Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

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paradox
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby paradox » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:16 pm

The below LINK from an article that appeared on the website "Above the Law" confirms that as of 1/13/12 ABA applicants are down 16.7% and ABA applications are down 15.3% from 2011.

LINK:
http://abovethelaw.com/2012/01/the-earl ... lications/

I do not know what the implications are to the decreased number of law school applications, however in my opinion the belief that only applicants with less competitive numbers are the one's not applying may not be true. I know at least 2 seniors with credentials that that would be competitive for T14 who are taking a pass on law school this cycle.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby bernaldiaz » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:23 pm

paradox wrote:The below LINK from an article that appeared on the website "Above the Law" confirms that as of 1/13/12 ABA applicants are down 16.7% and ABA applications are down 15.3% from 2011.

LINK:
http://abovethelaw.com/2012/01/the-earl ... lications/

I do not know what the implications are to the decreased number of law school applications, however in my opinion the belief that only applicants with less competitive numbers are the one's not applying may not be true. I know at least 2 seniors with credentials that that would be competitive for T14 who are taking a pass on law school this cycle.


Haha wow TWO whole seniors??! That's official then.

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splitbrain
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby splitbrain » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:04 pm

TatNurner wrote:
splitbrain wrote:
sunynp wrote:What does this even mean? What does finance have to do with law school admissions? Are you trying to say this is a good time to get into law?


There's confusion as to what should be represented by that graph and, generally, what the focus of this thread is.


FYI I was just talking about finance (i.e. responding to a side discussion). I dont think you can make a direct comparison between financial markets and changes in law school applications, even though some jargon/concepts from finance could be used to describe what seems to be going on with the number of people applying to law school.

Mr Anon, in his last post, seems to make a interesting point though, that this could perhaps be a false bottom in terms of things getting better, and that applications will shoot up again in coming cycles as people start thinking law school is a winning game again, before we come back and hit a real bottom, much lower than the one we are in right now.

Of course, this is all speculation, and there are a lot of mixed/messy analogies in there, but I hope you get what I mean


Yah I get ya.

I do think that there is some comparison to be made between law school applications and general financial concepts. E.g., there will always be swings, regressions toward the mean, etc.

If applications increase again next year, that could support MrAnon's thought; however, since we're not speaking of the value of a company, but rather higher education, it's really hard to support one view over another with all that's involved. All we can really hope is that a prospective applicant is really giving it a lot of thought and analysis in order to make the best decision possible for themselves.

Sidenote: I've seen the graph before, and I wish I followed it closer when I tooled around on the stock market XD

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KevinP
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby KevinP » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:19 pm

I don't think this cycle will be as epic of a cycle as I previously thought. I expect the waitlists to have more movement, slight decrease in class sizes, and similar medians.

paradox wrote:I do not know what the implications are to the decreased number of law school applications, however in my opinion the belief that only applicants with less competitive numbers are the one's not applying may not be true. I know at least 2 seniors with credentials that that would be competitive for T14 who are taking a pass on law school this cycle.

I agree. Although 2 seniors is definitely not a large enough data sample, we do have some data released by LSAC. It may also be the case that the absolute top scorers (175+) may be forgoing law school in favor of more lucrative fields. Based on the limited (read: potentially unrepresentative) data on applicants released by LSAC, the group with the greatest decrease was the 175+ group (-23.28%), followed 160-164 group (-18.38%). Ironically, the 170-174 was the group with the least change (-2.7%). Overall decrease in 170+ applicants: 7.4%. Total applicant decrease: 10.52%.* However, the distribution as an aggregate tended to remain relatively stable.

*Applicants in 2010 vs 2011 as of 12/3.

stabiloboss
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby stabiloboss » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:35 pm

Does this mean that schools will become number-whores, or will soft factors come into play to a larger degree?


On one hand, if rankings matter so much to T1 schools, then won't they try and come AS CLOSE to their previous year medians as possible? Implying a focus on protecting medians over all other soft factors.

On the other, if they don't have an applicant pool with all those stellar numbers as previous years, then won't this allow them to now be more holistic? I.E. accept people who they WANT, over what numbers they possess, implying an emphasis on soft factors over numbers.

I feel like arguments can be made both ways, but how do you guys think this will play out?

:D Hoping for a soft factor win!!! My numbers fall into 25-50th range for most T14 lol.

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KRog
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby KRog » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:16 pm

KevinP wrote:I don't think this cycle will be as epic of a cycle as I previously thought. I expect the waitlists to have more movement, slight decrease in class sizes, and similar medians.

