This week, Law.com reported that, according to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), law school application volume has increased 8% over last year. This is the first increase since 2010, when law school applications dropped. There are indications that 2019 will be the same. Law schools, in response, are indicating that more students are accepting their offers than in previous years. This matches my own observation that more people are applying to law school because of the current political environment.
LSAC also reported that the number of people taking the LSAT increased 30% this June and July over last year, another indication that this upcoming law school application season will be more competitive. Plus, more people are scoring top scores – 60% more test takers scored between 175 and 180, the highest range.
The LSAT is changing, too. Starting in 2020, the LSAC will be giving the LSAT 10 times a year, up from the current 6, and they are moving to implement the computerized version that has been tested in recent years.
Most of the LSAT changes won’t impact people applying this season although, taken with the acceptance of GRE scores for admission, it might be a sign that law schools are going to change the way they assess applicant test scores.
What does all this mean for applicants this year? In my view, it means, don’t wait to apply. More applicants means that law schools have more people to choose from and will fill their class more quickly. This also means that waitlist movement is less certain.
Finally, applicants should always put their best foot forward in applications. Better test scores overall means that the class of applicants is more competitive. Many applicants are going into law as a way to get involved in society. You can stand out by focusing on your essays and (for those planning to apply in the future) by engaging in work that prepares you for what you want to do as a lawyer.
It’s important to remember that law school admissions are all holistic. There’s no formula in terms of grades and test scores, although they definitely count. Once you have the numbers, there is opportunity for applicants who can express themselves well in the written portions of the law school application.
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