NUMBER OF APPLICANTS FOR ADMISSION TO LAW SCHOOL PLUMMENTS
November 21, 2012, 2:30 pm
Law School Admission Testing Plunges
By CATHERINE RAMPELL
Dollars to doughnuts.
The number of people taking the Law School Admission Test, known as the LSAT, offered in October fell sharply, down 16.4 percent from the year before, reaching its lowest level since 1999. October is usually the most popular time to take the test, too:
Source: Law School Admission Council
No wonder, then, that law schools are cutting the size of their entering classes. Perhaps this means itll still be easier to get into the top schools, though, depending on how much the most elite schools decide to shrink their class sizes.
There was a huge surge in law school applications during the recession and its immediate aftermath as people displaced by the poor economy sought the safety of a legal career. But now potential students seem to have wised up to the huge debt burden and poor job placement prospects.
One recent paper actually suggests that laws reputation for providing a risk-free career path has been a fiction for a long time. It notes that the legal market has become more crowded, with the ratio of the American population to American lawyers morphing to 252 to 1 in 2005 from 695 to 1 in 1951. The paper also estimated that, of the 1.4 million law graduates of the last 40 years, about 200,000 to 600,000 are not working as lawyers.