LSAC just released the end of the year matriculation data for students entering law school in the fall of 2012. 41,400 of those law students matriculated. It appears to be the lowest number since the LSAC began recording data this way in the early 2000s. The fall 2013 class will probably drop by a comparable amount year-over-year.
It's even less than the 42,500 a number of law professors had been projecting.
Even before the recession, law school was never as lucrative an option as the general public believed, but right now might be the best time in the last couple of decades to apply. Certainly there'll still be no actual shortage of lawyers and the halcyon days of biglaw are over, but the general supply/demand ratio will probably be more favorable for the classes of 2016 and 2017 than for the classes of 2000-2013.
(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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