The Decline in Law School Applications

Law school applications down 20% from last year and 38% from 2010. [Link][ATL]  If projections hold there will be about 54,000 law school applicants this season — the lowest since before 1984. (i.e., since before L.A. Law.)  Law schools have also shrunk their class-size, but not proportionally.

LALaw

 

76 thoughts on “The Decline in Law School Applications

  1. It appears – that at least on MF’s priority list, that “legal realism” (code word for blatant lies, misrepresented facts, etc) trumps his quest for intellectual honesty.

    Which reminds me, MF, an easy question to test your commitment to intellectual honesty:

    Would a reasonable person (obviously not your view) consider you to be a member of the legal academia?

    Please don’t make me chase you around for a week (or more).

  2. misstatements and omissions . . .
    selective reporting…

    violates any reasonable standard of professional ethics or academic integrity

    Why it’s MF !

    I wonder if these misstatements, omissions and selective reporting are on the same priority list as his “intellectual honesty”? He can just [shrug] and stand by, because everyone know this is not court and professional ethics or academic integrity (or lack thereof) just does not limit MF in his postings here (and its archived too!)

  3. I wonder if finding Youtube videos is higher than intellectual honesty on MF’s priority list. He has shown far more video clips…

    And yes, that is archived here.

  4. LOL

    MF states in regards to Dr. Noonan: “As for this sweeping attack on legal scholars who focus on patent law, it’s just pxthetic

    Now we see why that struck a nerve.

  5. Well, MM,…?

    Is this you? Are you in legal academia?

    Did you wake this morning and pray your mantra of strength to continue your holy crusade against “the mess we’ve collectively created?”

    And that rock – is it the same one you crawl out from under? Is your High Priority of Intellectual Honesty on top of that rock?

    Perhaps a comment thrown out about all those lesser so-self-unaware mouth-breathers might bolster that oh-so-fragile-hyper-inflated ego just enough for you to overcome your self-loathing and grace us with some more of your gratiutous insults, insults that stay far and clear from any real and substantive law so that you don’t accidently betray your crusade with another slip-up.

    And yes, isn’t it wonderful that these pages are in fact archived?

    Perhaps we should change MM to MF for MASSIVE FAIL.

  6. Things that make you go hmmmm:

    for those of us in legal academia trying to do something about the mess we’ve collectively created,

    Is this the MM we all take so seriously?

  7. In other related news:

    link to lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com

    So reading this made me both sad and angry. It should make everyone who cares about reforming legal education both sad and angry, because it’s really bad stuff. (A distinguished colleague from a distinguished law school located outside the great state of Colorado reacted to it thus: “This is insane–so many misstatements and omissions . . . Their selective reporting violates any reasonable standard of professional ethics or academic integrity. Wow.”)

    Reading it also made me realize that, for those of us in legal academia trying to do something about the mess we’ve collectively created, every morning our rock awaits us.

  8. It’s going to get ugly.

    OK – while true, pretty mundane and not very insightful.

    The best part will be the loud, long complaining from all the old prosecutors who paid for school with their summer savings and became partners in five years when the minimum billables were around 1400. “What’s the matter with kids these days?”

    Um, huh? Best part…? This seems to come from somewhere personal, complaints that are off-base and all. Too many lawyers sounds like too many patents.

  9. link to salon.com

    Interest begins to accrue on these loans as soon as they are disbursed. This means that a student who enrolled, for example, in American University last fall will have — assuming a 3.5 percent annual increase in the cost of attendance — approximately $260,000 in debt when the student’s first loan payment comes due, six months after graduation. The student will owe monthly payments of more than $3,000 on the standard 10-year repayment plan, and nearly $2,000 on an extended 25-year repayment schedule.

    In effect, the system allows any 22-year-old American University chooses to admit to borrow a sum equal to the average home mortgage, but without a single one of the actuarial controls that are supposed to minimize the risk that homeowners will borrow too much money…

    Less than two out of every five American University law graduates are getting legal jobs of any kind – let alone the far rarer jobs that would allow graduates to actually service the debts they’re incurring by attending the school. And American is a fairly high-ranked law school.

    It’s going to get ugly. The best part will be the loud, long complaining from all the old prosecutors who paid for school with their summer savings and became partners in five years when the minimum billables were around 1400. “What’s the matter with kids these days?”

  10. The show definitely had an impact on my decision to apply to law school. I had no idea I was going to end up an IP lawyer, though. Can you imagine a TV legal drama focused on a patent prosecution firm. YAWN.

  11. If it weren’t for that show, you’d be calling me Doctor right now.

    A JD being called “Doctor”? You’re probably thinking of Scrubs.

