the country. Being such an elite program allows the school to pick from the most qualified students applying at the law school. Because of this, the school typically takes very few transfer students, but last year they accepted nearly double their normal number.


In 2015, Harvard Law took 55 transfer students whereas their typical acceptance number is 35. With class sizes around 560, 55 transfer students may not seem like a lot, but with enrollment and application numbers suffering for the past five years, increasing their acceptance of transfer students has made some question why, according to a Bloomberg report.

One explanation is that transfer students are a safer bet than new applicants. Harvard may be worried that filling 560 spots with top quality students may be hard, so they are looking to take top talent from other schools. The country’s law school applicant pool dropped to its lowest size in 15 years. Less people entered law school last year than at any time in the last 40 years.

With these low numbers, the number of students with high LSAT scores has dropped significantly from 41 percent making up the top scores in 2010 to only 33 percent making up the high scorers. Students making up the low scores are now at 23 percent compared to only 14 percent from 2010.

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Lower-ranked law schools have suffered greatly because of the decrease in students applying by having to drop their standards to keep enrollment numbers up.



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