LSAT Test Takers Decline; Is Law School Tuition Bubble Bursting?

  • United States
  • 03/20/2012
  • Debra Cassens Weiss - American Bar Association

New statistics indicate fewer people are interested in law school, and schools are apparently responding by holding down tuition increases.

About 22,000 people took the Law School Admission Test in February, the lowest number for a February exam since 2001, according to data by the Law School Admission Council. The LSAT Blog: Ace the LSAT broke the news, which was picked up by the New York Times.

The number of people taking the test in June, October, December and February—129,925—dropped by 16 percent from the prior cycle and is also at an 11-year low point.

Are declining numbers having any effect on law schools? An analysis of tuition increases for the 2011-12 academic year published by the Am Law Daily suggests the answer is yes.

“When adjusted for inflation,” the story says, “average full-time tuition at private law schools grew less than 1 percent, with most of that growth occurring at the country’s more expensive schools. This is a significant break from previous years, and indicates that down-market law schools are responding to the decline in applicants. In other words, 2011 may be the beginning of the end of the law school tuition bubble.”


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