16.9% Decrease In October Test Takers(Detailed Stats Inside)

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SisterRayVU
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby SisterRayVU » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:36 pm

phillyboy101 wrote:I am speaking "qualified candidates" strictly in terms of lsat median numbers for law schools. So the chain of assumptions is that if test takers is down 15%, then the number of applicants with 180s is down 15%, the number with 179s is down 15%, the number with 178s is down 15%, etc., basically that the lsat decrease is dispersed evenly among scores, and not that the 15% of test takers who decided not to take the lsat this year would have scored 150 anyway, so it has no effect. So if 80% of test takers score 160+, then if we assume that this cycle, still only 80% of test takers score 160+, only that that number of test takers is down 15%, it seems that it would greatly behoove law schools to wait as long as possible to make admission decisions to minimize the damage that will be inflicted to either their class sizes, medians, or a combination thereof.


While there's probably less people scoring 170+ than there would have been when more people sat for the test, it's not an unfair assumption to guess that with a decrease in test takers, the number of people who'd score worse on the test are forgoing it.

Any guess on how next cycle will look?

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby KevinP » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:14 pm

cogitoergosum wrote:So with the decrease, what past cycle is this year most likely to look like? 2007-2008?

I think it won't be like any previous cycle; it'll just be unpredictable. I also think the way schools adapt will vary from school to school. For example, schools such as GULC seem to be more lenient this cycle while schools such as Penn seem to drag their feet until they can assess the overall applicant pool.

SisterRayVU wrote:While there's probably less people scoring 170+ than there would have been when more people sat for the test, it's not an unfair assumption to guess that with a decrease in test takers, the number of people who'd score worse on the test are forgoing it.

True, but the converse may also hold. That is, 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%).* However, the distribution as an aggregate tended to remain relatively stable.

*Applicants in 2010 vs 2011 as of 12/3.
SisterRayVU wrote:Any guess on how next cycle will look?

I would guess the decrease, although not as steep, will continue into next cycle. U.S. News makes the same prediction.
Last edited by KevinP on Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SisterRayVU
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby SisterRayVU » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:20 pm

KevinP wrote:
SisterRayVU wrote:While there's probably less people scoring 170+ than there would have been when more people sat for the test, it's not an unfair assumption to guess that with a decrease in test takers, the number of people who'd score worse on the test are forgoing it.

True, but the converse may also hold. That is, 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%).* However, the distribution as an aggregate tended to remain relatively stable.

*Applicants in 2010 vs 2011 as of 12/3.
SisterRayVU wrote:Any guess on how next cycle will look?

I would guess the decrease, although not as steep, will continue into next cycle. U.S. News makes the same prediction.


That's pretty surprising that the biggest drop is in the 175+ group by percentage. I'm guessing that a continued decrease in test takers and applicants makes for another potentially good cycle for 2013. here's to hoping :(

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XCanadian91
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby XCanadian91 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:51 pm

Not sure if there is a 1:1 ratio of LSATs administered and applicants ... according to the LSAC data, the 15% or so increase in tests administered between 2008 - 2009 only yielded approx 4% increase in law school applicants. So this dramatic decrease in LSAT test takers may result in a more muted impact to this application cycle after all. Any thoughts?

LSAT Admin: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/lsats-administered.asp
vs.
Law School Apps: http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/vs-ethnic-gender-applicants-archive.asp

iamrobk
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby iamrobk » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:54 pm

XCanadian91 wrote:Not sure if there is a 1:1 ratio of LSATs administered and applicants ... according to the LSAC data, the 15% or so increase in tests administered between 2008 - 2009 only yielded approx 4% increase in law school applicants. So this dramatic decrease in LSAT test takers may result in a more muted impact to this application cycle after all. Any thoughts?

LSAT Admin: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/lsats-administered.asp
vs.
Law School Apps: http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/vs-ethnic-gender-applicants-archive.asp

Seems more likely to be that less people would be taking it in the first place rather than a massive amount of people deciding not to retake.
Last edited by iamrobk on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ahnhub
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby ahnhub » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:03 pm

XCanadian91 wrote:Not sure if there is a 1:1 ratio of LSATs administered and applicants ... according to the LSAC data, the 15% or so increase in tests administered between 2008 - 2009 only yielded approx 4% increase in law school applicants. So this dramatic decrease in LSAT test takers may result in a more muted impact to this application cycle after all. Any thoughts?