I agree. Although 2 seniors is definitely not a large enough data sample, we do have some data released by LSAC. It may also be the case that the absolute top scorers (175+) may be forgoing law school in favor of more lucrative fields. Based on the limited (read: potentially unrepresentative) data on applicants released by LSAC, the group with the greatest decrease was the 175+ group (-23.28%), followed 160-164 group (-18.38%). Ironically, the 170-174 was the group with the least change (-2.7%). Overall decrease in 170+ applicants: 7.4%. Total applicant decrease: 10.52%.* However, the distribution as an aggregate tended to remain relatively stable.

*Applicants in 2010 vs 2011 as of 12/3.


KevinP, interesting LSAC data. Where did you find it? I'd like to see what other information they released.

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KevinP
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby KevinP » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:19 pm

KRog wrote:KevinP, interesting LSAC data. Where did you find it? I'd like to see what other information they released.

I'm very curious about anything LSAT-and-law-school related, so you'll always see me coming up with numbers :)

This was from last year's LSAC report newsletter:
http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Publi ... EC2010.pdf

Also, if you are interested in how a decline in applicants has historically affected law schools, here's a good read:
http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Resea ... -97-01.asp

"As application volume climbs, the undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score medians of entering classes rise. When the number of candidacies recedes, GPA and LSAT score medians also decline. These findings hold whether the law school is a public or private institution."

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inthebeginning
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby inthebeginning » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:44 pm

Anyone have a good graph or table of year over year application volumes?

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20130312
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby 20130312 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:58 pm

inthebeginning wrote:Anyone have a good graph or table of year over year application volumes?


Yes, would like to see how this compares to the years prior to 2010. I imagine that applications went through the roof from 2008-2010 and now they are returning to pre-recession levels, but this is just speculation on my part.

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omninode
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby omninode » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:01 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
inthebeginning wrote:Anyone have a good graph or table of year over year application volumes?


Yes, would like to see how this compares to the years prior to 2010. I imagine that applications went through the roof from 2008-2010 and now they are returning to pre-recession levels, but this is just speculation on my part.


I think this may be what you're looking for: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... ummary.asp

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inthebeginning
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby inthebeginning » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:10 pm

It is..thank you

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KevinP
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby KevinP » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:32 pm

Here are graphs for those of you who are visual:
Image
Image

*Estimated number of applications/applicants calculated by dividing the current number of applications/applicants by .48.


“The caveat is that we are very early in the cycle,” Margolis says. “So these numbers change considerably.” The number of applicants at this time last year represented about 48 percent of the ultimate count. (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... 5_percent/)

(Yes, I misspelled thousands)

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lovejopd
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby lovejopd » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:13 pm

KevinP wrote:Here are graphs for those of you who are visual:
Image
Image

*Estimated number of applications/applicants calculated by dividing the current number of applications/applicants by .48.


“The caveat is that we are very early in the cycle,” Margolis says. “So these numbers change considerably.” The number of applicants at this time last year represented about 48 percent of the ultimate count. (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... 5_percent/)

(Yes, I misspelled thousands)

Awesome graphs! Thank you so much. HOPE applicants keeeeeeep gooooooing doooown in 2013 :D

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TatNurner
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby TatNurner » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:18 pm

Kevin P, or anyone else for that matter, do you have any idea why people were applying to more law schools per person in Fall 2009, than in Fall 2004? What do you guys think caused this big shift in how people approached law school apps?

I say this in regards to the fact that the highest number of applicants in the last decade was 99K in 2004, and this corresponded to 552K applications, but then in Fall 2009 we have 88K applicants and 602K applications.

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Kikero
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby Kikero » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:45 pm

TatNurner wrote:Kevin P, or anyone else for that matter, do you have any idea why people were applying to more law schools per person in Fall 2009, than in Fall 2004? What do you guys think caused this big shift in how people approached law school apps?

I say this in regards to the fact that the highest number of applicants in the last decade was 99K in 2004, and this corresponded to 552K applications, but then in Fall 2009 we have 88K applicants and 602K applications.


Nevermind, I misread your question. Thought you were asking why more people were applying in 2009/2010.

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KevinP
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby KevinP » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:31 am

TatNurner wrote:Kevin P, or anyone else for that matter, do you have any idea why people were applying to more law schools per person in Fall 2009, than in Fall 2004? What do you guys think caused this big shift in how people approached law school apps?

