The New York Lawyer reports that fewer people are applying to law school. LSAC reveals that the number of people applying to matriculate this fall in law school declined by 4.6%. This is the third year in a row of decline. The preceding two years saw declines of 7.4% (2006) and 4.8% (2005). The number of applications also declined this past year.
Tom Kane of The Legal Marketing Blog posits that the decline reflects dissatisfaction with legal education and the disconnect between that education and legal practice. Not surprisingly given his topic, he see a lack of legal marketing training as a significant contributor to the decline, but he points to a number of sources who support his contention that law school does not do a good job of preparing young lawyers to practice law.
He’s not the only one making the case. I recently read a fascinating critique of legal education by Richard Matasar, Dean of New York Law School, that was published in the New York Law School Law Review in 2005. While he also goes into a lengthy evaluation of the shaky financial underpinnings of law schools, his critique of the education itself is must-reading for students who want to go to law school to practice law. Although not a recent article, "The Rise and Fall of American Legal Education" is a worthwhile one from someone on the inside of US legal education.