Why Are Law Schools Seeing A Surge In Applicants?

Law schools are seeing a 20% surge of applicants, with the biggest growth amongst high LSAT scorers.

Law.com, which reported the findings, says that as of early March 2021, 55,166 people applied to law school for the 2021-22 academic year – a 20% increase from one year ago. The jump marks the largest year growth in the past two decades.


High LSAT scorers saw a large jump this cycle with scores of 165-169 up nearly 27%, according to Law.com.

Amongst racial categories, the number of applicants is also up across the board with Black applicants seeing a 24% increase and Latinx applicants seeing 20%.

“We’re not only glad about the overall number of applicants, but we’re so pleased to see that each racial group has also increased,” Kellye Testy, president of the Law School Admission Council, tells Law.com. “That’s critical for diversity and equity.”


Experts have offered a number of reasons behind the surge in applicants this cycle.

According to Vikram David Amar, dean at the University of Illinois College of Law on the Urbana-Champaign campus, it may be a response to COVID-19.

“One [reason] is that many people wanted to go to law school last year, but chose not to because of COVID and the problems it created (as to geographic mobility, financial hardships for many families, and the necessity of remote or hybrid instruction at most law schools, to name just a few),” Amar writes for Verdict. “As expectations for a return to a (mostly) normal fall 2021 at law schools are rising, perhaps many people who have wanted to be in the law school game for a while are coming in off the sideline now.”

Another reason? Current world events and the role that lawyers play in them.

“I really believe that the visibility of law as critical to helping with the major societal issues we’re facing—whether it’s criminal justice, race equity, government accountability, climate—there’s just so much interest among young people in helping in those areas,” Testy tells Law.com.

Sources: Law.com, Verdict

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