Financial Pressure

Demand for law school is down significantly.

National LSAT Figures

In June 2006, the ABA determined that it would ask law schools for only the applicant's highest LSAT score rather than the average score. This resulted in more people taking the LSAT more than once. This partially explains the uptick in LSAT takers in 2008 and 2009. (Another reason is the Dec 2007 - June 2009 recession.) The initial decline from 2009 to 2010 may be explained by the country climbing out of the recession, but declines afterwards are most likely explained by increased (and justified) negative press about law schools. While we should not compare the post-2007 LSAT numbers directly to pre-2007 numbers, a decline to the lowest levels for the years we have data is striking in light of the fact that 67% of test-takers now take the test once because fewer people took the test two or more times under the ABA's old reporting policy.

High LSAT Scorers Disappear from Law School

A reduction in the number of high LSAT scorers follows naturally from a decline in the total number of LSATs administered. Fewer people taking the LSAT means fewer people scoring in the highest score bands. Despite this, high LSAT scorers have decided against applying to law school at greater rates than their lower-scoring peers. The top 20% of test-takers declined at more than 2.5 times the rate of the bottom 20%. Test-takers scoring in the extreme risk profile declined, but by a much more modest 15.6%.

# Apps% Chg# Apps% Chg# Apps% Chg# Apps% Chg# Apps% Chg
< 1405347-5,299-.9%5,106-.5%4,724-.1%4,523+6.4%-15.4%
At Risk2376122423-5.6%20659-7.9%19045-7.8%18732-1.6%-21.2%
Not At Risk5255744360-18.5%37759-17.5%35356-6.8%33130-6.7%-37.0%
All Applicants7631866783-14.3%58418-14.3%54401-7.4%51862-4.9%-32.0%

Note that these numbers do not track total applicant data exactly. We also could not obtain 2010 data, which would have provided a better look at the change from when total applicants first fell.