LSAT Admin: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/lsats-administered.asp
vs.
Law School Apps: http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/vs-ethnic-gender-applicants-archive.asp


If you assume people are retaking at about the same rate, a drastic decline in LSATs administered correlates to a corresponding decline in total number of people taking the test. The only alternative is that the # of test-takers went down only slightly but far, far fewer people are retaking, which is highly unlikely.

The "law school application explosion" problem of the past couple of years was actually somewhat overstated. A big part of the reason we had a record number of tests administered was because people got wise to the retake policy and took the test multiple times. And because people became wiser to the risks of going to a lower-tiered school, many without the credentials to get into a T1 school ended up not applying anyway. The number of actual applicants did not fluctuate that much. But when LSATS Administered declines drastically, you can be pretty sure there are fewer people interested in law school.

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XCanadian91
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby XCanadian91 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:34 pm

iamrobk wrote:
XCanadian91 wrote:Not sure if there is a 1:1 ratio of LSATs administered and applicants ... according to the LSAC data, the 15% or so increase in tests administered between 2008 - 2009 only yielded approx 4% increase in law school applicants. So this dramatic decrease in LSAT test takers may result in a more muted impact to this application cycle after all. Any thoughts?

LSAT Admin: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/lsats-administered.asp
vs.
Law School Apps: http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/vs-ethnic-gender-applicants-archive.asp

Seems more likely to be that less people would be taking it in the first place rather than a massive amount of people deciding not to retake.


I hope that's the case, but what factors would account for the difference between the ratio of tests administered to number of applicants?

I agree there is a decrease in applicants, I just don't know if it is reasonable to assume the decrease in applicants is 15%... more likely it is approximately 5% -- mirroring the impact of an increase in test takers in the past. I don't know if I'm making any sense.

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Jeffort
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Jeffort » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:46 pm

XCanadian91 wrote:

...what factors would account for the difference between the ratio of tests administered to number of applicants?



Serial repeat test takers. 33.8% of tests administered last year were taken by repeaters. That is one of the very significant factors in the statistics/big picture.

http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... erData.pdf

Also, notice in the volume summary chart linked below that the number of applicants that matriculated to law school has not gone down and that the number of admitted applicants has not gone down. Also notice that those numbers have been consistently lower than the number of applicants to ABA law schools by 30,000+ people every cycle over the last ten years.

http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... ummary.asp

There is no shortage of bodies with acceptable GPAs and high LSAT scores to admit in order to fill the seats of the entering classes at the quality law schools. Since application volume this cycle is down so far, it gives the admission committees more time to thoroughly review each applicant/application materials since they have less of a 'wipe out another section of a forest' mound of paper to sort through and read.

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby KevinP » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:23 pm

XCanadian91 wrote:I agree there is a decrease in applicants, I just don't know if it is reasonable to assume the decrease in applicants is 15%... more likely it is approximately 5% -- mirroring the impact of an increase in test takers in the past. I don't know if I'm making any sense.


I understand what you are saying, but we do have some data for the number of applicants. So far, the sharp decline in test takers is in fact translating into a proportion decrease in applicants.

Nationally, "as of Nov. 25, applicants to law school were down 16.3 percent," said Wendy Margolis, director of communications for LSAC. "Last year at that time, roughly 25 percent of the applicant count was in."

Source: --LinkRemoved--

There's also a chart released by LSAC that shows the number of applicants as of December, and the the number of applicants decreased from ~23.5k to ~19k.
Take a look at page 10: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Publi ... LSRDEC.pdf

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cogitoergosum
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby cogitoergosum » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:55 pm

KevinP wrote:
XCanadian91 wrote:I agree there is a decrease in applicants, I just don't know if it is reasonable to assume the decrease in applicants is 15%... more likely it is approximately 5% -- mirroring the impact of an increase in test takers in the past. I don't know if I'm making any sense.


I understand what you are saying, but we do have some data for the number of applicants. So far, the sharp decline in test takers is in fact translating into a proportion decrease in applicants.

Nationally, "as of Nov. 25, applicants to law school were down 16.3 percent," said Wendy Margolis, director of communications for LSAC. "Last year at that time, roughly 25 percent of the applicant count was in."

