Maybe it’s because of RBG. Maybe it’s because the LSAT is now offered online. Maybe it’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever the reason, law school applications are up this year — and they are up big time. As compared to this time last year, law school applications across the board are up 32%. The figure, at least to us, is not particularly surprising.
In our experience, graduate school applications always go up in recessions when young people are stuck at home and they don’t know what they wish to do with their lives. Law school, throughout the arc of history, has proven to be a go-to for young people who don’t really know what they wish to do with their lives. But it’s not only young people who don’t really know what they wish to do with their lives who are applying to law schools this year. There are also lots of young people applying on the heels of the Trump presidency, an administration that set back important causes like social justice and equality under law.
As Staci Zaretsky reports for Above the Law in a piece entitled “There’s A Run On Law School, With Applicants And Applications WAY Up,” “There are tons of good reasons to be interested in law school right now, aside from applicants being socially distanced from their former social lives. We’re in the middle of a healthcare crisis, we’ve seen our nation divided by political strife, we’ve been involved in protests for the fight against racial injustice in America, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a legal hero who fought for women’s rights, tragically passed away.”
Law school applications, including at our nation’s elite law schools, had been dwindling for some time. But, well, it seems that the times they are a-changin’ — and rather dramatically if you ask us. We’ve seen the renewed interest in attending law school firsthand. More folks have filled out our free consult form interested in law school admissions help this year than in the last two years combined. It will be interesting to see if this trend holds true next year as well. Only time will tell.
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