I say this in regards to the fact that the highest number of applicants in the last decade was 99K in 2004, and this corresponded to 552K applications, but then in Fall 2009 we have 88K applicants and 602K applications.


I'd guess the increase in the applications/applicants ratio can be partially attributed to a rise in electronic applications, which make filling out applications faster and easier. Based on the current numbers released by LSAC (as of January 2012), the ratio of applications/applicants stands at 7.33, which is unusually high, but one should be careful about extrapolating since the ratio could change as more applications are sent. However, if the ratio holds, I would guess the migration to the flexapp system is partially a cause. Of course, the increase is probably the aggregate of multiple factors (more fee waivers, better informed/more risk-averse applicants, etc).

Here's an interesting article: https://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpres ... ants-down/


Image

Image Source: https://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpres ... ants-down/
Last edited by KevinP on Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tyro
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby tyro » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:54 am

iamrobk wrote:Yeah, should definitely help make OCI easier in a few years...

90% sure this is sarcasm but if not, fewer people applying doesn't mean schools will admit fewer people.

bt53
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby bt53 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:15 pm

"*Estimated number of applications/applicants calculated by dividing the current number of applications/applicants by .48.


“The caveat is that we are very early in the cycle,” Margolis says. “So these numbers change considerably.” The number of applicants at this time last year represented about 48 percent of the ultimate count. (--LinkRemoved-- ... 5_percent/)"

I think that this is probably wishful thinking on their part. The year-end numbers in the last couple of cycles actually underpredicted the total drop in volume when everything was said and done. This makes sense as late applicants tend to be february LSAT takers and/or people who are more ambivalent about law school in the first place.

It'll be interesting to see if any 4th tier schools bite the dust in the next couple of years or even this year. I think most of them will have to reach even deeper into the pool of low lsat/gpa applicants and even if they fill all of their seats their attrition and bar passage rates will be heavily affected.

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arhmcpo
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby arhmcpo » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:59 am

One of my professors who saw insider data on a couple of law schools said he thought in the next 10 years 20% of law schools would close down.

That 20% is probably way too optimistic, but so long as applicants keep declining, certain bottom law schools should be forced to close up shop.

Most schools are continuing to raise faculty pay as a result of market competition, while at the same time reducing their class sizes to keep their entry numbers up, and in recognition of the fact that their grads can't get jobs (which also endangers their ranking) combine that with reduced private donations from a bad economy, and traditional law school income is falling while expenses stay constant or rise...

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TatNurner
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby TatNurner » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:30 pm

arhmcpo wrote:One of my professors who saw insider data on a couple of law schools said he thought in the next 10 years 20% of law schools would close down.

That 20% is probably way too optimistic, but so long as applicants keep declining, certain bottom law schools should be forced to close up shop.


I doubt the numbers will continue to fall though. Law school just makes sense for so many people who finish undergrad and have no job prospects. I suspect once there is confidence in the economy again we'll see a rise in applicants. Maybe not to the same level of craziness we saw when 170K people took the LSAT in 2009-10, but I think it will bounce back, just because of this oversupply of undergrads who cant get good jerbs.

bt53
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby bt53 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:32 pm

I doubt the numbers will continue to fall though. Law school just makes sense for so many people who finish undergrad and have no job prospects. I suspect once there is confidence in the economy again we'll see a rise in applicants. Maybe not to the same level of craziness we saw when 170K people took the LSAT in 2009-10, but I think it will bounce back, just because of this oversupply of undergrads who cant get good jerbs.[/quote]


You may be right, but hopefully law school's taken enough of a beating and there's enough negative info out there (scam blogs, jd underground ect.) that those people will be funneled into the next "in demand" profession and the cycle will repeat itself. For example, if you take the time to search, you'll find that a few insightful individuals have started to notice that the number of nursing grads is now increasingly outpacing the number of nursing positions available.

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warandpeace
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby warandpeace » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:53 pm

When do you guys think it'll bounce back? Will the numbers stay lower until the 2013 cycle?

bt53
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Re: Total law school applicants down 16.7% from last year

Postby bt53 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:38 pm

warandpeace wrote:When do you guys think it'll bounce back? Will the numbers stay lower until the 2013 cycle?



It'll probably be at least as low if not lower in 2013. I think there will have to be some distance from the negative press that law school has recieved and the lawsuits over employment statistics before people feel confident about law school as a default post-undergrad option again.




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