Source: --LinkRemoved--

There's also a chart released by LSAC that shows the number of applicants as of December, and the the number of applicants decreased from ~23.5k to ~19k.
Take a look at page 10: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Publi ... LSRDEC.pdf

Nice KevinP... there's no denying that there is a significant decrease in applicants this year when compared with last year, at least so far..

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XCanadian91
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby XCanadian91 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:10 pm

cogitoergosum wrote:
KevinP wrote:
XCanadian91 wrote:I agree there is a decrease in applicants, I just don't know if it is reasonable to assume the decrease in applicants is 15%... more likely it is approximately 5% -- mirroring the impact of an increase in test takers in the past. I don't know if I'm making any sense.


I understand what you are saying, but we do have some data for the number of applicants. So far, the sharp decline in test takers is in fact translating into a proportion decrease in applicants.

Nationally, "as of Nov. 25, applicants to law school were down 16.3 percent," said Wendy Margolis, director of communications for LSAC. "Last year at that time, roughly 25 percent of the applicant count was in."

Source: --LinkRemoved--

There's also a chart released by LSAC that shows the number of applicants as of December, and the the number of applicants decreased from ~23.5k to ~19k.
Take a look at page 10: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Publi ... LSRDEC.pdf

Nice KevinP... there's no denying that there is a significant decrease in applicants this year when compared with last year, at least so far..


Sweet. Great work KevinP.

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Elliott_Smith
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Elliott_Smith » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:37 am

Wow, just saw this.

Cool :)

EMZE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby EMZE » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:22 pm

Reading through a lot of last years threads, last years cycle anticipated more lenient decisions based on the drops in test takers and applicants. At the end of the cycle though and based on the changes to medians, there seems to have been little change. Since the LSAT is good for several years, I would expect that is why it was not nearly as forgiving a cycle.

Since the drop in test takers continued on past last cycle, there would be a compounding effect of fewer people with eligible LSAT's the longer the percentages continue to decline, which I would think also has a compounding effect on how lenient cycles are compared to past ones, since a drop in tests administered over a year don't account solely for the number of applicants. Unless the numbers rise again next year to the same scale that they declined this year, I would think the full effect of the drop in numbers this year have a substantial effect on next year. Even once the new normal is established, it will require those who took the test in years prior to become ineligible until the real effect on schools and their numbers are visible.

Someone already mentioned that this year there are something like 2200 172+ applicants, but adding in those eligible to apply and applying with those scores, minus the ones already attending school, there are probably many more out there, though I haven't see the data that would really lead to a comfortable answer on what that number is.

I am also curious about the lenient curves for the two most recent tests. Since its not really a curve, but an adjusted scale, I wonder if the tester pool contains a greater % of individuals unaware and undeterred by the current state of the legal market and scoring in the lower end of the spectrum.

EMZE
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby EMZE » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:22 pm

Reading through a lot of last years threads, last years cycle anticipated more lenient decisions based on the drops in test takers and applicants. At the end of the cycle though and based on the changes to medians, there seems to have been little change. Since the LSAT is good for several years, I would expect that is why it was not nearly as forgiving a cycle.

Since the drop in test takers continued on past last cycle, there would be a compounding effect of fewer people with eligible LSAT's the longer the percentages continue to decline, which I would think also has a compounding effect on how lenient cycles are compared to past ones, since a drop in tests administered over a year don't account solely for the number of applicants. Unless the numbers rise again next year to the same scale that they declined this year, I would think the full effect of the drop in numbers this year have a substantial effect on next year. Even once the new normal is established, it will require those who took the test in years prior to become ineligible until the real effect on schools and their numbers are visible.

Someone already mentioned that this year there are something like 2200 172+ applicants, but adding in those eligible to apply and applying with those scores, minus the ones already attending school, there are probably many more out there, though I haven't see the data that would really lead to a comfortable answer on what that number is.

I am also curious about the lenient curves for the two most recent tests. Since its not really a curve, but an adjusted scale, I wonder if the tester pool contains a greater % of individuals unaware and undeterred by the current state of the legal market and scoring in the lower end of the spectrum.

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers

Postby PDaddy » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:00 am

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:Good work, everyone. As long as we keep telling people the horrifying reality of law school we'll all eventually have less competition in the job market. And yes, THANK YOU BASED GOD!


Not so sure that the reduced number of law applicants and law grads (and a slowly recovering economy) will have any discernable effect on job prospects for new grads (2013-2016).

