The number of LSATs administered is on the rise again. There were about 1,400 more LSAT takers in June 2015 than there were in June 2014. That’s about a 6.6% increase. The bad news: law school admissions may get more competitive. The good news: the legal market is improving.
Keep in mind that the number of LSATs administered is different from the number of test takers, because about a quarter of all test takers will retake the LSAT, many doing better the second time around. As of the last application cycle, we’re still at a low for total test takers. But, either way, the effect is that there will likely be more high LSAT scores around.
Now, law schools will probably respond to an uptick in high LSAT scores by growing their class sizes, since many law schools were forced to trim their class sizes following the Great Recession and they all want more of your juicy tuition money. You might also see more people who’ve scored well in previous years, but sat on the bench until legal hiring improved, apply to law school this year.
All of these variables make it hard to say for sure that law school admissions will get more competitive, but my best guess is that this cycle will be more competitive than the last.
None of this should really affect your application strategy, if you’re already set on applying. Study hard, and do your best. It was always a good idea to retake if you got an LSAT score that couldn’t get you into a top-14 law school. I’m not saying you have to go to a top-14 law school, but you should be able to get into one. Going to a “lower ranked school” is just fine, so long as you’re getting a steep tuition discount, or you can lean on a strong Loan Repayment Assistance Program and want to work in government or public interest.
It was also always a good idea to skip an admissions cycle if you couldn’t strike the right balance between costs and job opportunities. And it was always a bad idea to count on transferring to boost your employment chances. Both of those things are still true, so keep them in mind.
Good luck, and study hard.