What do the June LSAT and the song “OMG” by Usher featuring will.i.am have in common? They both peaked in 2010. The numbers are out, and LSAC has announced that the number of people who took the June LSAT has declined for the second consecutive year. Likewise, the world of pop music has moved on to new and less autotuned places since “OMG” topped the charts in June 2010. This year, 25,223 people took the June LSAT — down 5.9% from last year and down 23.5% from 2010’s peak. It’s reasonable to assume that this trend will continue for the next few administrations of the LSAT. At the very least, I’d be surprised if the number of LSAT test takers were to surge upward anytime soon.
If you’re planning on taking the October LSAT, what does this mean for you?
First of all, this doesn’t mean anything for your LSAT score. You may have read that applications from people who score high on the LSAT have gone down at a greater rate than have those from low scorers. Unfortunately for you, the LSAT isn’t scored on a curve. Even if fewer high scorers take the test (and that’s not guaranteed), the way LSAT scores are equated ensures that each LSAT score will represent the same level of ability as it did before, regardless of the distribution of LSAT test takers.
Come law school application time, you’ll have an advantage. Fewer people taking the LSAT means less competition. It’s likely that the law school admissions environment will remain favorable to applicants. It remains to be seen how long law schools will be able to afford to give out scholarships at the enormous rate they’ve been giving them out this year, but they’ll have to do something to keep applicants interested. If this reduction in the number of applicants continues in the long run, there’ll have to be some kind of correction in the law school market. For now, if you want to go to law school, take advantage of it. Your GPA and LSAT score will take you places they wouldn’t have taken you two short years ago.