06 June 2017

Getting Into Law School Is As Easy As It Has Been For A Dozen Years

The number of law school applicants plunged almost 50% from 2004 to 2016, but the number of prospective law students admitted to law school has remained almost unchanged in that time period, with the decline mostly reflecting the shuttering of a few very marginal law schools that were having great difficulty getting a sufficient number of their graduates to pass the bar exam.

The nominal admissions rate of law school applicants to some law school, is now 76%, which is down slightly from a 2015 peak of 78%, but that decline simply reflects a change in definitions that makes the pre-2016 data not precisely comparable to the 2016 data.

By comparison "the nationwide average acceptance rate for UNDERGRADUATE colleges & universities" is 65.8 percent. So, it is easier, on average, to get into law school than it is to get into an undergraduate college or university. (This is somewhat misleading because you have to be accepted into an undergraduate college or university and then graduate to even be eligible to apply to law school.)

Basically, today, everyone with any reasonable shot at passing the bar exam is being admitted to law school.

Meanwhile, the salaries of newly minted law school graduates in law related jobs declined somewhat after the Financial Crisis in 2008 and continued to fall through 2011 until the economy had more or less recovered, but has held steady since then.

In contrast, the number of medical school slots has remained constant for half a century or so, while the number of applicants has steadily increased to the point where medical schools are twice as selective as they used to be and continue to be harder to gain admission to with each passing year.

1 comment:

Guy said...


Could this be why doctor's pay has gone up (and up) over the last thirty-forty years. And you never hear the AMA being slammed like the lawyers get slammed. That's real power.