Law School Admission Trends

Fewer students are applying and are putting more weight on rankings than other factors.

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There's a lot going on at this time of year, and in today's post I'd like to give you a heads-up on a few different issues:

Fewer LSAT Takers This Year

The good news: 10 percent fewer people took the LSAT this October than last October according to the Most Strongly Supported blog. However, MSS also reports that the October 2010 LSAT administration was still the second most popular LSAT administration in history.

Ranking is the #1 Consideration for Law School Applicants

In other news, Kaplan Test Prep reports that law school applicants still find a school's U.S.News and World Report ranking to be the #1 factor in choosing a law school, even above affordability, geographic location, and job placement statistics. What??? With all of the information out there about the legal market (such as my previous article about knowing what you're getting yourself into) how can this be true?

[More info on law school admissions.]

There have been loads of articles about the job prospects for entry level attorneys, and it shows that the rank of the law school doesn't make that much of a difference in whether graduates find jobs. For instance, compare this story about graduates of Lewis & Clark and this article by Northwestern Law.

The rankings can be part of your decision-making process, but shouldn't be the end-all be-all. The good news about the survey is that fewer than 1,400 law school applicants participated. I wish I could do my own survey and see if Kaplan's students were truly representative of what law school applicants value, or if these students are doing less research than other applicants.

[See our rankings of Best Law Schools.]

December LSAT is Days Away

This Saturday, Dec. 11, is the last LSAT for serious consideration in the Fall 2011 admission cycle. While schools might say they accept a February LSAT score, what they really mean is that they'll gladly accept your application fee at that time. Schools are not inclined to take late applicants (in February/March) without an LSAT score at the top range for that school. If you're taking the December LSAT, use these last minute tips.

Application Timeline for December LSAT Takers

Time is of the essence. The goal should be to submit all applications no later than the second week of January. Here is a 15-minute free podcast laying out the application timeline for December LSAT takers.

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