A recent Kaplan Test Prep survey found that law school admissions will soon have more applicants to evaluate, despite 2014 seeing the smallest class entering law school in the last 40 years.
Ohio State ranks 11th nationwide in undergraduate students who to apply to law school.
The Kaplan survey included 120 law schools from across the country, and stated that “…law school admissions officers predict that they are going to see something they haven’t seen in many years: an increase in applications.”
Of the law schools who participated in the survey, 88 percent said they are confident they will see a spike in the upcoming application cycle, despite the drop in numbers in previous years.
According to the Law School Admission Council, the organization that writes the LSAT, 384 OSU students applied to law school during the 2013-14 cycle. This was down from the 2009-10 cycle when that number was 614.
The survey also found that 35 percent of law schools cut the number of seats for their 2015 class of first-year students, much lower than the 54 percent who reported doing so for the 2014 class. Students might find it comforting that the number of schools with declining acceptance rates has dropped significantly.
Until this year, law-school applications were decreasing, and many schools in previous years were decreasing their class size, said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs at Kaplan Test Prep.
Thomas stated in the Kaplan survey press release that “the job market continues to be competitive for new law-school graduates, which no doubt weighs heavily on the minds of prospective applicants, so any turnaround will likely be slow to build.”
Thomas said he does not want that to deter students who are passionate about the law from applying, however.
“Don’t let the statistics faze you one way or another. If you are passionate about the law, focus on your process, not the school’s (process),” Thomas said.
Ben Fogel, a first-year law student, said when he was applying to law school he was unaware of the current trends in law school admissions.
“I only learned about a lot of them afterwards,” Fogel said. “The only things I was focusing on was the big four; my GPA, my LSAT score, my letters of recommendation, and my personal statement. “
Fogel said undergraduates considering law school should not be afraid, even though the number of applications are increasing.
“Don’t psych yourself out reading statistics about the law market and inflating law school applications and committees getting pickier … you will find the right place for you,” he said.
Thomas said he is most often asked whether applying to law school is the right decision. It is a big investment in both time and money and can be daunting for anyone considering furthering his or her education.
“Continue to be introspective about law school. Do not spend three years of your life for just another degree. Make sure you know why you want to go to law school,” Thomas said. “The second thing is, as applications increase at this point, you must take the application process very seriously. Be aware that you have to be a competitive applicant in your GPA, your LSAT score and your involvement.”