Archives For LSAT Data

New statistics released by LSAC show that the number of LSAT-takers has declined over the past few years.

According to the statistics recently posted on LSAC’s website, there was a 16.9% decrease in LSAT ‘administrations’ (LSAC’s term for tests given) in October 2011 compared to October 2010. The number of October 2010 LSAT administrations was also down 10.5% from the previous year (when a record number of students–60,746– took the exam). October administrations aside, the data shows that overall, there have been fewer LSATs administered over the last two years:

Law School Aspirations, in Line Graph Form

Notice that there are two major “spikes” in LSAT administrations over the years.  Did law school suddenly become the “in” thing to do? Did LSAC and the ABA run some sort of blockbuster ad campaign for law school in 2002 and 2009?  Not quite. In 2002, right after the ‘dotcom bubble’ burst, LSAT administrations were up a whopping 23.5%!  In 2009, shortly after our economy plunged into a recession (that we’re still trying to climb out of), LSAT administrations increased by 19.8%. Correlation certainly does not mean causation, but hey – this isn’t an LSAT question – and I’m proud of my theory!

One explanation for these increases could be that during times of economic uncertainty, people are more attracted to careers that are seen to be secure routes to a comfortable income. Historically, a career in law has been held in this regard (although the New York Times would disagree). Perhaps this mini-dip in administrations means the recession is finally over!?

What does this news mean for you, the prospective law school student?  Well, you’re probably encouraged by these trends, as this likely means that there are fewer students applying for those coveted 1L spots in our nation’s law schools–here’s hoping!

What do you think?  Is the spike in LSAT-takers during times of economic hardship strictly coincidence? Are you feeling better about your chances based on this data?  Or do you think competition for the top law schools will be as stiff as it’s ever been?