In viewing today’s trends for interest in law school, a decline has become apparent in the number of applications. 2015’s upcoming fall semester is likely to be a new applicant low in fifteen years. By the Law School Admission Council releasing this information, it has also brought attention to how law schools are responding to this drop in numbers over the years. Their main interest is in attracting students. The National Conference of Bar Examiners shared that most law schools are lowering their standards for admissions, including accepting students with lower LSAT scores.
Alternatively, the number of LSAT test takers has risen since last year. When viewing the numbers of the past few years, this increase comes as a surprise. While the rise in test takers is up from 2014, it still doesn’t compare to the February high for 2009. Steve Schwartz, an LSAT blog author stated that more students may feel encouraged to take the test due to law schools suffering from a decline in applications. Many may have a better chance of being accepted to a top school since standards are being slightly decreased for now.
The cost of law school is still very high and students who get in may still be faced with large amounts of debt. Thomas Jefferson School of Law is currently number one for the highest percent of students who have debt. 91% of their alumni have debt totaling up to $172,445. New York Law School comes in second with 83% of graduates with debt up to $166,622. Pace Law School, on the other hand, has a different plan to bring in more students. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, out of state students whose LSAT scores near the median of current Pace students will receive a financial break. The school will match the price of a public law school in the state where the student currently has residence.
For more information on these topics, visit the ABA Journal here.