Law School Admissions in America, A Probable Legal Education Bubble
Mar 06, 2017 12:17 AM EST
An upswing in lawyer popularity is seen lately, especially driven by the Trump resistance. The trend has sparked renewed interest in law school admissions among university students.
America needs more lawyers, that is certain. But that's a fact surrounded by not very favorable conditions, such as having to pay $200K+ to get a degree from bottom-tier law schools, Above The Law reported.
On the other side, legal services for the poor continue to be systematically overburdened while the lower middle class is unable to take advantage of legal aid, but still unable to hire full priced legal help. States are also developing tuition plans to bind lawyers to the countryside in the rural side, for a number of years.
With this severe justice gap, more law school graduates don't necessarily translate into helping those that are already in debt as they can't take the jobs that need the most attention. To address the problem, Bloomberg's Big Law Business refers to Keith Lee's latest calculations of the mood of top graduates toward law school.
Lee noted a 1.2 percent year-to-year increase in law school applications, looking at graduates of the Ivy League schools, as well as Chicago, Stanford, and Duke. This is potentially good news for law schools looking to attract top talent: Since 2008, the number of these top tier graduates applying to law school has dropped 40.92 percent, from 3,282 students to 1,939, according to Lee's calculations.
The post-recession peak was in 2010, when 3,705 students from the 11 above-listed schools applied to law school, whereby the biggest drop occurred between 2010 and 2012. Lee found that the numbers have started to level off since then.
Although this could promise a potential reverse of the declining admission standards in law schools, it will eventually cause a legal education bubble in America. Barring some unforeseen development, let's wait and see if this is going to leave the under-served population flush with attorneys.