2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

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JCougar
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby JCougar » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:11 pm

slack_academic wrote:The gloom and doom accounts for a great deal of the stabilization, though. Increased awareness that law school is a bad choice for most people means more people have backed off their plans to pursue it. Spreading the bad news is one of the best ways to promote a correction of the disequilibrium between the demand for attorneys and the supply of attorneys.


This is a good post.

What some people see as "doom and gloom," other people see as reality. The reality is that the market is rough. Rougher than any practicing attorney I have spoken to remembers. Sure, things are beginning to correct themselves, but they have a longer way to go. I don't think we have seen things bottom out yet.

The "correction" from the prospective student end won't be complete until either law school admissions are down about 40% total from c/o 2011, or until tuition recedes to the point at which graduating from law school with zero job options leaves you with a still somewhat manageable debt given your other options.

And since the ABA has decided to do nothing about skyrocketing tuition or the enormous oversupply of lawyers, it is their tacit admission that they want to wait for the market to correct itself on its own as information asymmetries even out. Well, one of my goals is to goad that process along. So sue me. :D

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sinfiery
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby sinfiery » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:22 pm

JCougar wrote:Debt isn't necessarily bad. For example, medical students probably take out just as much debt as law students. However, the job market for MDs makes up for that, and makes medical school a great idea.

Safer than LS? Probably. Still far from perfect.

Annual cost of tuition: $48,000
Annual cost of attendance: $67,500 (Includes costs of books/supplies, loan fees, health insurance, licensure fees, living expenses, and transportation allowance)

Total balance after medical school: $270,000
Amount subsidized: $34,000
Amount unsubsidized: $236,000

Interest incurred during 3 years of residency: $100,000
Total balance after residency: $370,000

Monthly payment after residency: $3,370 (180 total payments)
Interest incurred after residency: $237,000
Total repayment: $607,000

http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/04/rea ... -debt.html

Job discussion:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=750678




I just think paying sticker at even a lot of T14 schools is riskier than a lot of 0Ls realize.

Agreed.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:18 pm

Arculease wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
Arculease wrote:Everyone calm the fuck down. Yes, a JD is overpriced and the legal market is shrinking. Good news? The supply side is adjusting for this. That is why LSAT administrations are continuing to plummet along with total number of applicants. Will the problem be solved instantly? No. It will take another couple of years to stable out, but it will stabilize, so stop spreading the gloom and doom and put things into perspective (which was this thread's foundation).


The bad news is that this is taking a huge toll on the reputation of the profession in general. As the graph earlier ITT demonstrated, the people skipping out on law school are disproportionately those with higher numbers. People with other options who would have normally gone to law school. We're spending our reputational capital out the ass to keep the Ivory Tower well-provisioned.

It is not a good thing for the future of this profession, if people believe that the folks who go to law school are taking the sucker's bet. I know it's hard to believe that law could ever become a second or third tier career path, but the status of profession is partly dependent on the belief that we are capable of self-regulating.

And if you think that this effect will be less pronounced at the higher end of schools/jobs, think again. Parents, teachers, friends recommend that people attend NYLS and Cooley because they mistakenly believe that all lawyers are rich and successful. That kind of simplistic thinking is a double-edged sword that can be turned against graduates of T20 schools just as easily as it was used to the benefit of TTTs.


As I have said, the market will sort all of this out. Those crap law schools that ignorant people recommend to similarly ignorant undergraduates? They will either go out of business or their reputation for getting no one a good job will precipitate down to the general public. It will become common knowledge.

Lawyers have been around since before there was a written word. If anyone seriously think that a recession can take away the prestige or power of the profession, think again. Go back and read some news articles from the 1930's - reporters were swarming around the fact that the law profession was becoming a relic of a past age due to the Great Depression. The simple fact of the matter is this - the law is too convoluted and vast for businesses, congressmen, criminal defendants, and bickering spouses to be bothered with. There will always be a need for lawyers.

Now if you want to argue the point of prestige, there might be some substance there. However, let me leave you with this last bit - there's always been jokes about lawyers, and there always will be. Similarly, the last thing someone in the legal system wants to be without is counsel.


