Applicants to law schools are down, so far, for the first time since 2018

Faculties of Law

Applicants to law schools are down, so far, for the first time since 2018

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The number of applicants to law schools is down almost 5% from the same period last year, the first drop since 2018.

Reuters has a history on statistics for the 2022 enrollment year, updated here daily by the Law School Admission Council. The TaxProf Blog noted in an article on the numbers, published Monday, that the admissions season is one-third over.

As of November 29, there were 23,042 applicants in ABA-accredited law schools, down 4.9% from last year, but still an increase of 26.6% from there two years ago.

The number of claims was 150,378, a decrease of 3.5% from a year ago but an increase of 48.7% from two years ago.

Additionally, the top LSAT scores of 175 to 180 for 2022 applicants are down 20.9% from a year ago, while the next level LSAT scores of 170 to 174 are down from 11, 2%.

Some law schools were still doing well, with 121 reporting an increase in the volume of applications. Six schools reported increases of 50 to 99%.

In the previous admissions cycle, the number of applicants to law schools had increased by almost 13%, the largest year-over-year percentage increase in the number of applicants in nearly 20 years. At least six law schools reported three-point increases in their median LSAT scores for incoming 2021 freshman classes, while 42 other schools reported two-point increases.

Law school admissions consultant Mike Spivey of Spivey Consulting told Reuters he expects to see an increase in the 2022 applicant pool in the coming weeks as the November LSAT test results will be released on the 1st. December, more than a week later than in 2020. But he still expects a decline of around 5% in the number of applicants to law schools at the end of the admissions cycle.

The law school admissions process will always be competitive, he said, but “the pendulum has started to shift in favor of applicants.”

Updated Nov 30 at 6:45 p.m. to properly reflect Spivey’s comments on the November LSAT results.


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Nancy I. Romero