There are many recent Law grads out there who will still be competing for jobs for several years to come. A 2015 grad, for example, will theoretically be competing with graduates from his own class as well as many grads and out-of-work attorneys from several prior classes (say 2008-2014), many of who were very strong candidates and were offered, deferred, and then laid off by the firms that recruited them. Others never got into the door but have likely found ways to build their resumes.

While it's true that a good number have left the profession or will be out of it altogether by 2015, there will still be strong competition for jobs as a result of competition from those who deserved jobs but were not retained or hired because of the economy. It would be unwise to assume that biglaw and midsized firms would just forget about those people, especially if they have remained in contact and stayed productive.

Firms have also found ways to function productively without as much associate labor, which, in the immediate future, should allow them to remain competitive without opening the floodgates for new associates.

We should thus temper our excitement. For the next decade and possibly beyond, law graduates will have to work their tails off to find legal employment, and barring a return to pre-2000 economic levels, many deserving attorneys will likely be unemployed or be forced to consider alternative careers. It took about five years for legal employment to crash, and it may take about 10-15 years for legal jobs to recover.

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:10 am

I would guess the decrease, although not as steep, will continue into next cycle. U.S. News makes the same prediction.


Source? Would be interested in reading their explanation

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby KevinP » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:34 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:
I would guess the decrease, although not as steep, will continue into next cycle. U.S. News makes the same prediction.


Source? Would be interested in reading their explanation

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/l ... ds-in-2012

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jrthor10
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby jrthor10 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:49 pm

FYI: As I just posted in the GULC forum, Dean Cornblatt said that GULC had 6,000 applicants so far this year and they were expecting around 8,000 total. They had 12,000 last year. Take that for what it is worth.

iamrobk
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby iamrobk » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:52 pm

jrthor10 wrote:FYI: As I just posted in the GULC forum, Dean Cornblatt said that GULC had 6,000 applicants so far this year and they were expecting around 8,000 total. They had 12,000 last year. Take that for what it is worth.

Jeez... :shock:

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Cornelius » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:09 am

jrthor10 wrote:FYI: As I just posted in the GULC forum, Dean Cornblatt said that GULC had 6,000 applicants so far this year and they were expecting around 8,000 total. They had 12,000 last year. Take that for what it is worth.

That's a heck of a decrease.

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby KevinP » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:14 am

iamrobk wrote:
jrthor10 wrote:FYI: As I just posted in the GULC forum, Dean Cornblatt said that GULC had 6,000 applicants so far this year and they were expecting around 8,000 total. They had 12,000 last year. Take that for what it is worth.

Jeez... :shock:


+1. Now, I'm even more convinced that schools will utilize the waitlist more extensively this cycle.

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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby nkp007 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:25 am

jrthor10 wrote:FYI: As I just posted in the GULC forum, Dean Cornblatt said that GULC had 6,000 applicants so far this year and they were expecting around 8,000 total. They had 12,000 last year. Take that for what it is worth.


That's a 33% drop. Incredible.

Edit: I can do basic math.

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby KevinP » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:57 am

nkp007 wrote:
jrthor10 wrote:FYI: As I just posted in the GULC forum, Dean Cornblatt said that GULC had 6,000 applicants so far this year and they were expecting around 8,000 total. They had 12,000 last year. Take that for what it is worth.


That's a 33% drop. Incredible.

Edit: I can do basic math.


I think the 12k (11,524 for FT) was actually for the C/O 2013. I think they had around 10k for the C/O 2014 (--LinkRemoved--). Still, a decrease from 10k to 8k is ~20%.

Edit:
Interesting takeaway from the article: "Our decrease was greater among the less qualified applicants. The number of top applicants (3.75 GPA and higher and 170 LSAT score and higher) to Georgetown dropped by only 7%."

Given the 9% nationwide application decline, 7% among the top candidates is still significant.
Last edited by KevinP on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby Mr. Somebody » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:59 am

...
Last edited by Mr. Somebody on Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KevinP
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Re: 16.9% Drop in October Test Takers (December fell 14.9%)

Postby KevinP » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:09 pm

^
You are not alone. Seems as if some other splitters are also not feeling the effects of the decrease in applicants. Although I probably wouldn't be classified as a splitter, my GPA is slightly on the lower side, and I definitely feel as if some schools have been ignoring me.




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