It may sound backwards, but law school applicants can now use the dismal job market to their advantage, The National Law Journal reports. Due to the lower employment potential and a greater awareness of the risk in attending law school, the past two years saw a 25 percent drop in law school applicants across the country. In response, law schools have started accepting more applicants and “sweetening their scholarship packages.”
While in the past merit scholarships were typically offered to those with impressive GPAs and LSAT scores, many applicants with less impressive credentials are being wooed this year. Plus, wait-list activity is buzzing, as “more schools are dipping into their wait lists to fill classes, which is having a domino effect on lower-ranked schools where admittees who appeared to be committed are slipping away.” Many schools are thus left with smaller classes, despite their higher acceptance rates this year.
And as to which applicants are being accepted and offered scholarships, the decisions seem somewhat arbitrary. Lower-performing students can negotiate their way to much lower tuition than some of their higher-performing peers. However, anyone with a scholarship offer must read the fine print, since many require students to maintain a certain GPA. It is more important than ever to take these grade stipulations into account, considering the academic credentials of those receiving scholarships this year.
Regardless, “applicants should take advantage of the relaxed admissions standards and unusually deep pot of scholarship money while they can — there simply isn’t enough money to keep doling out scholarships at this pace every year.” Maybe this isn’t such a bad time to apply to law school anyway…
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