So how low can it go? That’s essentially the game that law schools are nervously playing these days about the decline in applications.
Just last week, I reported that the number of LSAT takers in June hit a 14-year low. And over at The National Law Journal, Karen Sloan reports that that law school applicants dropped 37 percent since 2010.
Ominous for law schools, but arguably good signs for those who aspire to go to law school.
So which law schools are likely to survive this game of attrition? Well, it seems the ones that are attracting the most applicants are good bets.
From U.S. News & World Report, here are the 10 schools that win the popularity contest for applications:
You’ll notice that all the schools above are ranked among the top 25 in the nation and have relatively high enrollments. (I’m guessing that places like Yale, Stanford and University of Chicago are so small that applicants are a bit too intimidated to apply.) But you might ask why highly rated schools like University of Michigan or Northwestern didn’t make that list, while William & Mary did? It’s a mystery to me. (Let me know if you have an explanation.)
And here are two interesting tidbits from U.S. News: “The average number of full-time applications per school was 1,891. University of South Dakota received the fewest full-time applications: 263.”
What’s really fascinating to me, though, are the non-ranked schools that still continue to reel in applicants. Thanks to our friends at Above the Law, we have what ATL artfully calls “the creme of the crap” list too:
1. Charlotte: 3,342 (admit rate of 73 percent)
2. Florida Coastal: 3,085 (admit rate of 75 percent)
3. San Francisco: 2,762 (admit rate of 49 percent)
4. John Marshall Law: 2,518 (admit rate of 71 percent)
5. Suffolk: 2,367 admit rate (admit rate of 78 percent)
6. Southwestern: 2,260 (admit rate of 57 percent)
7. Barry: 2,087 admit rate (admit rate of 63 percent)
8. Thomas M. Cooley: 2,027 (admit rate of 79 percent)
9. New England Law: 2,013 (admit rate of 87 percent)
10. Nova Southeastern: 1,645 (admit rate of 48 percent).
So is this a healthier, better informed marketplace for aspiring lawyers? Well, that’s debatable. While it’s logical (and reassuring) that higher-ranked schools be the most popular, it’s shocking (and frightening) that thousands of innocents are still willing to gamble on bottom-of-the-barrel schools with pathetic job prospects.
Are they not getting the news? Or just tuning it out?
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