LSAC has released the stats for 2013 December LSAT test-takers, and – surprise, surprise – the number of people taking the LSAT is down yet again. This is the 14th straight LSAT to have a decline in test-takers compared to previous years, but whereas last December’s numbers were down by 15.6%, this year’s numbers are “only” down by 6.2%.
Blueprint LSAT Prep’s very own Matt Shinners analyzed this downward trend back in November, after the October LSAT numbers were released, and concluded that the reduction in test-takers was a good thing for everyone involved. He posited that law schools will need to either reduce their class sizes or start accepting applicants with lower GPA and LSAT numbers.
His theory is supported by law school admissions data for the past few years. So far, the stats for the top law schools have remained fairly stable, with a greater change in medians as you move farther down the rankings.
We’ll have to wait until this law school admissions cycle is complete to see whether the trend continues, but all signs indicate that this is a good year for law school applicants. Hopefully, in addition to accepting students who they wouldn’t have accepted in the past, law schools will be increasingly generous with scholarships to attract students. (And if you didn’t receive a scholarship from a law school you’d seriously consider attending, just call them and ask! Worst-case, they say no; best-case, you save thousands of dollars from a simple phone call.)
Beyond that, it’s hard to extrapolate too much. As anyone studying for the LSAT knows, we can’t make a generalization from one isolated incident. It’s entirely possible that the number of LSAT test-takers is starting to stabilize; people have been talking about how bad the legal job market is for years, so perhaps the crowd of pre-law students has already been thinned out to the die-hards who will apply to law school no matter what. It’s also entirely possible that the number of LSAT test-takers for the next few LSAT administrations will continue to free-fall. What’s certain is that, at least for the time being, good LSAT scores are in especially high demand – so get off the LSAT blog and hit the books!