Law school has lost its allure. Enrollment at American Bar Association-accredited law schools has plummeted 25 percent since 2010 and several law schools have or soon will close up shop for lack of demand.
Why? It’s a combination of factors including rising tuition, a stagnant job market and the perception that better options exist elsewhere.
So what’s it going to take to lure back would-be lawyers—especially those with the high Law School Admission Test scores that schools covet? (Applicants with LSAT scores of 160 or above are down a whopping 45 percent over the past six years.)
We asked 11 leaders from the legal academy, the bench and law firms to tell us how law schools can make up those recruiting losses and appeal once again to top prospects. Their perspectives vary, but a few overarching themes emerged.
For starters, a legal education costs too much and schools aren’t doing themselves any favors by obscuring what students actually pay after aggressive discounts. But even a low-cost legal education is less appealing when jobs are scarce, so a more robust entry level lawyer job market would be a boon. Clearly, not an easy fix.
Finally, law schools must better communicate the benefits of a law degree and the key role lawyers play in society. Rethinking both how and what law schools teach is a good start to counteracting the tide of negative publicity that has plagued them for the past half decade.
To read more, click each individual’s name.