I don't think you really understand how the market for law school works, and your faith in the "market" is misplaced. The idea that the schools to first close will be the diploma mills is misguided.

On the one hand, you have schools like Cooley and TJSL, that have no kickback requirements, don't care about admissions standards unless they affect bar passage (and have neat little tricks to get around that), and have more freedom to make cuts and changes. On the other hand, you have affiliated schools that are seeing the bread and butter of their applicant pool (mid to high 160s) dry up. They need to come up with the skim every month, and if they don't, the university will be under pressure to use those facilities for other, profitable purposes. Additionally, a drop in admissions standards for the law school might reflect poorly on the central university.

Under this scenario, it is more likely that a mid-tier school will be closed by their central university for failure to make up this applicant deficit than a school like Cooley which will just low admissions standards or hike tuition with abandon. Other than a successful lawsuit and damages, or ABA/DOE/AG action that forces their closure, I don't see a school like Cooley or NESL folding for lack of applicants- because again, people are not rational actors.

Sleazy, scummy lawyer jokes may abound, but nobody seriously questions the competence and judgment of lawyers as a whole. That is what your clients are buying. That may change when people notice that our "best and brightest" aren't heading off to law school anymore, but the folks with zero other options, substantial undergrad debt, or big dreamers with poor judgment. And even if there are always some jobs for lawyers, a lot of legal work may be taken out of their hands entirely as a result (to answer your example, at this point the criminal justice system largely involves formulaic application of the sentencing guidelines to defendants represented by PDs, something that could easily be put in the hands of an admin judge).

A severely limited legal sector may be an Econ 101 professor's wet dream, but it's not the profession I want to spend the next 40 years in.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby smaug_ » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:11 pm

I don't understand why folks are looking at this from one angle alone. Yes, some individuals who might have been top scorers are doing different things, but how much of that is caused by the changing legal market and how much of that is caused by the changing job market as a whole?

The opportunity costs for going to law school have increased for the average college graduate because the job market for someone with a BA has improved significantly. From that perspective, it shouldn't be shocking that folks are doing different things.

Given that there are fewer test takers now than there were during years of economic growth, I'd say that the realities of huge loans and bleak market are impacting things some, but I don't think the average law graduate for the class of 2016 is somehow going to be less competent than the average graduate from 2006. To believe that you'd need to think that LSAT scores and UGPA are meaningful.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby sinfiery » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:04 pm

timbs4339 wrote:folding for lack of applicants- because again, people are not rational actors

That's probably the basis for the disagreement. Even if the people in this sentence are limited to future law school attendees.


I agree with his point. The market will fix the problem, because there is a problem even at the range of 160+ lsat test takers. That is being fixed now, as is evident by the statistical information in this thread. Also with probable falling class sizes within the top 50.

The "best and the brightest" are not going to lawschool because they can't compete in the law school market. Thus the market is fixing itself within the upper 25 percentile. This is good news, not bad.

As for the loss of the whole professions cache, yes it will be effected. But two-three years worth of data will have almost no effect at all. This is not a concern. Especially when other fields would be akin to have been hurt a lot more within the last 2-6 years.


There is a separate problem with TTTTs. There are two problems here, don't lump them together. How the TTTT problem will fix itself through the market may be disastourous to many people who end up attending such schools in the process. This may be a harder problem to fix. Possibly in large part to the bigger level of ignorance among this applicant pool.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby JCougar » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:16 pm

sinfiery wrote:There is a separate problem with TTTTs. There are two problems here, don't lump them together. How the TTTT problem will fix itself through the market may be disastourous to many people who end up attending such schools in the process. This may be a harder problem to fix. Possibly in large part to the bigger level of ignorance among this applicant pool.


There's no doubt that many TTTs will have to close their doors, but there's going to be a significant lag time. The ABA won't shut these hell-holes down, but it will take away their accreditation when their graduates fail the bar exam en masse. This year's incoming 1L class was the first to see significant enough drops in applicants to put a dent in schools' LSAT medians. So once this class (2015) graduates, statistics show that a far greater percentage of them do not have the intellectual ability or drive to pass the bar exam. Schools on the fringes are already having problems with pass rates, so any drop in their entering class' credentials could have a serious detrimental effect.

