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Law Schools See Increase in Applications
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Summary: Law schools have seen an increase in the number of people applying to law school this past year.

After several years in a row of dropping law school application numbers, law schools have finally seen a strong increase this year. According to the U.S. News, the report from the Law School Admission Council indicates that the number of law school applications for the 2018-19 admission cycle, as of mid-January, was up roughly 11 percent compared to at the same time last year.


The LSAC report also suggests that there have been nearly 28 percent more LSAT tests administered in December 2017 than in December 2016. Their data also suggested that those who received a high LSAT score were more likely to apply to law school compared to the prior admissions cycle.

Some suggest that the increase in LSAT takers and law school applications is due to the current political market and economic growth. The U.S. job market has stabilized and seen some improvement, causing some to be optimistic about career prospects and the investment required to attend law school. A big incentive pushing those interested to apply comes from many law schools now offering big discounts on tuition to attract better talent.

Experts also point a finger at the 2016 election as a reason for many pursuing a legal education. LSAC CEO Kellye Testy said, reported by U.S. News, “I think young people are again thinking, ‘I want to do that,’ because they’ve seen how lawyers can make a difference.”

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The CEO of PowerScore, an admissions consulting firm, added that their clients more often cite politics as the reason they want to attend law school. CEO Dave Killoran said, “Trump has had a galvanizing effect on many prospective students, both Democrat and Republican. We see our students discussing specific policies far more frequently than in the past, and the depth of feeling they are expressing is greater than ever before.”

The number of law school applications received follow closely with the health of the economy. Maurer School of Law at Indiana University professor and dean Austen Parrish said, “Generally, two or three years after a recession, you start seeing people go back to law school, and one of the explanations is that immediately after the recession, as things start improving, people are doing better in their own jobs, so they don’t bother going to graduate school. But then at some point, they don’t want to put their lives on hold forever and for them to achieve their goals, they need to get a higher degree.”

The increase in law school applications is expected to continue after this admissions cycle for the next few years. Temple University Beasley School of Law professor and dean, Gregory N. Mandel, explained, “As law schools applications tend to be cyclical, I expect that we are in the beginning of a longer-term increase in applications. That said, given broader trends in the legal market and the extreme high before the recession, I do not expect that we will reach the level of law school applications that we were at ten years ago.”

Do you think there will be another recession soon? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about law school applications, read these articles:


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