Check Out Predictions About 2017-2018 Law School Application Trends
A new law school application cycle is around the corner. Michelle Kim Hall, Director of Law Counseling at Stratus Admissions Counseling, tells U.S. News that there are a few new things law applicants should expect this year when applying to law school.
1.) More competition
The number of law school applicants has only gone down 0.1% from last admissions cycle. Despite this, the number of applications rose 1.5%, according to the Law School Admission Council. Hall says this statistic suggests fewer prospective J.D.s were applying to more schools.
Most recently, the June 2017 LSAT saw a 19.8% rise in the number of test-takers. Harvard Law School has a 5% increase in applications over the past two years, while Hofstra University’s Maurice Deane School of Law saw two-times the number of applications for the fall 2017 class.
These numbers suggest that applications are rising. As a result, admissions committees will only be granting admission to quality students.
2.) Changes to LSAT evaluation
More schools are now accepting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT. Despite the LSAT’s changing status, Hall observes that “more prospective applicants than ever are taking the exam, and repeat test-takers make up a larger percentage of those testers.” Applicants can also now retake the LSAT an unlimited number of times. This means that admissions committees will “need to adjust how they evaluate the LSAT as a measure of quality, given the influx of scores,” Hall says.
Repeated LSAT attempts can dilute the impact of scores. Applicants should beware of over-testing, focusing instead on taking the LAST when they’re fully ready.
3.) Additional essay prompts
Hall says that law schools have increasingly expanded their optional essay prompts to cover topics like “leadership experience” and “teamwork.” Short-response questions can allow schools to determine “what makes you who you are.”
This year, Stanford University has included a variety of creative optional prompts, such as detailing a literary character you most associate with.
Hall says applicants shouldn’t dismiss the creative optional prompts. The essay prompts are ways you can “humanize yourself” as an applicant on paper.
“Develop answers that contribute to the cohesive narrative you should create in your personal statement, diversity statement and letters of recommendation,” Hall says.
Sources: U.S. News, Law School Admission Council, Stanford Law School