LSAC just released the figures on how many people took the recent June LSAT. They recorded a 4.9% drop from June last of year. This marks the third year in a row that numbers have fallen in June, with the biggest decline coming in 2011, when the number of June takers fell 18.9% from the previous years. This June’s decline is slightly less than last year’s drop of 5.9%, so there is reason to think that we are approaching a sort of natural floor for the post-recession world. 23,997 people took the June LSAT this year.
Overall, the number of LSATs administered last year has fallen 25.68% from the high in the 2008-2009. There is reason to believe it will fall still further this year, as falling numbers in June typically means even bigger drops for the October and December administrations. Check out the number’s here on LSAC’s page- LSATs Administered.
It’s important to add that the current numbers are now falling below pre-recession numbers, and it could be fairly viewed as part of the “right-sizing” of a legal industry which looks increasingly unlikely to return to it’s former strength. In response to fewer LSAT takers and the attendant reduction in applications to law school, many law schools have already began reducing class size to help maintain the quality of their student profile.
What does all this mean for those considering law school now? Paradoxically, it may be the best time to go. Less competition means better chances of admission. This is definitely the best time in recent history to get into reach schools. The number of LSAT takers achieving high scores has fallen out of proportion to the overall numbers, meaning strong applicants are in even better shape. Less competition can also translate it to more scholarship money.
What’s more you are likely to be facing considerably less competition in the job market as well when it comes time to find work. A word of caution: there isn’t likely to be an overall shortage of lawyers just yet. However, all things being equal, fewer people chasing after jobs is a good thing for prospective lawyers.
If you are considering studying for the LSAT, it’s more beneficial than ever to prep hard and give yourself an edge. Studying properly for the LSAT is rigorous, but it’s well worth the rewards. Check out our recommended study schedule to give yourself an idea of the time commitment.
If you have thoughts on the falling application and LSAT numbers that having been making headlines in the legal world, please share them in the comments.
Certainly yes. An 172 is likelier to net you more acceptances and scholarship offers than in the last 10 years. The other big takeaway is that I think the 168-169 candidates start looking really competitive at CCN (Chicago, Columbia, NYU) where before a fairly small percentage of them got in.
I also predict the number of LSATs adminstered is stabilizing. I don’t think it will go much lower than this year come the 2014-2015 cycle, if it goes lower at all. That’s just my best guess though.
This all sounds quite astounding. Moral of the story, score above a 172, and be in a better position to choose your school?
Indubitably you have have a better shot at the top schools with lower numbers. Numbers at Yale are unlikely to budge much because they have a tiny class size and generally everyone who is admitted chooses to attend. There are still enough really high scorers to fill Yale’s class. What will happen is those with really high scores are somewhat less likely to get dinged at Yale and Harvard. In the past there wasn’t enough room for all of these top scorers, now that is less the case.
I would say the greater change is likely to occur at Columbia, U Chicago, NYU and the schools just below that (Penn, UVA, etc.). There is a serious shortage of 170+ LSAT scorers to fill their ranks. These schools are unlikely to reduce class size much, so they are going to have to take substantially more high 160’s scorers than in recent years. Check next year and I guarantee the LSAT percentiles will have shifted at some of these schools.
I wonder how this effects top tier schools? Would you posit that say you get between a 165 and 170, one has a better shot of getting into a Yale, than in 2008-09? Notwithstanding other variables of course- gpa, extracurriculars, etc?