Law school has traditionally been one of the most difficult higher-education institutions to gain access to, especially when you consider the massive number of qualified applicants that get turned down year after year. Applications for law school skyrocketed following the 2007-2009 recession, and more students turned to becoming a lawyer or attorney as ways to make ends meet and earn more money. In recent months there has been a trend in law school admissions that is making it easier to be accepted into law school. This recent trend has numerous reasons and causes.
After the recession passed and more people who may have applied for law school choose to venture into different career paths, applications for law school admissions tumbled across the country, and now many law schools are finding it difficult to fill their classrooms. Students who may have only had 1 or 2 options before now find themselves with 6-7 different options in terms of what law schools they have been accepted into. This has forced the lower-tier law schools to make it easier to prospective students to gain entry into the schools.
Law schools all across the country are reporting that their applicant numbers are down when compared to two or three years ago. Across the country applicant numbers for law schools have dropped by 3%, which is staggering when you consider how competitive these schools used to be to gain access to.
Substance vs. LSAT and GPA
Law schools have traditionally used two major metrics when evaluating a student’s eligibility to get into law school, the LSAT score and GPA in undergraduate school. The LSAT is a test taken by all students looking to get into law school. It is typically taken during the senior year of undergraduate study and it attempts to see how smart the applicants are and how much information they know about law. This is different from the bar exam, as the bar exam is taken after law school and includes much more detailed information in relation to law and law specifics.
GPA or grade point average is taken from the institution where the applicant was studying prior to being admitted into law school. Law schools use to only accept students who had very high GPA numbers, oftentimes in excess of 3.8 or above. Because of the lack of students applying for law school the schools have had to be more open in the type of students they are selecting for application. Law schools now are looking at student qualities such as work experience, extracurricular activities and prior experience working in law related fields when they select applicants for the school.
The future for law school admissions are uncertain at best. If the economy reverts back into its prior recession status then more people will apply for law school. If the economy continues to grow at a moderate pace then more of these students will be more willing to take their careers in other directions that may not require law school.