However, it takes more than one class of terrible bar results to strip a school of accreditation. It takes a few years. So we're looking at maybe 2018 at the soonest that these schools get shut down, unless the ABA takes other action.

That's 5-6 more entering classes these scam schools will be able to admit and extract student loan money from. I'm not comfortable with it taking that long.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby sinfiery » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:21 pm

JCougar wrote:That's 5-6 more entering classes these scam schools will be able to admit and extract student loan money from. I'm not comfortable with it taking that long.

Me either.

But the mediums that seem to be the most responsive to these problems (TLS) seem to lack traction within these circles.


It's a shame. Hopefully something that will change as society progresses in the future. Sadly, this isn't the case yet.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:28 pm

JCougar wrote:
sinfiery wrote:There is a separate problem with TTTTs. There are two problems here, don't lump them together. How the TTTT problem will fix itself through the market may be disastourous to many people who end up attending such schools in the process. This may be a harder problem to fix. Possibly in large part to the bigger level of ignorance among this applicant pool.


There's no doubt that many TTTs will have to close their doors, but there's going to be a significant lag time. The ABA won't shut these hell-holes down, but it will take away their accreditation when their graduates fail the bar exam en masse. This year's incoming 1L class was the first to see significant enough drops in applicants to put a dent in schools' LSAT medians. So once this class (2015) graduates, statistics show that a far greater percentage of them do not have the intellectual ability or drive to pass the bar exam. Schools on the fringes are already having problems with pass rates, so any drop in their entering class' credentials could have a serious detrimental effect.

However, it takes more than one class of terrible bar results to strip a school of accreditation. It takes a few years. So we're looking at maybe 2018 at the soonest that these schools get shut down, unless the ABA takes other action.

That's 5-6 more entering classes these scam schools will be able to admit and extract student loan money from. I'm not comfortable with it taking that long.


Also remember that these schools have a number of tricks up their sleeve to delay the reckoning. They can fail more students out 1L and 2L year and require students below a certain GPA to take remedial bar prep classes before graduating- both increasing the passage rate and taking them out of the test-taking population. These are tactics that students who attend these schools either don't know or don't care (because of cognitive bias) about, and so wouldn't hurt the school's recruiting efforts as much as if GW or WUSTL failed out 1/3 of the 1L class.

Diploma mills have also captured the ABA Section on Legal Education and have a powerful PR card to play against the state bar associations in terms of the disproportionately poor performance of minorities on the bar exam. See this article: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... _standard/

IIRC, one of the two possible standards for revoking accreditation based on bar passage rates relies on a school's score relative to other schools. So a school can still have a 40% first-time bar passage rate and remain in compliance if the overall first-time passage rate is 64%[54%]. This is why Cooley is still not out of compliance in Michigan even with a 51% first time rate. And if a school does fail the test, there is an additional standard that will grant the school an extension at the option of the Section on Legal Education. So I'm thinking more like 10 years.

http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/ ... eckdam.pdf
Last edited by timbs4339 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby JCougar » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:53 am

Any way you look at it, the ABA has been embarrassing itself by not taking action sooner. It's been 4 years since the legal market collapsed. All they've done is take a small step in increasing the granularity with which schools report employment statistics. It's progress, I guess, but it's not doing enough to stop the shit from hitting the fan. Tuition is still going up! People are committing suicide because they are buried in debt they have no hope of paying off. But that doesn't matter, because this is all a huge money grab.

The stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post are going to keep coming and continue to embarrass the profession until tuition goes down.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby NoodleyOne » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:00 am

JCougar wrote:Any way you look at it, the ABA has been embarrassing itself by not taking action sooner. It's been 4 years since the legal market collapsed. All they've done is take a small step in increasing the granularity with which schools report employment statistics. It's progress, I guess, but it's not doing enough to stop the shit from hitting the fan. Tuition is still going up! People are committing suicide because they are buried in debt they have no hope of paying off. But that doesn't matter, because this is all a huge money grab.

The stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post are going to keep coming and continue to embarrass the profession until tuition goes down.

I don't disagree with this at all. The ABA should be more aggressive on shutting down these degree mills and more proactive in increasing transparency about job placement. No one will dispute that. I guess the thing that bugs me about some of the people on the site is how it seems that the sky is falling all the time. The market certainly isn't good, and paying sticker at anywhere except HYS is likely a bad move (these things are not in dispute by anyone on this site), but I feel that the doom and gloom is overstated.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby one_by_one » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:31 pm

Rejoice!

"As of 12/07/12, there are 106,608 Fall 2013 applications submitted by 16,241 applicants. Applicants are down 22.4% and applications are down 24.6% from 2012.

Last year at this time, we had 31% of the preliminary final applicant count."

from http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... volume.asp

This should be fun.

skri65
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby skri65 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:39 pm

one_by_one wrote:Rejoice!

"As of 12/07/12, there are 106,608 Fall 2013 applications submitted by 16,241 applicants. Applicants are down 22.4% and applications are down 24.6% from 2012.

Last year at this time, we had 31% of the preliminary final applicant count."

from http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... volume.asp

This should be fun.


WOW

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby mattviphky » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:45 pm

skri65 wrote:
one_by_one wrote:Rejoice!

"As of 12/07/12, there are 106,608 Fall 2013 applications submitted by 16,241 applicants. Applicants are down 22.4% and applications are down 24.6% from 2012.

Last year at this time, we had 31% of the preliminary final applicant count."

from http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... volume.asp

This should be fun.


WOW


Applicant and Application rates go down, acceptance rates go up. At least with the high volume of applicants schools would have more selectivity. Still, this has to have SOME effect on the bottom feeders that accept everyone.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby Ruxin1 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:49 pm

one_by_one wrote:Rejoice!

"As of 12/07/12, there are 106,608 Fall 2013 applications submitted by 16,241 applicants. Applicants are down 22.4% and applications are down 24.6% from 2012.

Last year at this time, we had 31% of the preliminary final applicant count."

from http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... volume.asp

This should be fun.


I wonder if this year is any higher than the 31% of the total count as well?

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JCougar
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby JCougar » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:22 pm

one_by_one wrote:Rejoice!

"As of 12/07/12, there are 106,608 Fall 2013 applications submitted by 16,241 applicants. Applicants are down 22.4% and applications are down 24.6% from 2012.

Last year at this time, we had 31% of the preliminary final applicant count."

from http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... volume.asp

This should be fun.


Holy crap. That's huge. This year is very stressful for law schools, but they are still extracting tuition from the huge class of 2013. Once we graduate, this dries up a large revenue source. Couple this with a huge drop in applicants, and I think we see some law schools shut their doors.

I wonder if Dean Alexander will even be able to field a full class at Indy Tech. :lol:

A 24% drop in applicants is the same thing as if 50 law schools were just shut down. Either class sizes are going to have to get much smaller, or admissions standards are going to plummet.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby NoodleyOne » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:28 pm

Come on Harvard!

timbs4339
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:49 pm

Let's see how they reduce class sizes. They can reduce and still maintain admissions selectivity- but not when it stops pinching and starts bleeding.

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helix23
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby helix23 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:17 am

I wonder how much bigger of a dip it would be if TLS didn't tell everybody to retake.

skri65
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby skri65 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:39 am

I have a feeling waitlists are going to be enormous in size this year

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JCougar
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby JCougar » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:59 am

There's going to be a shitshow. Honestly, if people living in the bubble world of legal academia haven't woken the fuck up by now, in another year, they'll be demanding change.

I hope there are large and systemic changes, because this curriculum is about 150 years old and needs updating, not to mention how the cost has become criminal.

