Shrinking the Pie

It’s a tough time to be a recent graduate of, attending, or applying to law school. The job market stinks, law school is expensive, and everyone is eager to share the latest news. Kaplan Test Prep reported recently that “51% of law schools have cut the size of the entering class” due to the difficult job market. Whether this is bad news depends on where you sit. Reduced enrolment benefits current students and graduates seeking their first jobs while raising the bar (no pun intended) for prospective students.

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  • Kelly Marsch

    I heard about this recently from my sister who graduated law school six years ago. Luckily, she was able to find a job immediately upon graduation, but commented that she was glad she was not currently in the process of applying to law school, as she feels she would not be viewed as one of the strongest applicants now and therefore would not have gotten admitted. One point from the article that I found interesting that nobody has yet touched directly on is the changed curriculum in law schools. I feel this is extremely important, as they are better preparing students to succeed in the workplace upon graduation. It is important to always have an updated curriculum, as SMG itself is working on revising its curriculum for a shifting economy. I feel it is necessary to constantly update what is being taught based on changes in the economy and the job market. Although this report may be discouraging for current law school applicants, I feel ultimately this is a good thing.

  • Trevor Wright

    I am not sure what to make of this. In some aspects, I think it is good that law schools are cutting down the number of applicants they accept because it ensures in many cases that future applicants will be much more prepared when taking the LSATS and guarantees that only the highest of quality students get in. Additionally, I would imagine that those that are able to get in will be much more prepared to take the BAR exam, hopefully leading to even more specialized, and prepared lawyers. That is just my guess. But then on the other hand, I have a feeling it could also work the other way, with many outstanding pre-law students being discouraged by the changes being made and choosing not to apply to certain law schools. In that case, they could actually lose some of the potential high quality students they could’ve had.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729511792 Dylan J. Kaplan

    Professor, I have attached a article that touched on this subject this past August that could punch holes in the article written by Kaplan. <– Ha!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/law-school-admissions-str_n_1724093.html#s776739&title=10_University_of

    • DavidRandall

      How does this article punch a hole in the Kaplan article? Fewer applicants (and fewer higher-quality applicants) are not inconsistent with smaller future class sizes.

      David

      David Randall
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  • Arielle Assayag

    I agree with Zach in his supportive position on law schools shifting from quantity towards quality. This shift will deter many prospective lawyers away from the field, leaving the students that do pass the bar with a better chance at employability. The common reaction students receive when flirting with the idea of law school is the large expenses and how graduates aren’t necessarily hired immediately and end up swimming in debts. The change to a smaller graduating law class would leave a smaller surplus of grad students without positions maybe making the process of law school “pay off” quicker and provide more security for accepted law students that there is a position available for them in the market.

  • zdranove

    I think the problem with law school is that lawyers are becoming a dime a dozen. It may be a good idea for schools to be “raising the bar” and admitting fewer prospective students. Not only does it increase the quality of the graduates of their schools over the quantity, but it also will ease the tension on future graduates looking for their first job. Right now there are likely plenty of graduates who have passed the bar and haven’t been hired by law firms. I support this shift from quantity towards quality because although it may look unfair on the surface, it’s what needs to be done for future lawyers to succeed down the road.