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Annual survey finds fewer law school admissions and applications

Marilyn Odendahl
October 2, 2013
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A majority of law schools across the United States are cutting their admissions for the second year in a row and a significant portion expect to continue the reduction in class size next year, according to the 2013 Kaplan Test Prep law school survey released Oct. 1.

The educational and career services provider annually surveys law school admissions officers. For the 2013 report, Kaplan polled admissions officers from 127 of the nation’s 203 American Bar Association-approved law schools, including 10 of the top 25 as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The poll was conducted between July and September.

The survey found 54 percent of law schools cut their entering law school classes for the 2013-2014 academic year and another 25 percent plan to do so again for the next school year. Kaplan’s 2012 survey showed 51 percent of school reducing the number in the entering class.

This coincides with a dramatic drop in law school applications from the peak of 602,300 in 2010 to 385,400 in 2013.

Looking ahead, admission officers expect the number of students applying to law school to continue to decrease. Sixty-seven percent do not anticipate that the steep, three-year decline in law school applications will be reversed during the 2013-2014 admissions cycle.

The downward trend also parallels the rise in the number of schools accepting June LSAT scores. Traditionally, law schools accepted nothing later than the February LSAT results but recently have been taking June scores, likely in an attempt to increase the applicant pools.

A startling 78 percent of law schools told Kaplan they took scores from the June 2013 LSAT for the academic year that started this fall. This is an increase from the 68 percent who used June 2012 LSAT scores for 2012 admissions.

Students entering law school will likely find a different curriculum than their predecessors. Seventy-one percent of law schools reported introducing more clinical courses and practical training into the curricula with the goal of making their graduates more practice ready.

Most law schools indicated more change is needed. A total of 78 percent of law school admissions officers think the U.S. legal education system needs to undergo significant changes to better prepare future attorneys for the changes in both employment and the profession itself.

Among the students, 87 percent of law school graduates and 79 percent of pre-law students agreed legal education needs to be revamped.     



 
 

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  • Students are weary
    "Students entering law school will likely find a different curriculum than their predecessors. Seventy-one percent of law schools reported introducing more clinical courses and practical training into the curricula with the goal of making their graduates more practice ready." I think this is a good step towards revitalizing students. Credibility has something to do with admissions. Students are weary and admission people are getting a bit unreasonably picky. - Lay of Admission-service.com

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  1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  2. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  3. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  4. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  5. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

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