Law Schools, Quote of the Day

Law School Applicants Are Down, Again, And We’re Shocked

The rest of world won’t weep over fewer people wanting to be lawyers, but for people like me who do admissions, it creates challenges.

Andrew Cornblatt, dean of admissions at Georgetown University Law Center, lamenting the fact the school now has to fight over a smaller pool of applicants with other highly ranked institutions due to a drop in applicants.

(How much have applicants dropped this year overall? And how bad is the situation at Georgetown? Let’s find out.)

Not surprisingly, this is the third year in a row that LSAC has reported a double digit drop in the percentage of law school applicants year over year. Here’s more information from the Washington Post:

As of May 17, about 55,760 people had applied to American Bar Association-accredited law schools for the 2013-14 school year — down 13.4 percent from 2012, according to data compiled by the Law School Admission Council.

Law school enrollment is also trending downward, with 48,700 people entering their first year of law school in fall 2011 — 7 percent below the previous year, and the first significant decline in a decade. The council has yet to compile nationwide enrollment data for fall 2012.

As for Georgetown, according to Dean Cornblatt, applications have dropped by six percent this year, but that doesn’t mean the school is going to go and do anything crazy, like immediately trim its class size:

Dean Andrew Cornblatt

Although Georgetown plans to keep its class size at 575 for 2013-14, the school’s long-range planning committee is considering reducing that number in the future, Cornblatt said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we were smaller” entering the 2014-15 school year, he said.

If you were thinking of applying to Georgetown next year to ride this out, think again.

Cornblatt is of the opinion that the high number of applications in the boom years allowed the job market to become “glutted,” and what law schools are doing now is just “right-sizing.” While we tend to agree, we don’t think any of the debt-straddled, unemployed lawyers will find any comfort in that claim.

Law school applications continue to slide [Capital Business / Washington Post]

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