Standalone Law Schools Struggle

Law School Applications Continue Steep Decline

Well, the numbers are out. And they don’t paint a pretty picture.

This week, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) released some preliminary numbers for the class of 2014. And Surprise, surprise: Enrollments are down. According to LSAC, there were 67,500 applicants for the incoming class of 2012 and roughly 59,500 applicants for the incoming class of 2013. Thus far, there have only been 14,171 applicants for the class of 2014, which is down 13.6 percent over the same period in the previous year:

According to Paul Campos, a University of Colorado Law School professor, these numbers project 50,500 applicants for the class of 2014. And fewer applications mean fewer enrollments. According to Campos’ numbers, 44,500 students were accepted into law school this year. And next year? Expect that number to drop to 39,000 to 40,000 students. And this decline is occurring despite law schools increasing the percentage of admitted students by 15.5 percent between 2004 and 2011.

“Law school crisis?” Maybe not yet. But nearly everyone is feeling the pinch. With schools doing everything from cutting administrative staff to lowering tuition, you have to wonder: What tools do they have left to stop the bleeding?

Sources: Lawyers, Guns & Money, LSAC