While number of lawyer jobs have been decreasing, law school applications are up more than 8%
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Law school applications have increased by more than 8 percent, and some schools are reportedly concerned about over over-enrollment.
“Because the demand was so strong, some schools are finding that they may have had higher yield rates than they had in prior years, and they may have larger classes than they aimed for,” Kellye Testy, president of the Law School Admissions Counsel, told Law.com. She advises matching enrollment with employment opportunities for new lawyers.
If law schools increase class sizes after the applicant increase, some say that the result will be an even tougher job market for new lawyers.
“I am not convinced that the job market will support a larger graduating class, and I am hopeful that law schools will use this jump in the quality and quantity of law school applicants to shore up the credentials of their incoming class rather than grow their enrollment,” James G. Leipold, executive director of NALP, told the ABA Journal.
According to Law.com, this year 60,401 people applied for law school admission this fall compared to 55,580 applicants in 2017. Additionally, there was a 60 percent increase in LSAT scores between 175 and 180, which represents the highest scores. And there’s a sense that the applicant pool may also increase for the fall 2019 class. The amount of LSAT takers for June and July increased by 30 percent compared to 2017, according to Law.com.
Between 2014 and 2017, there was a decrease in both JD advantage and bar-pass required jobs that were both full-time and long-term. According to ABA employment data for the class of 2014, there was total of 31,160 graduates with a job in either of those categories. That number dropped to 28,029 in 2015, and 26,923 in 2016. In 2017, there was a total of 26,293 graduates with a job in either category.