7 Things You Don’t Know About Law School Admissions


June 5 (Bloomberg) — It's easier to be admitted to law school these days because fewer people want to be lawyers, according to data about the entering Class of 2012 just released by the ABA and the Law School Admissions Council.

Bloomberg Law crunched the numbers, and here are 7 things you DON'T know about law school admissions:

The number of applications this year for full-time JD programs fell 12 percent, to 444,000.

Of the nation's elite schools, Cornell had the biggest drop, with applications down 27 percent.

Update June 7, 2013, 12:15 pm: Cornell Law School Media Relations Director Kathleen Corcoran called to say its 4,054 applicants in 2012 were on par with its historical average. The school had 4,207 applicants for the entering Class of 2009, then spikes to 6,269 applicants in 2010 and 5,556 applicants in 2011, she said.

Biggest Drops in Applications
La Verne — 79%
Arkansas at Little Rock — 40%
Hawaii — 38%

Applications were down at most schools, but they actually increased at 25 schools; several of the schools with increases are ranked by US News in the bottom 100:

Low-Ranked Schools with Application Increases Rank Applications Up
Texas Tech 105 19%
Florida International 105 17%
City University of NY 132 10%

The average school made offers to 47 percent of its applicants, up from 40 percent last year. At some schools, just submitting an application almost guaranteed an offer.

Highest Offer Rates
New England 88%
Phoenix 86%
Vermont 83%

It's still very hard to get into the nation's elite schools. The top 25 schools on the US News list offered admission to an average of just 23 percent of their applicants.

Lowest Offer Rates
Yale 8%
Stanford 10%
California – Berkeley 12%

Schools cut the total size of the 2012 entering class by almost 9 percent, to 37,500 students nationwide. But not every school was cutting class size. Despite the dearth of jobs for law school graduates, entering classes expanded at 45 schools.

Biggest Class Size Increases
Washington And Lee 55%
North Carolina Central 53%
California at Irvine 34%

Schools just below Top 25 may be in the most difficult position. Those schools issued 12 percent more offers this year, while the number of offers from the Top 25 schools was unchanged from 2011. Yet schools in the "second 25" shrunk their first-year classes by 9 percent, compared to a 6 percent decline at the Top 25 schools.

Top 25
0% more offers, 6% smaller entering classes

The "Second 25"
12% more offers, 9% smaller entering classes

Nationwide, both median GPAs and median LSAT scores dropped, on average, about half a percent. But the odds are, you STILL can't get into Yale, which has the highest GPA and LSAT scores in the nation.

Yale Class of 2012
Median GPA 3.9
Median LSAT 173

Video by Josh Block
Follow: @JoshBlockNYC

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