  12. Ha ha, I went to UC Berkeley Boalt Hall law school in the 80s basically because of that TV show.

    Of course, the practice of law was basically nothing like the show, but such a minor detail did not stop me. If it weren’t for that show, you’d be calling me Doctor right now.

  13. LOL right back atcha – you complaining about lack of time and your own mistakes in the guise of teaching anyone is quite funny.

    Another of the circle whose lessons come from negative example.

    Better trolling please.

  14. So you’re not an attorney, and you like to pipe up without any relevant knowledge? Because it’s clear that you have no idea what the tuition numbers, salaries, and employment numbers are looking like these days.

  15. He might not have those issues with bluecoat if he would quit trying to post here from a work computer (which is specifically prohibited by the “rules of the road”). I do hope he’s not in 2400.

  16. “And this guy, who admits to now limiting himself to one name, somehow believes that we will not think that AI was one of his puppets. I mean seriously Mr. Wheeler, you can do better brosenski.”

    6, this is pathetic. We all know who who AI is.

    What we don’t know is where you have hidden six years of posts discussing “Integration Analysis” on this blog.

    Or you can confess right now to the lie, and proceed to redeem yourself by applying the USPTO Guidance on “Integration” to Ultramercials ( or any) claims.

    Especially since your cowardly sock puppet master MM won’t dare broach the subject.

  17. “Especially when he hasn’t responded yet to my request for his “point” in the design patent litigation thread.”

    Or my request to apply the USPTO Guidance on “Integration” to ay claims.

  18. to win in court or the PTO, we have to accurate quote case law, and to state the facts clearly and accurately, at all times.

    Hello? Oh, hi there Legal Realism! I’m glad you’re doing well. Yes. Yes. I’m fine. To what do we owe this pleasure? Oh, yes, he’s right here.

    Ned, you have a phone call. ;)

  19. So I do think that we lawyers all have to keep in mind that to win in court or the PTO, we have to accurate quote case law, and to state the facts clearly and accurately, at all times.

    They ought to teach that in law school.

  20. anon, at times, though, you seem to not clearly distinguish the holding of a court from fanciful dicta.

    I think,though, that is appears to be a common problem today. Even courts fail to distinguish holding from dicta.

    BTW, I was reading the AIPLA and IPO briefs on the “seed” case. The AIPLA correctly summarized the holding in Quanta. The IPO got it wrong.

    Now you tell me whether the Supreme Court will be more impressed with the AIPLA brief or the IPO brief? I would suggest that if I were a clear or Justice, that I would quickly set the IPO brief aside after a quick glance given this fundamental mistake.

    So I do think that we lawyers all have to keep in mind that to win in court or the PTO, we have to accurate quote case law, and to state the facts clearly and accurately, at all times.

  21. “That you do not have the cability to understand my posts can be understood. ”

    Actually I just didn’t bother to read all of your ta rdation in your post before I posted, and then when I saw it afterwards I was like meh, he still believes that he can’t be being snarky IN OTHER PEOPLE’S SUBJECTIVE OPINION while he is weilding facts “objectively and effectively” aka this phenomena cannot also be done snarkily AS YOU, AI, king of the ta rds, DO.

    Sorry if I didn’t make myself crystal clear tar dface. I only have so much time to dedicate to teaching you how to interact with others since your mother failed so horribly.

  22. That you do not have the cability to understand my posts can be understood. That you fail to recognize this as being due to your limitations is quite easy to see.

    The insulting fortune cookie with typos.

    So awesome.

  23. Can we please give the “shut up” thing a rest? I’ve never said “shut up” in response to anything remotely like a substantive post. If you look back at what I actually said, it was something to the effect of “We get that you don’t like MM, so shut up already.” That’s it. And heck, I immediately apologized for even that. Perhaps it’s time to move on?

  24. I have always maintained that posters can have any opinion and can express any opinion.

    But make no mistake – I have been diligent about vetting opinions and highlighting when opinions are misrepresented as law, when facts are mischaracterized for spin.

    Often, my seeking clarification of clear contradictions in expressed viewpoints brings an untoward response (akin to your perpetual untoward response for anything “anon”). I would posit that certain posters react not to content, but to bearer of that content.

    I would posit that your views need to be recalibrated.

  25. For some unknown reason, you see “anon” and lose perspective. I am curious as to how the items I point out do not raise your ire, and how you never are moved to post to tell others to “just shut up.” And yet it is that my responses capture your fancy.

    We have seen that you often (but not universally) agree with MM, but do you really condone his methods? Are they that invisible to your sight? Do you really think that quality blogging and an adult conversation is possible with the ongoing blatant lies, mischaracterizations, n_aked shilling, strawmen, undeserved insults and vapid and vacuous postings continue.

