What to Expect in the 2023 Law School Application Cycle
- Apr 18, 2023
- Law School Admissions
- Reviewed by: Matt Riley
So you’ve done it … you’re ready to apply to law school. You studied hard and followed your LSAT prep, took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), drafted a captivating personal statement, received your letters of recommendation, created a law school resume, researched law schools, and finally submitted it all! Now what? Read on as the Blueprint Prep team takes a deep dive into this year’s law school application cycle.
Are application numbers still in the stratosphere?
Short answer … Nope! The application numbers are returning to Earth after the huge spike we saw in 2021, and, to a lesser extent, 2022. Following the pandemic, law schools saw the largest increase in law school applications in over a decade. Not only was there a spike in the number of applications, but we also saw a spike in the average GPA and LSAT score for admitted students. This meant that the 2021 cycle was one of the most competitive cycles in recent years.
The good news is that 2023 law school admissions cycle application trends reflect a 14% decrease in total applications compared to the 2021 cycle. Law school application numbers are still significantly higher than 2019 and 2020 but do reflect consistent volumes over the past five years.
Does this mean I have higher odds of admission?
Yes! But, of course, top law schools are still highly competitive and admission to any school is far from a guarantee even with these numbers. Ultimately, there is some good news and some challenging news. Good news first: the average or median LSAT scores have gone down, which means all that studying for the LSAT is worth it. This is especially pronounced in the 160-169 LSAT score range. Specifically, applicants scoring between 170-180 are down -8.5%, applicants scoring between 160-169 are down -13.8%, and applicants scoring between 150-159 are down -8.8%. However, average to below-average LSAT scores between 120-149 are only down by -1.3%.
Ultimately, this increases your odds of admission to your dream school even if you have a slightly lower LSAT score. On to the challenging news: the average applicant’s undergraduate GPA (UGPA) has remained relatively consistent since the 2021 spike. This suggests that law schools can still be quite picky about which applicants to admit with below-average grade point averages.
How can I increase my odds of admission?
Beyond a stellar GPA and LSAT score, the best way to increase your odds of admission is to have a fantastic application. Ultimately, you will compete against other students with similar LSAT scores and similar GPAs. The best way to stand out among this cohort is to write a memorable personal statement and to show your dream law school that you really mean it when you tell them that you want to attend. You can also do this by taking the time to write the optional essay(s) related to why you are choosing their law school and why you believe that an education from that law school will help you further your career goals.
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