The number of LSAT-takers sitting for the most recent LSAT (February 2018) increased a 13.6% compared to February 2017, one year ago. Perhaps more meaningfully, the cumulative increase in LSAT takers over the past year (including the June 2017, September 2017, December 2017 and February 2018 LSATs) increased 18.1% over the past year.
Normally, the number of people taking the LSAT correlates closely with the number of students applying to law school. So, with four consecutive quarters showing an average increase of close to 20% compared to last year, it seems reasonable that law school enrollment also will be increasing. Anecdotal reports confirm that, with more students getting waitlisted this year than in recent years.
It’s worth putting all of this in perspective, though. After a record-high number of LSAT takers in 2009-2010, there was a 40% decrease from 2010-2015. That led to a record low number of people sitting for the LSAT during the 2014-2015 year. In other words, we went from a record high number of LSAT takers to a record low within five years. Law school applications saw a similar downturn.
Like most things, law school applications are cyclical. We have seen a modest uptick in the number of LSAT takers over the past two years, followed by a larger increase during the past year (the LSAC’s “year” includes the LSATs from June to February). By historical standards, though, the numbers are still relatively low. You can see the complete chart of LSAT takers over the past 30 years here.
If you have questions about how these numbers may potentially affect your opportunity to get into law schools and/or get sizable merit-based scholarships, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.