Deborah Letz / February 5, 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…to go to law school

It’s no secret that the legal market has been in a decline. There’s the high cost of law school and the lack of jobs after graduation, both of which have been discussed in legal circles as well as the mainstream media, as in this January 31 New York Times article. This information is enough to turn off anyone of going to law school. But it isn’t all bad news, according to the Law School Expert Blog. According to the latest post, now is actually a good time to consider going. The argument is that the overall pool is less crowded since there are fewer applicants and because there are fewer applicants, schools are offering more scholarships. Even better news for those using the numbers game to their advantage: despite the falling number of applicants, the Wall Street Journal reports that several new law schools are opening around the country, thus increasing the pool of schools and seats available.

Ralph Clifford at The Faculty Lounge crunched some more numbers and made the interesting observation that in the past twenty or so years, the attrition rate in law schools has leveled off at a very low approximate 10%, compared to the 33% we all heard when we went to law school (the highly mathematical formulation of “Look to your left. Look to your right. One of these two people will not be graduating with you.”). That’s another good mark in the “pro” column – statistically speaking, you’re more likely to graduate these days.

Perhaps The Law School Expert is onto something. Now, what the market will be like upon graduation is a whole other numbers game.

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