Quality Of JD Applicants Slipping

law school

law school

Will 2016 Law Grads Struggle With The Bar Exam?

This week, Tipping the Scales reported on a new survey from Kaplan Test Prep, showing a 36 percent drop in law school applications from 2010 to 2013. But applicants aren’t the only number that’s plunging.

According to Jerry Organ, a law school professor at the University of St. Thomas, the quality of students entering law schools have declined as well. In research posted on The Legal Whiteboard, Organ came up with the following findings:

  • Applicants from the Top 50 (often elite) feeder schools declined 28 percent from 2010 to 2012.

Law school enrollment dipped 20 percent for feeder schools ranked 50 to 100.

  • In the same range, applicants with an LSAT score of 165 or better dropped by 38 percent.
  • Law schools with a median LSAT of 149 or lower rose from 9 schools in 2010 to 14 in 2011 and 21 in 2012. Organ projects 2013 numbers to include up to 30 schools.

Bottom line: Fewer top students from elite schools are choosing law school. In fact, Organ concludes that “the fall 2013 entering class is almost certainly the weakest of any class going back to fall 2002.” He adds that this drop in student talent “may impact bar passage results when the fall 2013 entering class graduates in 2016.”

With the ABA pushing to increase bar passage rates, this trend looks like another headache for law school deans.

Source: ABA Journal

law school grads

law school grads

Three Tips For Law School Interview Success

“Never let them see you sweat.”

That’s more than an advertising slogan. It’s also good advice for standing out in an interview. To get into law school, you need to first impress the alum or admissions committee member who meets with you. When that happens, you’d better be able to answer two questions” “Why me” and “Why here.”

This week, Shawn O’Connor, CEO of Stratus Prep (and Harvard Law grad), shares his insights on what works (and what doesn’t) in a law school interview:

1) Be Natural: Believe in the adage that you can never be too prepared? If you rehears too much, you run the risk of sounding ‘scripted.’ It raises red flags: “Is he hiding something? “Can he think for himself?” O’Connor encourages clients to relax and think in terms of bullet points, so they can “speak freely and authentically while sounding organized and coherent.”

2) Share Unique Information: Your interviewer has already read through your resume and essays. That’s what got you the interview. Now, she is wondering, “Is he committed to the school” and “Would he be a right fit?” Focus your interview on those areas, to help your interviewer connect the dots between what you’ve done and where you want to go. And show your interviewer how those personal qualities and personal background you haven’t yet shared would make you a valuable addition to the class.

3) Be Specific: Want to prove this law school is your top choice? O’Connor advises his clients to research the “programs, staff and environment.” Show your interviewer that you have a plan and explain why “particular classes, clubs and professors” excite you.

Note: Mr. O’Connor is holding a free essay-writing webinar on October 27 at 5:30 p.m. (EST). To register, please click here.

Source: US News and World Report