june lsat decline in #s taken

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latetolunch
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june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby latetolunch » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:13 pm

was the 6% drop in june lsat takers expected, surprisingly good or surprisingly bad considering it is following a huge 18% drop the prior year

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Nova
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Nova » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:16 pm

Expected.
Good for applicants.
Bad for law schools.

bbsg
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby bbsg » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:33 pm

Are we anticipating this trend to continue?

Is the drop mostly focused in the upper percentiles or the lower?

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Nova
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Nova » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:35 pm


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2014
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby 2014 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:36 pm

It's spread relatively proportionally with a slight skew toward the high end. No indication that the trend is stopping anytime soon but it obviously can't continue in perpetuity.

Miracle
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Miracle » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:05 pm

This is very good news! If we want for this profession to be considered one of the most prestigious profession we need to stop producing lawyers on every corner of the street. I think people are finally realizing that certain law schools will not produce outcome that they claim it will produce, and prefer not to attend. Law school is tough, and in community where jobs are based on your grades many people are choosing to turn the other way! It's about time.

amorphix
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby amorphix » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:08 pm

Hm, very interesting. So I'm wondering if the cycle this year will be even better for applicants/worse for law schools, or about the same. One could argue, I guess, that with this trend continuing as more than just a one-year fluke will send some adcoms into a tizzy, thereby resulting in unusual admission leniency. One can hope, anyway. =P

Miracle
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Miracle » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:11 pm

amorphix wrote:Hm, very interesting. So I'm wondering if the cycle this year will be even better for applicants/worse for law schools, or about the same. One could argue, I guess, that with this trend continuing as more than just a one-year fluke will send some adcoms into a tizzy, thereby resulting in unusual admission leniency. One can hope, anyway. =P


I was reading an article that said schools are cutting on their class sizes, which is very good news!

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KevinP
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby KevinP » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:14 pm

This decline will be good for both future law school applicants and job applicants. A noticeable portion of law schools are already cutting class sizes due to the downturn in applicants. The current decline in law school applicants reminds me of computer science enrollment and subsequent class size decrease after the dot-com bust.

Nova wrote:http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/are_smartest_people_discouraged_avoiding_law_school_stats_show_bigger_drop_/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email

This article is a bit misleading because it looks at a subsection of this year's cycle and makes statements based on extrapolation. If you look at the decline over the last 2 years, and account for the later parts of this cycle, the decline is much closer to being evenly distributed than it is towards being skewed at the upper end. The 170-174 group saw a very small decline last cycle, and therefore it is unsurprising that this cycle would produce a "correcting" larger decline in the 170-174 group.

The following chart doesn't account for the later part of the cycle (too lazy to runs the stats and LSAC has closed off the section), but you'll see that those with higher LSAT scores applies unexpectedly towards the end of the cycle. Looking at the applications over a 2 year period will yield a better estimate in terms of the LSAT score breakdowns. It is true that the decrease is slightly more pronounced towards the higher LSATs, but hardly in the way the article suggests.

Image
key:
Δ2010/2011 = change in applicants by LSAT score from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011.
Δ2011/2012 YTD* = change in applicants by LSAT score from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012 year to date.
Δ2010/2012 YTD* = change in applicants by LSAT score from Fall 2010 to Fall 2012. This portion assumes that the YTD percentages remain constant.
(Σ Δ) / n = overall decline. E.g. for last year (delta 2010-2011), overall apps decreased by 10.7%. (Sum of deltas divided by the number of deltas)
YTD=03/30 = Numbers for this year as of March 30th 2012.

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Br3v
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Br3v » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:27 pm

Compared to like 20 years ago its not the same.

But do any (current and last year) applicants feel really great-full to be applying with some upside like this? I mean some of our co-TLS'ers, like I guess current new grads, 3L/2L entered LS when people were taking beatings. Not that this means anything, but I am just glad that we have one less thing to worry about I guess.

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KevinP
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby KevinP » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:37 pm

Also, the decline will probably make it easier for borderline candidates to get accepted and for those with numbers above median to negotiate scholarships, but the decline is unlikely to produce unreasonable acceptances to the T14 schools.

I expect this for the following reasons:
(1) If you look at other fields that have produced a huge decline in applicants in a relatively short time, the top schools acted rationally by decreasing enrollment. I grant that the law school model is unique because of the high tuition, but the T14 schools are in stiff competition with each other for both medians and for employment outcomes.
(2) LSAC has a study on previous years for which applicants declined to law schools (90s). The study found that law schools let GPA medians slide before they let LSAT medians slide. Splitters everywhere should rejoice.

