A recent study from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) shows that the total number of law school applications through mid January 2018 is up over 10% in comparison to this time last year. This report goes against the trend that had been developing over the past few years, where law schools saw total applications reach historical all time lows. One of the factors contributing to higher law school applications is an increase in LSAT exams administered. According to the LSAC, there was nearly a 28% increase in the number of LSAT exams administered in December 2017 compared to December 2016.
According to many legal experts, the reason for a higher number of law school students taking the LSAT and then applying to law school is twofold. The first reason is due to economic growth in the United States. When the United States economy is growing and flourishing there is an overall improvement in the job market, which gives potential law students more of a reason to invest in their career by going to law school. The second reason deals deals more with politics. Since the 2016 presidential election, there has been an abundance of high profile legal news stories, perhaps sparking a greater interest in the legal field than compared to in the past. According to Dave Killoran, CEO of the PowerScore admissions firm, “Since the 2016 election, my clients have become more likely to cite an interest in politics when explaining their rationale for wanting to attend law school.”
Many of these experts predict that this trend will continue to rise, as law school applications tend to be cyclical. With the number of applications on the rise, many prospective law students are worried their chances of getting into law school are diminishing. However, these students should not be so worried. Even though the number of applications so far this year has increased over 10%, the total number of applications is still far fewer than it was in years past. It will be interesting to see if this upward law school application trend continues.