There is an important set of factors the article does not mention or appear to have taken into account that certainly influenced the statistics as well as the authors interpretations of the LSAC data.
The analysis and graphs seem to rely on a major flawed assumption and possibly other flaws that are fatal to the statistical accuracy of what the graphs attempt to depict.
First graph: The black line is meant to represent the number of individuals that took the LSAT each year. The language in the article, for instance "annual numbers for LSAT takers", also appears to assume the LSAC Volume summary annual figure represents the total number of people
that took the test each cycle. The assumption is incorrect, invalidates the factual accuracy of the graph and thereby pulls the rug out from under any interpretations/conclusions based on it since it misrepresents the true facts.
The LSATS ADMINISTERED total number per annual cycle published in the LSAC chart http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... stered.asp
is not a headcount of the total number of people that took the test each year
. Rather, it is a count of the total number of test booklets handed to test takers once checked in at a test center whether or not a score is cancelled/not reported. Students that took the test twice in the same period are counted twice in the numbers, students that took it three times account for three of the total number, etc.
The fatal flaw of the report is that it apparently fails to take into account repeat test taker data and misunderstood what the administered tests data chart represents.http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... erData.pdf
With statistical analysis, if you put incomplete data and flawed assumptions in, then inaccurate/unreliable garbage/comparisons/correlations and conclusions come out.
The volume of people taking the LSAT does appear to be declining for now, but probably not as significantly as the article can lead you to believe. I doubt it will push down the medians and LSAT percentiles of tier 1 law schools, especially not those of T14 schools, but it will be interesting to see what happens with many of the schools lower in the rankings.
This is just a hunch and I have no data to back it up since there is no empirical source for it, but I think one of the causes for the record high test volumes during 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 testing years and significant recent drops was the various significant LSAC policy changes over the last few years. There was the roughly two year long era that ended shortly before the June 2011 LSAT when the point of no return deadline to avoid having a cancel, absent or crappy score on your CAS report if you weren't ready or something last minute interfered with your registered test day was almost three weeks before the administration date. Another likely contributing cause for higher volume is the ABA reporting and law school admissions policy changes about focusing on students highest score and LSs not having to report the average LSAT score of admitted students that took it multiple times.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for now about this topic.