LSAC makes a lot of data available on its web site. For instance, did you ever wonder how many law school applicants in 2012-2013 did their undergrad at BYU-Idaho? The answer is 83, and that’s a five-year high for that school. I found that number in this document listing the last five years’ law school applicant count for the top 240 feeder schools.
There are no surprises at the top: the schools that produce the most law school applicants are large, public universities. California, Florida, and Texas are all well-represented. The top feeder schools have something else in common, too: they’re all producing considerably fewer applicants than they did four or five years ago. On average, the top five feeder schools produced 35.6% fewer law school applicants in 2012-2013 than in 2008-2009.
In fact, only two schools in the top 50 feeder schools saw an increase in law school applications last year. The University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras went from 285 applicants in 2011-2012 to 314 in 2012-2013, and the University of Miami went from 275 to 276 in the same time period. My hypothesis is that it must have something to do with both those schools’ proximity to the Bermuda Triangle. Nonetheless, both schools produced considerably fewer law school applicants last year than five years ago.
This should be no surprise, as LSAT administrations and law school applications have plummeted in general in the last few years. The reasons for the decline are real, and it’s important to choose a law school carefully. But as long as you make good choices, it’s a good time to apply to law school. Fewer applicants mean less competition and an easier time getting into a better law school. Smaller law school class sizes will make for less competition when it comes to getting hired afterward, too.
And if you’re one of the 706 or so to apply to law school after attending the University of Florida (the top feeder school), how can you distinguish yourself? There’s your GPA, but I’m sure many of the applicants have high GPAs, and by the time you get around to applying there’s not much you can do about that anyway. That leaves your LSAT score and your soft factors, and they’re going to see your LSAT score before they see your soft factors. It’s to your advantage to put the time and effort in to rock the LSAT.