We read every day about how college applications are on the rise. More students are applying to more colleges than ever before, and acceptance rates are lower each year. With more students being denied admission than ever before in college admissions history, colleges are actually beginning to boast about their rejection rates. Would it interest you to know that the opposite trend is now occurring with law school admissions?
According to an article in the “Wall Street Journal” by Nathan Koppel, “Student applications to law schools are down sharply this year, as college seniors grow leery of a degree that promises certain debt and uncertain job prospects. The number of law-school applicants this year is down 11.5% from a year ago to 66,876, according to the Law School Admission Council Inc. The figure, which is a tally of applications for the fall 2011 class, is the lowest since 2001 at this stage of the process. The Council estimates that the application process is 86% complete, based on historical patterns.
Prospective law students increasingly are aware of the grim job market for lawyers and the challenges they would face in paying off law-school loans, college career advisers said. Corporate law firms, long the employer of choice for many graduates, have cut back on hiring in recent years, and most firms haven’t raised salaries for starting lawyers.”
The law school applicants who used to apply because they didn’t know what else to do with their lives aren’t applying anymore. The financial investment is too great if the top firms aren’t hiring, if salaries are frozen, if you have to do years of grunt work to be able to bill $1,000 an hour. Also, in today’s economy, you don’t need an advanced degree to have a successful career. And that has led to an overall decline in law school applicants — quite the opposite trend of the one in undergraduate admissions.
Check out the “Wall Street Journal” article here.
And check out our related blog: Law school applicants.