Over at The Legal Whiteboard, Jerry Organ has taken my initial observation about the decline in law school applications from elite universities and run with it. In a series of posts titled Understanding Trends in Demographics of Law Students (Parts One and Two), Organ dives deep into LSAC data and has come up with some interesting numbers that point to a significant trend: law schools are admitting weaker students.
If one uses the LSAT profile as an indicator of the “strength” of a given class of first-year students, and uses the framework set forth above for looking at the LSAT profile, then in the last three years we not only have seen first-year enrollment shrink by roughly 10,000 students, but also have seen a significant “weakening” of the LSAT profile. In terms of LSAT profile, the Fall 2013 entering class is almost certainly the weakest of any class going back to Fall 2002. This may impact the classroom experience at some law schools and may impact bar passage results when the Fall 2013 entering class graduates in 2016.
In Part Three Organ is going to speculate on why students at elite college and universities and with higher LSATs are turning away from law school more than those from lesser colleges and universities and those with lower LSATs. I’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts on why he thinks this is happening – I certainly have my own.