The Law School Bubble Bursts


Matt Phillips remarks on the sharp decline in law school enrollment over the past two years:

Fresh numbers from the American Bar Association show US law school enrollment tumbling 11% over last year to 39,675. That’s the number of full-time and part-time students who started law school studies in the fall of 2013. Overall, enrollment is down 24% from the 2010 peak. The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog points out that we’re back to 1977 enrollment levels, an era that predated the surging growth of lawyers during the 1980s.

Campos chimes in:

What’s particularly striking about these numbers is that first year enrollment is down by 24.4% even though admissions standards have been slashed all across legal academia (Yale, Harvard and Stanford are the only elite schools that haven’t dropped admissions standards, and many non-elite schools have cut median LSAT scores for admits by ten percentage points or more). … [I]f law schools had maintained the admissions standards that prevailed a decade ago, next fall’s incoming class would feature about 24,600 matriculants, which is a number about 13% larger than the average annual total of jobs for lawyers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates will become available over the course of this decade.