LSAT Test-Takers Disappear Again: What’s it Mean for You?

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Jeff Baisley grew up dreaming of the big leagues. And in 2005, that dream (sort of) came true.

Named MVP in 2006 while playing for the Kane County Cougars, Jeff drove in 110 runs and hit 22 homers. Three of them were in the same game.

And if everyone who sat out this year’s October LSAT (compared to last year) were there to witness his amazing feat, you could have filled the stadium.

7,389 fewer people sat for the October LSAT this past month than did the year before. Literally enough to fill a baseball stadium.

Let that sink in.

The number of students fulfilling their (admittedly less cool) dream of becoming a lawyer (or, more likely, their parents’ dream) continues to plummet in an increasingly difficult job market. New sites like Law School Transparency are popping up to let students know about the bleak prospects for law students even at top-tier law schools. And while the jobs market is bleak, the law school admissions world should be easing up as fewer students apply.

So should law school applicants rejoice?

Unfortunately, not quite yet.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, 51% of law schools have already cut class sizes, with another 28% saying they plan to do so for the upcoming school year.

So should law school applicants lament?

Fortunately, not quite yet. For two reasons.

First, law school applications have dropped precipitously. While the law schools are downsizing classes to account for this drop, they also have bottom lines. When you’re used to living on filet mignon, it’s hard to go back to ramen. So class sizes will decrease, but I doubt it will be proportional to the decrease in law school applicants.

Second, fewer students mean more scholarship funds for those who do apply to law school. Especially top students – you become a rare commodity that’s worth paying for. And, in fact, the study above found that 47% of law schools are giving out more scholarship money than they have in previous years.

So, future law student, should you expect a waltz into a free ride at your #1 choice? No. Law school admissions is still a numbers game, and there are still way too many people out there who are applying to completely trivialize the process. But you’re certainly in a better place than you were several years ago, and if you make a smart decision (taking that scholarship instead of a minor bump in prestige), you’ll be in even better shape when you graduate than your compatriots three years ago.

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