I think the top applicants will stand to benefit the most from these declines because of better scholarship offers, because of a (hopefully) improving legal market, and because of the (expected) decrease in enrollment at top schools.

ETA: I feel as if the classes of 2011-2013 got the short end of the stick. 2011 faced the worst legal market since the great depression, and 2012/2013 have the largest class sizes.

VasaVasori
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Postby VasaVasori » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:21 pm

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Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

amorphix
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby amorphix » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:48 pm

VasaVasori wrote:I dunno, I'm a little bit worried that all the news about decreases in applicants will make more people want to apply. That, combined with cuts in class sizes, might make for a very competitive cycle. Probably not this cycle, I guess, but maybe the one after this one.

I know I've read posts by a few people on here who didn't get into their target school last cycle say they're going to re-apply this upcoming cycle, hoping that it will be easier. That, combined with a lot of people advising applicants who didn't get into their target schools last cycle to try again this upcoming cycle because it will be easier, might make this upcoming cycle harder than one might think.


But those who are reapplying/those who were advised to reapply represent, what, a tiny number of TLSers, compared to the relatively huge pool of overall applicants. I don't think there will be TOO many people who weren't already going to apply that will end up throwing together an app at the last minute, just because they read it would be easier this year. Sure, some. But not a great number, relative to the number of people who were already planning on applying.

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2014
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby 2014 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:43 pm

The danger to you all applying next year is that ad comms were caught off guard this year and will be hell bent on being prepared for next. It could mean greater reliance on ED since those are a sure thing, more WLs since this year showed that even piles of late WL acceptances are happily accepted, and smaller classes coupled with higher tuition. Not saying that any of those are a given, but all are plausible.

Also I've said it before but I can see definite potential for drastically lower scholarship offers next year. This year people got money off of WLs, white kids below both medians haggled their way to full rides at T1s (LolGW), T14s matched T15-18 offers, etc etc. You are hard pressed to find people paying sticker next year below HYS all because adcomms were caught with their pants down and their response was to throw money at the problem and just try to get out of this year breathing. Everyone should agree that this year is unsustainable with regards to scholarships and next year might very well be the end of it where schools say fuck it, 1 point on my LSAT median is not worth the million dollars in lost tuition revenue. Yeah that means you might get in somewhere that you wouldn't have this year, but you can bet its at a price that should make you think twice about going.

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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Miracle » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:06 pm

2014 wrote:The danger to you all applying next year is that ad comms were caught off guard this year and will be hell bent on being prepared for next. It could mean greater reliance on ED since those are a sure thing, more WLs since this year showed that even piles of late WL acceptances are happily accepted, and smaller classes coupled with higher tuition. Not saying that any of those are a given, but all are plausible.

Also I've said it before but I can see definite potential for drastically lower scholarship offers next year. This year people got money off of WLs, white kids below both medians haggled their way to full rides at T1s (LolGW), T14s matched T15-18 offers, etc etc. You are hard pressed to find people paying sticker next year below HYS all because adcomms were caught with their pants down and their response was to throw money at the problem and just try to get out of this year breathing. Everyone should agree that this year is unsustainable with regards to scholarships and next year might very well be the end of it where schools say fuck it, 1 point on my LSAT median is not worth the million dollars in lost tuition revenue. Yeah that means you might get in somewhere that you wouldn't have this year, but you can bet its at a price that should make you think twice about going.


Interesting perspective. I do like what I'm seeing so far-top schools refusing to lower their standards and cutting class sizes as a result of it, however if its true that fewer applicants with high lsat score will be applying how can your argument stand? Most schools will need every point they can get on LSAT to be able to claim their standings with regards to ratings.

Miracle
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Miracle » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:08 pm

KevinP wrote:This decline will be good for both future law school applicants and job applicants. A noticeable portion of law schools are already cutting class sizes due to the downturn in applicants. The current decline in law school applicants reminds me of computer science enrollment and subsequent class size decrease after the dot-com bust.

Nova wrote:http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/are_smartest_people_discouraged_avoiding_law_school_stats_show_bigger_drop_/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email

This article is a bit misleading because it looks at a subsection of this year's cycle and makes statements based on extrapolation. If you look at the decline over the last 2 years, and account for the later parts of this cycle, the decline is much closer to being evenly distributed than it is towards being skewed at the upper end. The 170-174 group saw a very small decline last cycle, and therefore it is unsurprising that this cycle would produce a "correcting" larger decline in the 170-174 group.