  26. Leopold,

    I thought you quit? Welcome back.

    You have had every opportunity to substantiate your claims against me and have failed miserably, with arrows falling at your feet.

    Perhaps you should open your eyes and see that “my bile” is actually r_ighteous i_ndignation. Alas, what you choose to see and whose comments you find as bile are so one-sided as to impugn your partiality, and lessen the impact of your views.

    You choose not to see that my posts are, in fact, aimed at the true target of poor quality blogging.

    Yes, I can be and have been a bit shall we say coarse at times. But no more coarse than those I am responding to – and as I stated to 6, definitely not of the nature that is truly offensive.

  27. Seriously? Expat’s benign post commenting on the sophomoric comments on this board is “removed by the moderator,” while anon’s bile continues unabated? Okay…

  28. Anon is fine on this board. Good content. A fine poster. His posts attempt to bring the discussions to a higher level.

  29. The material is offensive to anyone interested in an actual adult conversation – one where intellectual honesty is appreciated. It is the material that I have identified – and material that, quite in fact I do not add to. The insults I wield in my devastating wit are well deserved by those receiving their full and just measure.

    You ask “so what?” in a clueless and oh so typical way. When someone asks me to rip their head off and hand it back to them – yes, I quite enjoy doing so.

    Here is your head back.

  30. cannot also be done snarkily

    Reading comprehension FAIL

    That you do not have the cability to understand my posts can be understood. That you fail to recognize this as being due to your limitations is quite easy to see.

  31. “You evidently confuse snark with the ability to wield facts objectively and effectively.”

    And you think that weilding facts “objectively and effectively” cannot also be done snarkily as you do?

    And just to be clear, what “effect” do you think your rambling nonsense has other than to convince people of your (and I mean this literally, not in a figurative sense) insanity?

  32. “If you count the fact that you personally post far less than you did a year and a half ago, fine, I will grant you that improvement, as my points are still fully valid.”

    Yeah it is because this fin blueshield nonsense at work stops me from posting, at random, and will block all further posting until I restart the machine, which I seldom do. And if I don’t post hardly any at work, then I forget to post at home. Most buggy software I have seen in recent memory this blue shield nonsense.

  33. “As I have indicated, there has been no abatement of the offensive material. ”

    So there is material that is offensive to you? So what brosenski? Do you not have anything better to do othan to add to offensive material on your interwebs when there is already, by your own admission, aplenty?

  34. You evidently confuse snark with the ability to wield facts objectively and effectively.

    Such can be done with or without snark. In all honesty, you lack the wit to recognize the difference.

  35. In other news, I think anon has at least 2x aliases these days despite his insistence otherwise.

    Like I said, what you believe is immaterial – although Prof. Crouch can attest to what I have said if he so chooses.

  36. Whether you believe or not is immaterial.

    As I have indicated, there has been no abatement of the offensive material. If you count the fact that you personally post far less than you did a year and a half ago, fine, I will grant you that improvement, as my points are still fully valid.

  37. “everal times now I have initiated posts sans snark and have been greeted with the same old same old”

    Just fyi, that is because these posts you make that you believe are “sans snark” are actually filled to the brim with the same, though you are not bright enough to realize it.

  38. ” I voluntarily limited myself to a single pseudonym as a token gesture of good faith”

    And this guy, who admits to now limiting himself to one name, somehow believes that we will not think that AI was one of his puppets. I mean seriously Mr. Wheeler, you can do better brosenski.

    “The case that I am the cause of the blight has failed to have been made in the most visible manner.”

    Idk about that, the sophmoric behavior so to speak back and forth has gone down significantly from its peak a half a year ago or so.

    In other news, I think anon has at least 2x aliases these days despite his insistence otherwise.

  39. Tell me about it.

    We have. You haven’t listened.

    As Ronnie would say, “Well, there you go again

    Your infamous spin on facts is quite see through. Once again, you are guilty of the sophomoric postings and yet accuse others of that which you do.

    The drivers for the lack of quality blogging have been identified – and they do not include multiple pseudonym use. Your absence from any substantive response on the recent previous threads speaks so loudly, that nothing else can be heard. Your silence and inability to respond to my posts clearly evidence the truth and veracity of what I say.

    As to your silver lining, I have made perfectly clear, I voluntarily limited myself to a single pseudonym as a token gesture of good faith, so that the real and major problems associated with poor blogging would be addressed by those so needing to do so. I have outlined what those drivers are:
    - vapid and vacuous postings,
    - mischaracterizations of law and of what others post,
    - n_aked shilling or posting of third party interests,
    - strawmen,
    - blatant lies,
    - undeserved insults and
    - well, generally, almost all of the tendencies of MM in particular, and of his circle in general.

    It is no surprise then that the ONLY calls for me to “just shut up” have been from the very people that engage in the blight themselves. “Numerous people have requested that anon be “put to sleep” ” – LOL – more fact spinning. Arrows badly missing the target, landing at the feet of the would-be archer. The case that I am the cause of the blight has failed to have been made in the most visible manner. The accusations have missed – and missed badly.

    Further, I have been extremely generous and have provided a fail safe avenue for you and your circle to stop what you view as any poor quality coming from me:

    Stop posting your crrp and posting in your crrp ways – if you don’t need your head handed to you, then I won’t have cause to hand your head to you.

    Several times now I have initiated posts sans snark and have been greeted with the same old same old. I have been abundantly clear: I am fully ready, willing and able to play by any set of “rules” that are in play on this blog. You, on the other hand, have abundantly proven that you lack the ability to partake in a substantive, intellectually honest conversation. And you have proven that you cannot take what you dish out, sulking in QQ’s and attempted spin.

    The blatant lies continue.
    The mischaracterizations continue.
    The n_aked shilling continues.
    The strawmen continue.
    The undeserved insults continue.
    The vapid and vacuous postings continue.

    Look in the mirror first MM. Change that person. You will be amazed at the improvement of quality of this blog.

    Funny, I don’t think you can do it. I would be thrilled to be wrong on this.

  40. Huh, I didn’t realize Jimmy Smits is so tall.

    I don’t suppose there is a Pre-Ally McBeal and Post-Ally McBeal trend in these statistics?

  41. There is nothing “heroic” about battling this troll – unless you think an extremely lopsided smackdown is “heroic.”

    Fun? Yes. Heroic? Meh.

  42. Especially when he hasn’t responded yet to my request for his “point” in the design patent litigation thread.

    I responded before this obnoxious comment, in fact.

    Take a deep breath, AAA JJ. Unlike you, I have to step away from the computer if I need to go to the bathroom.

  43. Pathetic.

    First of all, the first paragraph is simply a very reasonable explanation for the trend.

    The second paragraph is a sarcastic response to your prior ridiculous assertions, anon. Did you forget that you attributed the rise in application filings to Americans trying to “innovate” their way out of the recession? Or are you going to backtrack and claim that you meant to say something else? That would be pathetic my friend.

    But not as pathetic as the assertion that every patent creates a new job. Let me know if you disagree with that assertion. You had an opportunity to disagree before and you didn’t. That, too, was pathetic.

  44. Especially when he hasn’t responded yet to my request for his “point” in the design patent litigation thread.

    Maybe he doesn’t have a point.

  45. Yes, of course. It’s absolutely a leading indicator.

    I’m just saying that the more solid leading indicator will be total enrollment at law schools.

  46. There will be a reduction in the number of students. 54,000 applicants is lower than the number of admitted applicants has been every year for the past decade (the lowest was 07 and 08, each with about 55,500 admitted applicants).

    link to lsac.org

    A rough estimate is that, with some coping/desperation strategies enacted, law schools will ultimately matriculate about 37,000 students this fall. That will be something like a 17% drop over last year, itself an 8.7% drop over the year before.

    link to insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com

    In order to match Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates for the legal job market for the next decade, however, the number of new law students will have to fall to about 20,000 per year. So we have a long way to go before legal education becomes something like sustainable again.

  47. My understanding is that expensive lower-tier schools have seen the greatest drop in applications, but top-tier law schools have also seen a major drop.  Here at the University of Missouri we are doing better than other Missouri schools (in terms of application numbers), but we have still seen a significant drop in the number of applications.

  48. I think it’s a combination of the recession, which has impacted attorney hiring, and the rapidly escalating cost of attending law school. If you have a great job guaranteed out of law school then it might be worth the huge debt. Otherwise, not so much.

    Of course, we all know where these folks are spending their money that would otherwise be spent on law school tuition: they’re filing patent applications! How else to explain the dramatic rise in filings? Law schools should raise the tuition even higher, thereby encouraging more patriots to innovate our country out of the Great Recession.

  49. But the reduction in applications will tell you that as for the field, prospective people are looking elsewhere.

  50. PS: A reduction in applications does not mean a reduction in students. THAT is the number that will tell whether working in our industry is set to get better or worse.

  51. It’s hilarious that our industry is judged as “Pre-LA LAW” and “Post-LA LAW”.

    At the same time though, the boom in lawyers, the glut, and the employment problems are perfectly correlated. Amazing what a TV show can do.

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