Annual survey finds law school admissions and applications continue to be down

Marilyn Odendahl
October 9, 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 next school year. Kaplan’s 2012 survey showed 51 percent of schools reduced 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.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.