Fewer and Fewer Students Are Applying to Law School

Fewer and Fewer Students Are Applying to Law School
By Jacob Gershman

The law school applicant pool appears to be getting more and more shallow.

The number of people applying to law school is down 8.5% compared to last year at this time, according to the latest figures released by the Law School Admission Council.

As of Jan. 9, just shy of 20,000 would-be lawyers had submitted applications to law schools. The downward trend is even starker if you compare it to figures from three years ago. By this point in 2012, about 30,000 students had applied.

The drop-off in applicants suggests that law schools may have an even harder time propping up their enrollment figures, which have also been shrinking.

As Law Blog reported earlier, the number of students who began law school in the fall of 2014 was down 4.4% from the year before, extending a slide that began in 2011.

Brian Leiter, a University of Chicago professor who tracks law school data, says this year’s applicant drop-off may not be quite as severe as we get further along into the admissions cycle.

“Another pattern from recent years is more applicants later in the season than in the past, so my guess is total applicants will be down less than 8.5% by the end of the application cycle,” he wrote in a blog post Thursday.