It seems like we’ve written about the general decline in LSAT administrations and law school applications ad nauseum. At this point, people know (or at least, they should know) that there is a problem with the legal education system in this country.
But according to U.S. News, that’s not stopping would-be law students from applying in substantial numbers. The leader in law school rankings recently compiled a list of the ten schools that received the most applications for full-time programs in 2011. At almost 75,000, the sheer number of applications remains astounding.
When looking at this list, we noticed a trend: all of the law schools are in the traditional first tier, and most of them are in major cities. But not everyone can get into these schools, and given the reported drop in admissions at Cooley, curiosity got the best of us.
So we created a top-ten list of the unranked schools that received the most applications last year — the cream of the crap, if you will. Is your school on either one of these lists?
Representation from the top 14 is strong in this list, with Georgetown in the top spot. If you’re smart enough to get into one of the best schools in the country, then you probably won’t have to worry that much about the prospect of having a tiny pink career after graduation like the rest of the world. It goes without saying that if a law school is located in a major city and is at the tippy top of the rankings (and even if it’s not; e.g., GW, BU, Fordham, and American), then the administration likely isn’t going to have to beg for seat deposit money.
U.S. News points out that Yale, Stanford, and Harvard — the top three schools in the nation — did not make the list. Sorry, but these prospective law students are intelligent enough to know that not even hobos want to live in New Haven. (To be fair, Harvard Law, with 6,335 applications, just missed landing on the top ten list.)
But what about the numbers at the other end of the spectrum? Apparently the people who apply to the Cooleys of the world, or “low-hanging fruit,” as my colleague Elie Mystal likes to call them, are still applying in droves:
It is completely unfathomable that Florida Coastal was able to outrank Cooley, the self-proclaimed second-best law school in the country, when it came to applications for last year’s cycle. But now at least we know that Cooley isn’t being totally greedy when it comes to fruit picking.
So there you have it: law school applications are down, but a metric f**k-ton of people are still applying, even to lower-ranked schools. If this represents a steep decline in applications, it’d be frightening to see what the numbers looked like when it was actually a good idea to go to law school.
10 Law Schools That Receive the Most Applications [The Short List / U.S. News & World Report]