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Sunday, January 21, 2018
Law School Recruitment Heating Up
For the past decade, law school enrollment has been in a tailspin. Since 2006, freshman enrollment has declined 30 percent, a figure running parallel to the downward slope in numbers of students taking the LSAT. A weak legal job market has made competition for junior associateships and post-graduate attorney roles ruthlessly competitive. Law schools have been forced to adjust by shrinking faculty, increasing tuition, and, in some cases, shuttering their doors.
The trend, however, seems to be turning a corner. Applicants are up 12% this year, and LSAT takers are up by 4%. This is true even though some law schools are taking a more lenient approach in admissions by allowing students to take the GRE instead of the LSAT.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is the body that administrates the LSAT. They have just joined forces with the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), a non-profit that has been around for over a century. AALS’ purpose is to improve the legal profession through better legal education. Together, these two massive organizations are pulling together a recruitment push, designed to attract law school students, beginning as early on as high school.
Though LSAC clearly has a financial stake in this scheme, both organizations claim to be committed simply to providing better information about legal study and the profession beyond. Through a social media campaign and website revision, they hope to reach out to young students, rolling back the negative narrative that has surrounded law over the past several decades.
The goal of this outreach is to help young students understand the variety of ways in which a legal degree can be employed across a broad spectrum of industries. Students should not feel confined to "pre-law" majors, nor should they assume that being a lawyer is about sweeping monologues in a crowded courtroom.
Launch of the campaign is expected within the next six months.
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