Those who gander at the LSAT data will find the LSAC put up the December numbers recently. I can’t remember if anyone else has reported this, so I’ll touch on it myself. Big drop in December LSAT-takers, and since the number of eligible test-takers (college juniors and up) has grown since then, it’s that many more people choosing not to take the test, and a fortoriori not interested in applying to law school.
Since February’s test hasn’t occurred yet, here’s what the ex. February data look like.
Yep, that’s a 16.7 percent record drop in non-February test takers. (As it’s illegible, 2010-11 was -9.99 percent.) I should add that around 2005, law schools and the LSAC stopped averaging repeat takers’ scores and instead allowed applicants to send law schools their highest scores, this greatly increased the incentive to retake the test. This accounts for some of the 2000s bump in test takers. Then again, it also means fewer people are retaking the test.
The ABA Journal tells us this tracks a 16.7 percent applicant drop for fall 2012 to date (31,815). Applications are down 15.3 percent to 233,361 to date as well. What’s interesting—and I don’t know if this holds generally—is that this makes the number of applications per applicant higher than the annual average: 7.33 as of now. Here’s what it is typically.
Maybe those who apply later will apply to fewer schools and bring the ratio down, but aside from computerized applications (to say nothing of law schools that allow people to apply via cell phone) I’ve found this trend interesting.