Law School Admissions Trends
- Jan 06, 2022
- Law School Admissions
- Reviewed by: Matt Riley
So, what is going on with law school admissions these days? Since the 2020 law school application cycle, we have seen an extraordinary rise both in the size and competitiveness of the applicant pool. If you ever find yourself scrolling through law school admissions reddit forums, you’ll come across many first-hand POVs describing this academic Hunger Games scenario. This blog will answer three key questions related to trends in law school applications and best practices to increase the odds that you can get into your dream school. First, what happened last cycle? Second, what is happening now? Third, what does that mean for your application?
The 2020 Law School Admissions Cycle—How Did We Get Here?
Last year saw a huge increase in the number of people who took the LSAT. In fact, other than the 2009-2010 cycle, last year was the largest LSAT year in history. Also, much like 2009-2010, this coincided with a bad economy. Correlation, not causation… we get it… but it is still a factor worth mentioning.
As one might expect, more LSAT test takers = more law school applicants. Compared to the 2019 cycle, the 2020 cycle saw law school applications rise by 28%. Moreover, the number of law school applicants rose by 15%. This means that more people were applying to law schools AND the average applicant was applying to a greater number of schools. Ultimately, roughly 38,000 1L’s began law school in 2020.
LSAT scores were also unusually high. Applicants with a 160-180 LSAT score rose by 35% and the average LSAT score was up 0.9 points, leading some to wonder if the LSAT-Flex/remote LSAT is easier than the normal LSAT.
According to LSAC, the rise can be attributed to at least three factors. First, test takers could test at home. The ease and comfort of taking the LSAT in a familiar location may have minimized test day anxiety. Second, test takers had the option to preview and then cancel their scores. Third, the top quarter of test takers spent 30% more time studying than in previous years (194 hours to 252 hours). Guess there’s not much else to do when you’re stuck inside, right?
The 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle—Where Are We Now?
The 2021 law school admissions cycle is shaping up to be just as competitive as last year. Not only are there more applicants, but the average LSAT score is higher. In fact, the average LSAT score has increased by 1.3 points among the T-50 law schools. Additionally, deferrals from last year could take up some of the precious spots.
But there is good news! Many law schools are increasing their class sizes. More seats available = better chances. Of course, increased class sizes is far from a guarantee that a given applicant will get into the school of their dreams. This is precisely why a competitive law school application is more important than ever. As former admissions committee members, Blueprint’s Law School Admissions Consultants work tirelessly every cycle to make sure our students stand out.
Law School Admissions Trends—What Does That Mean For Me?
If possible, get your application in as early as you can! But this does not mean you should cut corners on your application. Make sure your personal statement is air-tight. Get that GPA up (if you’re still in school). Moreover, make sure you get the highest LSAT score you can!
Remember, you will be going against a highly competitive applicant pool. There really is no other way to cut it: the best way to stand out is to have the best LSAT score you can. This, more than any other area of your application, is the best way to increase the chances of getting into your dream law school. Fortunately, Blueprint students are 6X more likely to score a 170+. Schedule a free consultation with an LSAT Advisor to go over your goals and find the LSAT prep course that works best for you!
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