Increases and decreases in the number of students taking the LSAT each year closely correlate with fluctuations in the number of students applying to law school.
The latest LSAT data from lsac.org indicates that the number of LSAT takers increased 1.0% in September 2016 compared to September 2015. That modest increase followed a more significant increase of 8.4% the year before (i.e., comparing September 2015 to September 2014).
However, the “big picture” data suggest that the timing remains quite good for prospective law school applicants. Consider the following information:
- The number of people taking the LSAT in September 2016 was 33,563, which is the third lowest total in the LSAT’s 30-year modern history.
- The only September/October LSAT administrations in which there were (slightly) fewer people taking the LSAT were the prior two years: September 2014 (30,943) and September 2015 (33,229).
- Although it is a little higher than 2014 and 2015, the number of students taking the LSAT in September 2016 (33,563) is over 40% lower than the peak in September/October 2009 (60,746).
- For the entire 2015-2016 year (i.e., June, 2015, Sept/Oct 2015, December 2015 and February 2016), there was a 4.1% increase in LSAT takers compared to 2014-2015.
- The modest 4.1% annual increase of LSAT takers in 2015-2016 followed much more substantial annual decreases of 9.6%, 16.2%, 13.4%, 6.2%, and 3.6%, respectively, from the peak in 2009-2010 through 2014-2015.
- To see the entire data chart of percentage increases/decreases of LSAT takers, please take a look here.
What does all of this suggest? It indicates that the number of law school applicants may be stabilizing after a dramatic five-year downturn from the peak in 2009-2010. However, the overall number of law school applicants remains low by historical standards…a good sign for law school applicants seeking to get into law school and/or acquire merit-based law school scholarships.