The LSAC released the numbers, and this year 23,997 law school hopefuls took the June LSAT. That’s a decline of 4.9% from last year’s June LSAT. It’s also the 12th consecutive LSAT administration for which numbers have declined from the previous year.
The last time so few LSAT test-takers took the June LSAT was in 2001. Shrek was playing in theaters, George W. Bush had just been inaugurated, and Justin Bieber had zero Twitter followers. In other words, it’s been a while.
On the other hand, 4.9% is the smallest year over year decline in LSAT test-takers since things started tanking in October 2010. Perhaps it’s starting to bottom out. Or not. The June LSAT has lost a smaller percentage of its test-takers over the last few years than have the other LSAT administrations. For example, last year, the June LSAT was down only 5.9% from 2011, but the October, December, and February administrations went down 16.4%, 15.6% and 12.9%, respectively. We’ll see about this year.
We’ll have to wait for the next couple of LSAT administrations to see whether there’s any real evidence the decline in LSAT test-takers is slowing. But for now, the important thing to know is that the numbers are still declining. Law schools aren’t going to have any easier of a time filling classes this year than in the last few years.
If you’re applying to law school, this means you’ll likely continue to have an easier time getting into many schools than you would have had a few years ago. If law schools have any scholarship money left to give out, they’ll likely continue to use it to woo desirable applicants. Applying to law school may be about as fashionable these days as rocking a Livestrong bracelet, but if you’re willing to go against the trend, you can take advantage of the current climate.
But as you proceed, keep in mind the reasons for the decline in law school applications. Do your research, so that when you pick a law school you can be confident you’re putting yourself in a good position to succeed after law school. It may be easier to get into law school than it has been for a long time, but it’s no less important that you do your best to maximize your GPA and LSAT score.