Avoiding law school in droves

The numbers of applicants may slump by 20 percent.

, The National Law Journal


As of mid-January, law school applications have dropped 20 percent from last year (and 2012 was hardly a banner year itself, as the number of applicants fell by nearly 14 percent.) If the trend holds through the final months of the admission cycle, law schools would see a 38 percent crash since their peak in 2010.

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Originally appeared in print as Law schools faces steep fall-off in applicants

What's being said

  • Julia

    Turnitin helps eradicating the worries of plagiarism in the coursework and e-books while pursuing the higher studies, but Plag Tracker comes free of cost which makes it extremely popular among the students.

  • Rdowens

    We've had a glut of lawyers for years now. It is natural especially given the economy and the price of law schools that enrollment should drop. Similar declines are being seen at other types of academic institutions as well.

  • Justice4U

    Circumstances are often outside of the control of the law student as with any other person. Particular pressures by a society facing uncertain financial security bring with them a host of developing situations that may in particular influence those studying law. Laws and politics drive this nation. Suddenly some talented law students with exceptional forte in legal writing are brought to the attention of certain agencies or political parties because their drafts may substantially influence or impact political outcomes. During years of sound fiscal reserves, perhaps these individuals 'blend into the wall' more than during years of pecuniary drought. Law students are often more passionate than their licensed, practicing peers and may offer a competitive threat to those already established in firms and earning profits. These firms may be gathering performance information on law school graduate candidates, for that reason. Sometimes acts are carried out that may interfere with the law student's enrollment, Internet access, cash flow, or other methods of intentional disruption may occur. Further, some Americans express frankly that they do not wish to see women, in particular, become attorneys. Sad, but these are some realities of unfairness that often coincide with a law education in the United States. These are things usually not discussed in law circles and certainly not drawn out on the political scene, but often kept in confidence of the particular firm or agency conducting the research. This author and article missed these possible reasons of absence, which may have also affected the enrollment or retaining of law students in their degree programs.

  • Schills

    There is plenty of work out there, just not at the price lawyers want to charge. Salaries at Big, Mid and SmallLaw all need to be cut. This includes partner salaries.

  • Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

    I'll type slowly for you, Mr. Coe. The more lawyers that flood the field, the greater the likeliehood that many of them will be left with few employment options beyond hanging out solo shingles and ginning up often meritless and even fraudulent claims of slip-and-fall, medical liability, asbestos, disability access and so on. All of which serve to undermine economic growth and job creation. Is that simple enough for you to understand, sir?

  • Lewis Burton Coe

    Will someone help me understanding the thinking behind Mr. McKinney's comment? Is he blaming the lawyers, the parties, or a system that allows for the orderly resolution of grievances? Is his thinking something like....., If we substantially reduced the number of farmers and food processors or made the cost of food extremely expensive, would we not solve the obesity problem in American in a just a few years or less?

    Here's another thought..... Is the gentleman's thinking something like .....We could get rid of growing corruption among public servants by disbanding government and replacing the rule of law with anarchy?

    Exactly who or what funds the American Tort Reform Association. Hmmm.... I wonder why it is located in Washington DC? Has anyone done any research about what percentage of all litigation at all levels involves government entities, agencies, or institutions as a named litigant? To put it blunty, litigation is NOT primarily about TORT (personal injury). For purposes of my question, you may ignore those cases that start out as State vs or The People vs where the other party is a real person who is accused of a crime. I strongly suspect that even with those cases removed from the list, that lawyers are not the problem.

  • Legal Assistant

    This is clear supply and demand. This past year has been rough on revenue for many attorneys, which perhaps is due to the sheer number of attorneys in each field flooding the market. When potential candidates don't see a clear and prosperous future in the profession, they look elsewhere. Once demand increases for the current supply, or supply decreases for the current demand... attorney wages and success will again increase and be a more popular option for our young career seekers.


  • Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

    This is heartening news in that our overly litigious nation needs more lawyers like it needs a hole in the head.

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