Law School Rejection: What To Do Next

Law Schools Respond To Over Enrollment

The 2021 law school admissions cycle is one of the most competitive seasons in decades.

As a result, law schools have run into a bit of a problem: over enrollment. Kathryn Rubino, Senior Editor at Above the Law, discussed how elite law schools such as University of Texas School of Law Austin and Duke Law have responded to over enrolling applicants.

“We already know this is the most competitive law school application cycle we’ve seen with a veritable run on applications this year — good ole’ law school is a time honored place to wait out an economic downturn,” Rubino writes. “Some law schools responded to the glut of quality applications with strict deposit guidelines, but others resorted to encouraging deferrals.”


At the University of Texas School of Law Austin, school officials offered deferrals as a solution to over enrolling applicants this year.

“While we are prepared and happy to welcome all students who submit their Letter of Intent by June 15, we are interested in keeping our enrollment as close to our ideal class size as possible through deferrals to enhance your law school experience – particularly the sense of community Texas Law is known for. A deferral would hold your seat and any scholarship awards,” school officials wrote in an email to applicants.

Duke Law, which saw a 30% increase in applicants this year, also allowed applicants to defer their admission to next year.

“Due to both the size and strength of our applicant pool, we reduced the actual number of offers of admission,” school officials say. “However, a larger percentage of admitted applicants accepted their offers (perhaps due to, among other factors, the school’s employment success which helped secure a #1 ranking in Above the Law’s 2020 Top 50) and we expect Duke Law’s incoming class will  be larger than in recent years (last year, for example, we enrolled 239 first-year students.) We recently provided our incoming students with an update on the class, and a few options in case any students would prefer to enroll next year. Of course, we are quite confident that every student will receive the usual high-quality education, whether they decide to join us this year or next.”

Sources: Above The Law,

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