The following chart doesn't account for the later part of the cycle (too lazy to runs the stats and LSAC has closed off the section), but you'll see that those with higher LSAT scores applies unexpectedly towards the end of the cycle. Looking at the applications over a 2 year period will yield a better estimate in terms of the LSAT score breakdowns. It is true that the decrease is slightly more pronounced towards the higher LSATs, but hardly in the way the article suggests.

Image
key:
Δ2010/2011 = change in applicants by LSAT score from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011.
Δ2011/2012 YTD* = change in applicants by LSAT score from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012 year to date.
Δ2010/2012 YTD* = change in applicants by LSAT score from Fall 2010 to Fall 2012. This portion assumes that the YTD percentages remain constant.
(Σ Δ) / n = overall decline. E.g. for last year (delta 2010-2011), overall apps decreased by 10.7%. (Sum of deltas divided by the number of deltas)
YTD=03/30 = Numbers for this year as of March 30th 2012.


I newer knew this. I saw them talking about this issue on news but they stated everything that the article stated.

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2014
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby 2014 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:16 pm

Miracle wrote:
2014 wrote:The danger to you all applying next year is that ad comms were caught off guard this year and will be hell bent on being prepared for next. It could mean greater reliance on ED since those are a sure thing, more WLs since this year showed that even piles of late WL acceptances are happily accepted, and smaller classes coupled with higher tuition. Not saying that any of those are a given, but all are plausible.

Also I've said it before but I can see definite potential for drastically lower scholarship offers next year. This year people got money off of WLs, white kids below both medians haggled their way to full rides at T1s (LolGW), T14s matched T15-18 offers, etc etc. You are hard pressed to find people paying sticker next year below HYS all because adcomms were caught with their pants down and their response was to throw money at the problem and just try to get out of this year breathing. Everyone should agree that this year is unsustainable with regards to scholarships and next year might very well be the end of it where schools say fuck it, 1 point on my LSAT median is not worth the million dollars in lost tuition revenue. Yeah that means you might get in somewhere that you wouldn't have this year, but you can bet its at a price that should make you think twice about going.


Interesting perspective. I do like what I'm seeing so far-top schools refusing to lower their standards and cutting class sizes as a result of it, however if its true that fewer applicants with high lsat score will be applying how can your argument stand? Most schools will need every point they can get on LSAT to be able to claim their standings with regards to ratings.

There aren't enough high LSATs for schools to sustain their medians. 170+s become a hotter commodity and schools are going to have to pay deeply for that commodity. That might happen next year, I obviously don't know, but my point is that at some point schools are going to have to take a median hit to get back to a sustainable level of scholarships. For some schools that might be next year. The last ~10 years or it has just become accepted that schools raise medians and that time is going to come to a crashing halt. Adcomms are bright people and the USNWR formula is public. For some they can probably afford to lose a point on their LSAT median and not fall, for other schools they will make the simple calculation that losing a point on their LSAT median probably results in a X spot loss and a Y revenue gain and they can decide if its worth it. Others will see it as an opportunity and will continue to use scholarship money to unsustainably gun for higher medians to try and jump the rankings as others falter and hope that as they eventually lower aid their newfound "prestige" sticks.

It's an interesting unknown but we will see.

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KevinP
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby KevinP » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:05 am

VasaVasori wrote:I dunno, I'm a little bit worried that all the news about decreases in applicants will make more people want to apply. That, combined with cuts in class sizes, might make for a very competitive cycle. Probably not this cycle, I guess, but maybe the one after this one.

I know I've read posts by a few people on here who didn't get into their target school last cycle say they're going to re-apply this upcoming cycle, hoping that it will be easier. That, combined with a lot of people advising applicants who didn't get into their target schools last cycle to try again this upcoming cycle because it will be easier, might make this upcoming cycle harder than one might think.

I'm not a fortune teller obviously, but I doubt the news about the decrease in apps will produce a strong enough effect to counteract the decrease in apps. The increased transparency of employment stats has shown just how bad the legal market is. I still shudder at the idea of gambling more than 100k in order to attend a TTT.

