Highlights of the Wall Street Journal article, “Number of LSAT Test Takers Is Down 45% Since 2009,” include:
• The number of LSAT exams administered in October 2013 (33,673 exams) is 11% lower than in October 2012 (37,780 exams). This is the lowest test taker volume since 1998.
• The total number of LSAT test takers in June and October is down 38% from four years ago when test taker volume peaked. The number of test takers in October alone is down 45% compared to the 2009 high.
• The number of law school applicants dropped 12.3% compared to last year, and application volume dropped 17.9% this year.
This is good news.
There used to be a naïve belief that a legal degree was a “good thing to have.” That’s true if it’s also an inexpensive thing to have, which a law degree is not.
When the legal job market initially tanked, applicants were still applying to law school in droves. Apparently that madness has ended. These LSAT stats indicate that those serious about the law and using their legal education professionally are taking the LSAT and that far fewer applicants are defaulting to law from the social sciences and humanities than did so a few years ago.
People committed to a career that requires a legal degree and promises an income in excess of the cost of a legal education are the ones who should be taking the LSAT. And there are simply fewer people who believe they fit that description today than there were five years ago. Plus, more people today recognize both the high cost and the more limited opportunity associated with a J.D. than in years past.
They should have recognized it five years ago. The good news is that more do so today.
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