Law School Applications Are Finally Slowing Down

Law School Applications Are Finally Slowing Down

Law school applications are down 12% compared to this time last year, according to the Law School Admission Council.

The slowdown comes after a historic surge in law school applicants during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just last year, applications to U.S. law schools surged nearly 28% compared to 2020. While law school applications are finally seeing a decline this year, the council cautioned that it’s still too early in the application cycle to say this shift will remain as applicant volumes can be “highly volatile” at this time of year. Yet, many experts say the slowdown may signify a return to norm for law school applications.

“I do think this cycle will be down,” University of Michigan senior assistant dean Sarah Zearfoss, tells Reuters.

Michigan Law predicts that it will receive between 5,000 to 5,500 applications this admissions cycle. That’s a significant drop from the past two years, when the applicant pool was around 6,000 to 7,000 applicants.

LESS APPLICANTS, LESS COMPETITION

If the application slowdown means anything, it a sign that this year’s admissions cycle will likely be less competitive than the years before. The highly competitive nature of the 2021 application season prompted many applicants to submit their applications as soon as the 2022 cycle began. Some experts predict that the year-over-year applicant decline will diminish over time.

“It might bounce around a lot,” Mike Spivey, a law school admissions consultant, tells Reuters. “My best guess is that [the applicant pool] will end up down around 1% to 5%. The pendulum is swinging back toward normalcy. It’s going to be a lot different than the last two cycles — better for applicants and more competitive for law schools.”

Sources: Reuters, Above the Law

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