Are Smartest People Avoiding Law School? Stats Show Bigger Drop in High LSAT Applicants

  • United States
  • 04/13/2012
  • Debra Cassens Weiss - American Bar Association

Are the wrong people losing interest in law school?

That’s the question posed by the Atlantic, which notes a 13.6 percent drop in applicants who scored highest on the Law School Admission Test, but only a 4.3 percent drop in applicants who scored the lowest. The Law School Admission Council released figures on the one-year drop in applicants at ABA-accredited schools based on numbers collected through the end of March.

The breakdown at the high end: Applicants scoring 175 to 180 dropped 13.6 percent, applicants scoring 170 to 174 dropped 20.7 percent, and applicants scoring 165 to 169 dropped 18.5 percent.

The breakdown at the low end: Applicants scoring less than 140 dropped 4.3 percent, applicants scoring 140 to 144 dropped 6.2 percent, and applicants scoring 145 to 149 dropped 13.8 percent.

“The smart kids got the memo,” the Atlantic says. “Law school is largely a losing game, and they’re not going to play, even though they can probably count on a better hand than most. Meanwhile, the number of laggards applying has barely budged.”

Overall, the number of would-be law students who applied at ABA-accredited law schools by the end of March dropped by 15.6 percent from the prior year, according to the Law School Admission Council. Last year at this time, the LSAC had received 91 percent of the final applicant count.


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