An excellent indicator of the status of current and future law school enrollment is the number of people taking the LSAT, as reported by the LSAC.
As has been reported on this blog previously, there has been a very dramatic drop in law school enrollment over the past 5 years or so. That is unequivocally a GOOD thing if you are planning on going to law school. It means that law schools will relax their standards slightly, and the chance for getting merit-based scholarship money increases.
The most recent LSAT data shows a very modest decrease (0.8%) in the June LSAT takers in 2016 compared to 2015. Of much greater significance are the big-picture trends, which include the following:
- The number of LSAT takers reached an all-time high of 171,514 during the 2009-2010 year (includes the June ’09, Sept/Oct 09, Dec. 09, and Feb. ’10 LSATs).
- After the 2009-2010 year, there was a steady and notable drop each year until the number of LSAT takers reached an all-time low of 101,689 in the 2014-2015 year (i.e., the year before last).
- A drop of approximately 70,000 students (from 171,514 to 101,689) in a 5-year period is very substantial, and equates to about a 40% drop.
- The number of LSAT takers appears to be steadying somewhat right now. For example, there was a modest 4.1% increase in LSAT takers last year (2015-2016), compared to 2014-2015.
- As further evidence of the fact that the LSAT takers data appears to be steading, consider the very modest changes in the most recent three LSATs: we have seen an increase of 1.9% in December 2015, a decrease of 0.3% in February 2016, and a decrease of 0.8% in June 2016.
- You can see the entire 30-year history of recorded LSATs for the modern LSAT at lsac.org or by clicking here.