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Taking a Look at the 2013 Law School Admissions Landscape

It’s 2013, and I can proudly say that I got it right on the first try. It’s usually mid-February before I stop writing the date with the previous year.

Many of you will start law school in 2013, while others will be applying come fall. If you’re planning to start next year and have yet to apply, it’s time to get a move on. Your law school application is definitely on the late side, and many schools have impending deadlines. Check to make sure you’re ahead of that, and then finish up your law school personal statement. You’re going to need supernatural help if you don’t have your letters of recommendation in yet.

For those of you who don’t need some type of montage to get your law school applications in on time (i.e. you’re applying next year or have already applied), what’s the rest of the current admissions season and next year going to look like?

Numbers will continue to fall. Fewer people are sitting for the LSAT, which suggests fewer people are applying to law school. That should make it easier to gain admission, as law schools won’t shrink their classes nearly as much as the applicant pool is shrinking.

For those who have applied (or will apply) for 2013 enrollment, expect it to be the year of the waitlist. Law schools kept admissions open well past their normal deadlines last year to fill their classes. They were blind-sided a bit by the tremendous decline in law school applicants, so they needed to fill their classes somehow. This most likely poached a lot of their potential applicants from this year, so they’ll have trouble predicting class yields. If you get waitlisted this year, definitely follow up with some Letters of Continued Interest, maybe a new letter of recommendation, and a respectable amount of groveling.

For those applying this fall, expect law schools to have adjusted to the decreasing numbers. Law school admissions departments are pretty savvy with numbers, and they’ll have several years of data and experience to adjust. While the required GPA and LSAT will dip a bit from previous years (thus making it easier to gain enrollment), expect the law school admissions season to roll out as it has in the past. This means the same pattern of acceptances, the increase in difficulty of getting in from the waitlist, and the huge benefit of applying early.

Needless to say, 2013 should be an interesting year.