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November 21, 2012 10:00 AM People Know Law School Is A Bad Idea

By Daniel Luzer

People are finally starting to learn that law school isn’t such a good idea.

You have to pay a lot of money to go, and you won’t have a good job lined up when you get out. Earlier this year the New York Times reported that:

The Law School Admission Council reported that the LSAT was given 129,925 times in the 2011-12 academic year. That was well off the 155,050 of the year before and far from the peak of 171,514 in the year before that. In all, the number of test takers has fallen by nearly 25 percent in the last two years.

The trend continues. The Law School Admission Council, which administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) has issued a report about last month’s LSAT test. According to Inside Higher Education:

While 37,780 people took the LSAT in October, that’s a 16.4 percent drop from October 2011, the total that year was a 16.9 percent drop from October 2010, and the total for that year represented a 10.5 percent drop. There have not been this few LSAT test-takers in October since 1999.

October is traditionally the month with the most LSAT takers. This trend indicates that 2012-13 will also likely be another low year. People now get this: law school just isn’t the sure path to financial stability and career fulfillment that it appeared in, say, 2000.

Soon this is going to be a problem for actual law schools. Soon, if trends continue, the number of people applying to law school annually will drop below 56,000, the number admitted. If there are more law school slots available than there are applicants for those slots, law schools just won’t be able to saddle students with huge loans to go there; they’ll have to make law school cheaper, or offer much better financial aid.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer