American law schools see drastic drop in applications

A legal career no longer seen as a ‘safe bet’


The number of students applying to American law schools is at its lowest point since 2001, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. According to the Law School Admission Council, applications have dropped 11.5 per cent over last year, a sign that students are becoming disillusioned with the job market for law graduates. In 2009, the American Bar Association released a report that concluded that, “The rising cost of a legal education and the realities of the legal job market mean that going to law school may not pay off.”

While students flocked to law schools when the economy first went into recession, it is now becoming apparent that it might not provide the job prospects and employment security many had hoped it would. “The froth in the applicant pool—those who were just going to law school because they didn’t know what else to do and everyone told them it was a safe bet—is pretty well gone,” Kent Syverud, dean of the Washington University School of Law’s, said.

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American law schools see drastic drop in applications

  1. As a prospective applicant to American law schools this upcoming fall, I can relate to the drastic drop in applications considerably. The cost of tuition in the United States for law students is astounding. Similar graduates from Canadian law schools are still able to secure high-position law-related jobs in law centers such as New York City without the need to justify $200,000+ in debt (literally).

    The one thing I would be interested in knowing from the Law School Admissions Council: what percentage drop came from Canadian prospective applicants, UK, etc.?

    Thanks for this great read.

  2. Dont walk. Run from law school. Anyone thinking of getting a law degree today really has not done their research.. Remember, you cannot discharge those student loans in bankruptcy. When you have to pay $1400 a month for your loan debt, you will feel pretty dumb if you dont land a good paying job. Most jd’s will not.