Thursday, August 9, 2012


via ABA Journal:

Law Schools Could Be Admitting 80 Percent of Their Applicants This Fall, Statistics Suggest
If you are an aspiring law student with low grades and scores on the Law School Admission Test [LSAT], this could be your year. 
Seventy-five of the 197 law schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report, or about 38 percent, suffered from triple declines in 2011--in enrollment, and test scores and grades of entering students[.] 
The Law School Admission Council is estimating the number of law school applicants will drop by 14.4 percent this fall. The decline in interest has been greatest among those with higher scores on the Law School Admission Test. As a result, law schools should expect further declines in enrollment and further erosion of test scores and grade point averages[.] 
It will also become easier to get into law school. "The admit rate will be the highest it has been this millenium, probably exceeding 75 percent and possible exceeding 80 percent (after increasing from 55 percent to 71 percent between 2004 and 2011)," [University of St. Thomas law professor Jerry] Organ says.
The Instapundit has been talking about the Higher Education Bubble for quite some time now. It seems like things are proceeding as predicted, starting with law schools. A professor from my alma mater, Brian Tamanaha, has a great book on the subject.

So what? Admissions standards are dropping as applications decrease. Big whoop. Well, OK, but stories like this are becoming increasingly common. Applications are down because potential students know that a law degree no longer guarantees a job in the legal industry, much less one that pays the exorbitant salaries that have been so shamelessly plugged by admissions departments for the last few decades. Instead of recognizing the tidal shift that has occurred/is occurring in the industry, schools who lower their standards are acting like the proverbial ostrich, heads buried in the sand. The value of a law degree is being diluted. While some schools are going against the grain, the majority will continue to struggle to preserve the status quo and hope that everything will be OK if they can just wait out this rough patch. With more and more bad news for new grads, those ostriches might get their eggs cooked. Stay tuned.

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