Boston Law Schools See Decline In Enrollment
Boston law schools are in the midst of an enrollment crisis.
The Boston Herald reports that, despite “Trump Bump” increasing applications at other law schools, enrollment rates at top Boston law schools have plummeted since 2012.
“Graduating law school is no longer the ticket to a very comfortable upper-middle-class living,” Harvey Silverglate, a criminal defense and civil liberties litigator, tells the Boston Herald. “You can’t blame people for not going to law school when they can go out directly from college and get a fairly well-paying job. The value of the degree has gone down, but the price of attending law school has gone up.”
Trump’s election has influenced a number of individuals to pursue a law degree.
According to a Kaplan Test Prep survey of more than 500 pre-law students, 32% say that Trump’s election influenced their decision to become lawyers, the ABA Journal reports.
“We’ve seen significant jumps in both LSAT takers and law school applications over the past admissions cycle, which has fueled speculation about how much impact, if any, the 2016 election and subsequent political climate has had on this year’s law school admissions landscape,” Jeff Thomas, executive director of Kaplan’s pre-law programs, says in a press release. “We now have an answer: It’s significant. The (Trump) bump is real.”
A Dismal Decline
Despite this phenomenon, Boston law schools haven’t been making many large strides in getting more students to enroll.
Rather, enrollment rates at many Boston law schools have dropped since 2012. At Suffolk University, there has been a 29% drop in enrollment since 2012. At Boston College, the drop was 14%. And at Northeastern, it was 7%.
Experts say that could have negative consequences especially for law students who don’t rank highly in their class.
“Legal employers have gotten into the habit of not hiring the people who are in the bottom percentage of the class and that’s true even for prestigious law schools,” University of Tennessee law professor Benjamin Barton tells the Boston Herald.
Sources: Boston Herald, Kaplan Test Prep, ABA Journal