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Law School Applications for Fall 2012 Drop More than 15 Percent

Posted Jan 20, 2012 11:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A bleak jobs picture for law graduates is apparently dissuading more would-be lawyers from applying to law school.

As of Jan. 13, the total number of applicants at ABA-approved law schools stood at 31,815, a drop of 16.7 percent from last year. The total number of applications was 233,361, a drop of 15.3 percent.

Legal Skills Prof Blog noted the decline, revealed in a password-protected report by the Law School Admission Council. LSAC director of communications Wendy Margolis confirmed the figures for the ABA Journal.

“The caveat is that we are very early in the cycle,” Margolis says. “So these numbers change considerably.” The number of applicants at this time last year represented about 48 percent of the ultimate count.

Asked to speculate on reasons for the lower numbers, Margolis noted that law schools and legal employment are getting increased media scrutiny. “I think it’s basically the economy and job prospects," she said.

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