2014 wrote:There aren't enough high LSATs for schools to sustain their medians. 170+s become a hotter commodity and schools are going to have to pay deeply for that commodity. That might happen next year, I obviously don't know, but my point is that at some point schools are going to have to take a median hit to get back to a sustainable level of scholarships. For some schools that might be next year. The last ~10 years or it has just become accepted that schools raise medians and that time is going to come to a crashing halt. Adcomms are bright people and the USNWR formula is public. For some they can probably afford to lose a point on their LSAT median and not fall, for other schools they will make the simple calculation that losing a point on their LSAT median probably results in a X spot loss and a Y revenue gain and they can decide if its worth it. Others will see it as an opportunity and will continue to use scholarship money to unsustainably gun for higher medians to try and jump the rankings as others falter and hope that as they eventually lower aid their newfound "prestige" sticks.

It's an interesting unknown but we will see.

Very good points. I'm eagerly awaiting to see next year's medians/class sizes. It's pretty obvious that the money thrown around this cycle is nowhere near sustainable.

The biggest issue is how much of an effect this decline has had on schools. I agree that losing a point on an LSAT median may be preferable to losing a ton of money, but the decline in apps may be too drastic maintain class sizes and take only a single-point hit. The applicant pool has been cut by 1/4 overall in the last 2 years, and the 175+ scorers has been cut by more than 1/3. Combined with a continuing decline in apps, it's very, very unlikely that schools (especially T14) can maintain their class sizes without absolutely decimating their medians unless they throw around an unsustainable amount of scholarships around.

I predict a decline in class sizes and a decline/stale in medians.

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sunynp
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby sunynp » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:13 am

Not to be a downer but:

1. Applications are down because people are finally just beginning to understand how terribly over=priced law school is and how terrible the job market truly is.

2. Hastings reduced class size which made people excited until they raised the tuition of existing (not just incoming) students aggressively to cover the loss of income. No evidence that anyone at Hastings looked at employment outcomes of their grads at any single step of their decision making process.

Miracle
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby Miracle » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:57 pm

sunynp wrote:Not to be a downer but:

1. Applications are down because people are finally just beginning to understand how terribly over=priced law school is and how terrible the job market truly is.

2. Hastings reduced class size which made people excited until they raised the tuition of existing (not just incoming) students aggressively to cover the loss of income. No evidence that anyone at Hastings looked at employment outcomes of their grads at any single step of their decision making process.


I think they will only hurt themselves with such decision. As more and more people become wiser schools will be pushed in the corner, meaning that it will shift to buyers market. If schools raise tuition the probability increases that they will not be able to fill in seats.

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VUSisterRayVU
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:29 pm

sunynp wrote:Not to be a downer but:

1. Applications are down because people are finally just beginning to understand how terribly over=priced law school is and how terrible the job market truly is.

2. Hastings reduced class size which made people excited until they raised the tuition of existing (not just incoming) students aggressively to cover the loss of income. No evidence that anyone at Hastings looked at employment outcomes of their grads at any single step of their decision making process.


It's probably not fair to use UCH as an example of what will happen in the T14 this cycle though it is probably an accurate predictor of where T1s are going to go (probably moderate increases in tuition and minor decreases in class sizes). The schools that thrive on high LSAT applicants are probably going to continue accepting splitters to maintain their medians. The last cycle was nuts and there's no reason to think that suddenly, schools are just going to cut classes by 25% to maintain #s.

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KevinP
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Re: june lsat decline in #s taken

Postby KevinP » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:46 am

sunynp wrote:Not to be a downer but:

1. Applications are down because people are finally just beginning to understand how terribly over=priced law school is and how terrible the job market truly is.

Agreed. However, when taken in the context of the job market in general for those coming from UG, the T14 (w/ maybe exception of GULC) are very likely to give a good return on investment. As a currently employed full-time engineer about to head to CLS at non-sticker price, I'm almost certainly going to be in a better position from a financial perspective by attending law school.

sunynp wrote:2. Hastings reduced class size which made people excited until they raised the tuition of existing (not just incoming) students aggressively to cover the loss of income. No evidence that anyone at Hastings looked at employment outcomes of their grads at any single step of their decision making process.

This model is far more problematic at lower ranked schools. I think many T14 students would gain to benefit if the elite schools adopted such a model, even if top schools currently have unreasonable tuition prices. That said, the increase in tuition is a small amount compared to lifetime earnings for those who get biglaw/clerkships versus those who strike out.

VUSisterRayVU wrote:The last cycle was nuts and there's no reason to think that suddenly, schools are just going to cut classes by 25% to maintain #s.

It is unreasonable to expect a 25% decline at T14s, but I would be surprised if we don't see a decline around 5-10% in entering class sizes within the T14. During the milder decrease in apps last cycle, the T14 class sizes decrease by around 3% (granted this was from an all-time enrollment high).




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