Law Students

Law School Applications See Big Boost in Numbers This Cycle
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Summary: Law schools are finally feeling some relief as the number of applications increased significantly from previous years.

Law school applications made a positive turn this application cycle. Since the recession made a huge impact on the legal industry, law schools have struggled to hang on. According to numbers from the Law School Admission Council, the number of applicants increased 8 percent from last year. On an even better note, the number of applicants with high scores on the Law School Admission Test jumped as well, according to


The LSAC reports that the number of applicants with scores on the LSAT of 160 or higher was up by 2,804 or 21 percent from the same time last year. LSAT scores range from a high of 180 to a low of 120. The highest range of 175 to 180 saw the largest increase in numbers of applicants, at 70 percent. The number of applicants with scores 144 or below decreased, showing an overall positive note for the future of law schools and their students.

Council president Kellye Testy said, “I know this is good news for all of us who had become concerned that some very talented students were choosing not to pursue legal education.”

They expect the applicant total to increase slightly more before the admission cycle closes. Application deadlines for the elite schools have ended but many lower-ranked schools will accept applications until summer for the fall session. Testy explained that law schools received 85 percent of their applications by April last year so this year is likely to be the same with a few straggler applications to show up.

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Testy noted that the attitude potential law students have about the law has changed. She said, “What candidates have said to me is, ‘For awhile, I thought going into tech was the way to go, but I don’t want to spend my life making gadgets, I want to do good.’”

Legal educators are especially pleased to see the increase in applicants with high LSAT scores, as LSAT scores have been a big worry for law schools struggling to keep up enrollment. A number of law schools have been criticized for accepting students with lower LSAT scores, which is a concern over whether they will be able to graduate and pass the bar. Former president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners Erica Moeser believes that declining bar passage rates recently to the increase of admitting students with lower academic credentials.

Testy said she is cautiously hopeful that 2018 is the turning point in the legal education field, although she does not feel that the numbers of applicants will ever reach pre-2010 numbers. The current cycle is looking to be around 59,000 applicants across the country, which is equivalent to the 2013 cycle. In 2010, there were 87,900 applicants.

Why do you think there is an uptick in the number of high scoring LSAT applicants? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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




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