With LSAT takers down to a 30-year low, and with law school applications dwindling by the day, law schools are hoping that only the best and brightest will choose their institutions. Schools will do anything to protect their coveted yield rate, the percentage of admitted students who actually choose to enroll.

Last week, we shared a story with our readers that had to with with the lengths that law schools will allegedly go to to protect their yield rates. A tipster notified us that UVA Law withdrew his wife’s application after she informed them that she’d be attending another school. That sounds shady, but UVA calls it “standard practice,” and we’re sure other schools have resorted to similar measures given the sad state of the current field of applicants.

We mentioned in Morning Docket: U.S. News recently released a list of the schools that had the highest yield rates in 2012, referring to them as the “most popular law schools.” Chalk it up to schadenfreude on our part, but it figures UVA didn’t make the top 10 on this list — even though a fair share of surprising schools did….

Here’s the list of the 10 schools with the highest yield rates in 2012, courtesy of U.S. News & World Report:

Of course Yale had the highest yield, because you’d probably have to be smoking something amazing to decline an invitation to attend the highest-ranked law school in the country — that, or you decided to go to Harvard or Stanford, which also appear on this list (Harvard was in third place and Stanford was in eighth place). Here’s what U.S. News had to say about this:

Almost 83 percent of students accepted to Yale for the 2012-2013 school year chose to enroll, more than 3 times the national yield average of 25.2 percent, according to full-time and part-time admissions data reported by 190 ranked law schools in an annual U.S. News survey (yield is not a factor in the law school rankings methodology). That average fell from 28 percent in 2011-2012.

We understand why future law students would rush to enroll in the most acclaimed programs of the entire T14, but check out the high yield rates at some of the other schools on this list. Three of them reside in the ominous land of “Rank Not Published,” but their yield rates are higher than those of most of the 144 schools with published ranks. Perhaps this is a little like the online dating scene in that it’ll work out if you’re both desperate enough. Or perhaps these schools are actually offering something to their students that cannot be found at other schools, like Creation Science and Law, a class we imagine Liberty might be teaching.

But at least the “second-best” law school in the United States doesn’t appear on this list, even if it did receive the second-most applications of all the RNP schools last year. We suppose we can be thankful for that.

10 Most Popular Law Schools [The Short List / U.S. News & World Report]

Earlier: Does Anybody Ever Turn Down UVA Law? Or Are They Just Gaming Their Yield Rate?
Which Law Schools Received the Most Applications Last Year?


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