Update on Applications

April 14th, 2013 / By

LSAC has posted its count of law school applicants through Friday, April 5. The number of applicants had reached 52,066 by then, which was 15.9% less than the number at the same time last year. Applications have fallen more than applicants; the application total was 20.0% less than last year. The current application season is drawing to an end: By April 5 of 2012, law schools had received 96% of their applications from 91% of all applicants.

The numbers prompt these observations:

1. If current trends hold, we will finish the season with about 57,215 applicants, 15.9% less than last year’s total. That’s a stark decline, although not quite as steep as numbers suggested earlier in the season.

2. Law schools admitted 55,800 students just two years ago, when they had 78,500 students to choose from. If we admit the same number of students this year, almost every applicant will receive an offer.

3. The sharper decline in applications, compared to applicants, is noteworthy. It suggests to me that this year’s applicants are pickier than those in previous years; they are applying to fewer schools. Will that choosiness persist? If it does, schools may see lower yields on their offers than in previous years. That could depress class sizes more than the 15.9% drop in applicants suggests.


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