We all know that the biggest news of 2014 was the return of French Toast Crunch. That announcement is exciting, to be sure, but don’t forget that 2014 brought some highlights in the world of law school applications as well. The year provided data galore – Employment data! Bar passage data! LSAT data! And, of course, it provided some pretty great memes too.
To refresh your memory, here’s a list of the biggest law school-related news of 2014:
The narrative to which we’ve become accustomed is that numbers in general are down, and 2014 was no exception to that rule. The number of law school applications dropped 8 percent from last year, totaling a decline of 37 percent since 2010. On top of that, this year’s entering 1L class could be the smallest since 1974. Yes, that’s right, 1974 – a time when “double-knit polyester” was advertised unironically.
Law school applications weren’t the only interesting statistics. The number of people taking the LSAT has continued to decline as well. In fact, the number of test-takers in September 2014 was the lowest it has ever been for the fall administration of the test (at least, as far back as LSAC’s released data goes, which is to 1987). The decline in the number of people taking the LSAT has slowed, but it shows no signs of stopping.
Although that’s not such great news for law schools themselves, it has been a good year for those applying to law school: top students are in higher demand than ever, leading to greater bargaining power, even among the best law schools.
In addition to being a good year for law school applicants, 2014 brought some encouraging news for recent law school grads. An analysis of the Class of 2013 found that the number of recent grads finding employment in JD-required or JD-preferred jobs slightly increased, although numbers are still far off from the pre-recession peak. Finding a job in the legal world post-graduation is still far from a guarantee, but any increase in employment is worth celebrating.
Not all the news in 2014 was positive. The number of people who passed the bar exam fell in many states. The cause for the decrease in bar passage is still being debated, but we’re hoping that this is one trend that doesn’t continue into 2015.
So to summarize, there are still fewer people taking the LSAT and choosing to go to law school. However, as we’ve been saying all along, that’s probably good news for those who do choose to take the plunge.
Of course, statistics weren’t the only important news items of 2014. Here are some other memorable moments from the year:
- Columbia Law allowed its students to delay their exams in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions.
- A California appeals court upheld a law that prohibits LSAC from flagging the LSAT scores of people who received testing accommodations.
- And lastly, the world gave us possibly the greatest Tumblr of all time: Notorious R.B.G., which celebrate the Supreme Court’s resident badass.
It’s been an interesting year in the world of pre-law, and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens next!