LSAT Numbers Decline for Fourth Straight Year

The National Law Journal


The number of people who took the LSAT in October—traditionally the biggest cohort annually—dropped by 11 percent since last year, marking the fourth year of steady decline and intensifying worries that a turnaround remains out of sight.

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What's being said

  • Critical Thinking Law Professor

    Lowering standards? OMG. They should INCREASE the standards. The problem with law schools has been the ease of admissions. ANYONE could apply. If law schools really wanted to follow medical and dental schools (as they now fashionably claim), they should implement a strong core of prerequisites. Weed out the morons who go to law school because they have a JD.

  • Lou

    Thank God. Guess the word is out about law school grads with $100-250,000 in debt having to move in with their parents while they scrape for a $30-50,000 job at a miserable little firm.

  • Steve Diamond

    Why not show the increase to that all time high in 2009? Fear of demonstrating cyclical effects?

  • Paula Marie Young

    At the conference of the Midwest Association of Prelaw Advisors, Professor Jerry Organ predicted that jobs would exceed the number of law school graduates in 2016 (as I recall). He suggested that the market would turn because applicants to law school would continue to decline while the trend in new law jobs would hold at least steady. I have looked at the data on my blog, The Red Velvet Lawyer, at

  • Careful reader

    The article says that 33,673 people took the LSAT in October, down from 60,746 who took the test in October 2009 and then states that the current number is "just under half -- 45 percent" of the 2009 number. Not so. 33,673 is 55.4% of 60,746. There has been a reduction of 45% in test takers, but that is not the same as the current number being only 45% of the former number.

  • Roger

    "In October, 33,673 people took the LSAT, down from 37,780 last year.That's just under half -- 45 percent -- of the 60,746 who took the October LSAT in 2009, a historic high."

    And lawyer math is approaching a historic low: 33,673 is 45% of 60,746. It is 55%, not 45%. Perhaps you meant to say a 45% decline, but you say "just under half," which makes it look more like a math mistake you ran with. 55% is just *OVER* half, of course. I may not be able to do complex math in my head, but it is readily apparent that half of 60,000 is 30,000 and 33,000 is certainly more than half. Which makes it hard to trust the rest of the arguments here, in an article that is about a decline in numbers. Not good....

    You've already ran one correction, seems like you need another.

  • sonofdad




  • Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

    These LSAT numbers comport with obvious reality: As it becomes increasingly clear to all sentient Americns that the legal field is saturated and incapable of producing as many lucrative associate positions as it once did, the smarter kids coming out of college -- those who actually pay attention to the world around them -- are opting for alternative career paths.

  • kmbrplmr

    And this is a bad thing??

  • Nearly JD'd

    I have two big issues with this article (aside from their sloppy excuse for math):

    1) They are comparing LSAT takers to the "historic high" in 2009. To get a REAL idea of how good or bad these numbers really are, we should look at a longer period of time and see what that average is; such as the past 10 years.

    2) It makes no mention of WHY the number is declining. Maybe if law schools didn't charge over $1,000 per hour with little hope of a law job afterward, there would be more people lining up to take the LSAT. Not to mention the price of taking the LSAT itself has dramatically increased, thanks in part to the 2009 explosion in takers.

    This article states, with poor numbers and data, that the number of LSAT takers has decreased over the past 4 years. The end. No more. What a great story.

  • MadAlfred

    @avon - I'm pretty sure the author of the article just misspoke. 60,700 x .45 = 27,315. 60,700 - 27,315 = 33,385.

    The 2013 number didn't land AT 45% of the 2009 number. It seems that the number of LSATs administered has DECLINED by 45% since 2009.

  • Jaded J.D.

    May the precipitous decline continue until the whole legal education system is forced to make substantive changes to its broken model!!!!!

  • Avon

    33,700 is obviously NOT "just under half" of 60,700, nor is it 45%.

    What else in this article is incorrect?
    Perhaps, that admissions officials had hoped there was a leveling out, even while they had "virtually no idea" about that?

    I'm thinking that if one can't construct a coherent story about it, then don't publish it.

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