Law Schools

Law school applicants are down, for now, for the first time since 2018

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The number of law school applicants has decreased nearly 5% compared to the same time last year, the first decline since 2018.

Reuters has a story on the statistics for enrollment year 2022, updated daily here by the Law School Admission Council. The TaxProf Blog noted in a story on the figures, published Monday, that the admissions season is one-third complete.

As of Nov. 29, there were 23,042 applicants at ABA-accredited law schools, a decrease of 4.9% from last year’s numbers but still an increase of 26.6% from two years ago.

The number of applications was 150,378, a decrease of 3.5% from a year ago but an increase of 48.7% from two years ago.

In addition, top LSAT scores of 175 to 180 for 2022 applicants are down 20.9% from a year ago, while next-tier LSAT scores of 170 to 174 are down 11.2%.

Some law schools were still faring well, as 121 reported an application volume increase. Six schools reported increases of 50% to 99%.

In the prior admissions cycle, the number of law school applicants had increased nearly 13%, the largest year-over-year percentage increase in applicants in nearly 20 years. At least six law schools reported three-point increases in their median LSAT scores for incoming 2021 first-year classes, while another 42 schools reported two-point increases.

Law school admissions consultant Mike Spivey of Spivey Consulting told Reuters that he expects to see a boost in the 2022 applicant pool in the next few weeks because November LSAT test results are being released Dec. 1, more than a week later than in 2020. But he still expects about a 5% decrease in law school applicants at the end of the admissions cycle.

The law school admissions process will still be competitive, he said, but “the pendulum has started to swing back in favor of applicants.”

Updated Nov. 30 at 6:45 p.m. to correctly report on Spivey’s comments about November LSAT test results.

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