Law Schools

Law school brain drain: Fewer individuals with high LSAT scores are applying

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Hit with a double whammy, law school officials are lowering their admission standards, a study suggests.

In addition to a drop in the amount of overall applications, a number of individuals with the highest scores on the Law School Admission Test aren’t pursuing a legal education, says one law professor, based on Law School Admission Council statistics.

In 2010, about 9,400 students with LSAT scores of 165 or higher entered law school. This year, some 5,400 are expected to enroll, reports Bloomberg.

As fewer applicants with high LSAT scores apply and enroll, “The top is eroding and the bottom is growing,” says professor Jerome Organ of the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

That’s because law schools are filling the gap by accepting more students with lower LSAT scores, he tells Bloomberg. Organ’s numbers are based in part on projections, looking at recent LSAC figures, of what will happen this year.

“Four years from now, when those people graduate and take the bar, you’ll have a much smaller percentage who are likely to pass the bar and a much larger percentage that are likely to fail.” Organ says.

Critics, however, have long contended that a high score on the LSAT, doing well in law school and passing the bar exam may not correlate with success in practice.

Related coverage: “Law school applicants continue to decline, and schools get less choosy “Lowest bar exam results in nearly a decade prompt some states to consider options”

See also: Two law schools will admit some who didn’t take the LSAT

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