Legal academia is kind of like a religious cult. People do nonsensical things just because its "tradition," and you're excommunicated or ignored if you have new ideas/think differently. It's the only way such an irrational, wasteful, painful, and useless system has survived for so long. That, and they way they've somehow managed to keep the money rolling in despite how worthless it is.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby DavidHasselhoff » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:54 am

So, did anyone else catch that LSAC made over $20MM in just LSAT (these are only the administered fees and not the cancellations, late fees, no shows, etc. which are usually another 30% plus) fees last year, and will probably make about the same amount again this year? Additionally, did anyone stop to think that the CAS fees are about as much as the LSAT? In essence, LSAC is a government-sanctioned monopoly that charges astronomical fees and yet, is still so incompetent that they can't even get our scores to us in less than a month. Hello!!! They are making more than $100MM per year...For What!?!

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby jkpolk » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:28 am

DavidHasselhoff wrote:So, did anyone else catch that LSAC made over $20MM in just LSAT (these are only the administered fees and not the cancellations, late fees, no shows, etc. which are usually another 30% plus) fees last year, and will probably make about the same amount again this year? Additionally, did anyone stop to think that the CAS fees are about as much as the LSAT? In essence, LSAC is a government-sanctioned monopoly that charges astronomical fees and yet, is still so incompetent that they can't even get our scores to us in less than a month. Hello!!! They are making more than $100MM per year...For What!?!

the market isn't stopping you from founding a company to compete with LSAC. go for it, young grasshopper.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby one_by_one » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:35 am

Pulled this from the other thread in the LSAT prep forum:

KevinP wrote:New data published:
http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/ ... volume.asp

I haven't kept up with law school info since I stopped caring, but I have access to the score breakdowns. I'd post them but don't want to get in trouble with LOLSAC. This breakdown this time is a bit weird... decline was greatest among top (170+) and bottom (149-) applicants. 175+ group saw such a huge decline... you wouldn't believe me even if I wrote it.


We so excited.

timbs4339
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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:35 pm

JCougar wrote:There's going to be a shitshow. Honestly, if people living in the bubble world of legal academia haven't woken the fuck up by now, in another year, they'll be demanding change.

I hope there are large and systemic changes, because this curriculum is about 150 years old and needs updating, not to mention how the cost has become criminal.

Legal academia is kind of like a religious cult. People do nonsensical things just because its "tradition," and you're excommunicated or ignored if you have new ideas/think differently. It's the only way such an irrational, wasteful, painful, and useless system has survived for so long. That, and they way they've somehow managed to keep the money rolling in despite how worthless it is.


The newest line of argument is that we can't have two year schools, practice schools, or super-cheap 10K/year schools because that would enshrine a two-tier model and make a judgment that one class of students is better than the other. It's not that there isn't already a two-tier system in practice, just that we can't admit it. So the conclusion is that students should keep paying 45K per year to go to true TTTs because progressive academics do not want to admit that there's always going to be a huge difference in placement between NYLS and NYU or Harvard and Suffolk no matter how much Suffolk and NYLS charge to structure themselves like Harvard and NYU.
Last edited by timbs4339 on Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012 October LSAT Takers: 37,780! (-16.4%)

Postby Cellar-door » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:57 pm

DavidHasselhoff wrote:So, did anyone else catch that LSAC made over $20MM in just LSAT (these are only the administered fees and not the cancellations, late fees, no shows, etc. which are usually another 30% plus) fees last year, and will probably make about the same amount again this year? Additionally, did anyone stop to think that the CAS fees are about as much as the LSAT? In essence, LSAC is a government-sanctioned monopoly that charges astronomical fees and yet, is still so incompetent that they can't even get our scores to us in less than a month. Hello!!! They are making more than $100MM per year...For What!?!


That isn't profit that is income. They have to pay salaries, production expenses, server and IT expenses, rent, shipping etc out of that. You are showing a complete lack of understanding as to the basics of how a company works.

The scores take 4 weeks for several reasons which are logistics rather than money based...
1. All the tests have to make it to the facility from all over the world.
2. They have to be individually checked by hand to read the certifying statement etc.
3. They have to be scored through scantron.
4. Any abnormalities have to be investigated
5. The questions are each individually evaluated to see if they showed a previously unrevealed bias based on race, gender etc. and then a decision has to be made whether to remove the question.
6. The "curve" has to be set

Several of those steps involve very thorough in-person work, which takes a lot of time when you are dealing with tens of thousands of tests.




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