Law Schools

About Half of Law Schools Surveyed Have Cut First-Year Enrollment

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Fifty-one percent of law schools have cut the size of their entering class, and 63 percent say the reason was the poor job market, according to a new survey.

The numbers are likely to swell; 28 percent of the law schools that haven’t cut enrollment are planning to do so for the current applications cycle, according to the survey by Kaplan Test Prep. Admissions officers from 123 ABA-accredited law schools responded to the survey.

Other findings, detailed in a press release:

• 68 percent of law schools have already revamped their curriculum to make their students more “practice ready.”

• 47 percent of law schools have increased the amount of financial aid for students in the 2012-2013 cycle.

The Faculty Lounge has noted that law school class sizes are shrinking, along with the number of students taking the Law School Admission Test. The number of students taking the October 2012 LSAT was down more than 16 percent from October 2011, the blog says. The result will be lower revenues for law schools, the blog points out.

“This is probably a healthy phenomenon, and it suggests that the market works, more or less,” the blog says. “But in order to sustain this reduction, schools must reduce costs. For some law schools, the reduction might be entirely carried by the university—in the form of reduced overhead payments or actual subsidies. But it’s pretty easy to imagine that for most schools, and particularly for free-standing institutions, the reduction will have to be paid for with budget cuts and efficiency gains.”

Updated at 10:30 a.m. to include information from the Faculty Lounge.

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