Law school applications have dropped from around 600,000 to less than 400,000 since a recent peak in 2010.So while a weak economy and an abundance of lawyers has made it hard for newly graduated students to find work, the job market might soon balance itself out. "Soon balance itself out?" Are you kidding? The legal market is so oversaturated here in Indiana and most states it will take two decades of smaller class sizes for the imbalance to be evened out. (One survey I reported on previously showed there is one legal job for every three attorneys in Indiana.)
And a 2013 survey released by Kaplan Test Prep shows 54 percent of law school admissions officers say they’re cutting their incoming class sizes for the 2013-2014 school year.
Frank Motley is the Dean of Admissions at Indiana University
MaurerSchool of Law. He says so far admissions to the MaurerSchool have remained steady at around 200 students per year. But his office gives itself the leeway to cut enrollment by 10 to 15 percent if not enough quality applicants apply.
“There could be a falloff, but there could be students at the low end of the ability curve,” Motley said. “But the fear is that there’ll be students at the high end of the ability curve or it might be across the board. So adjustments are made based upon the quality of the pool. We’re trying to get the very best students we possibly can to attend our law school.”
Robert H. McKinneySchool of Law in Indianapolis has seen a significant decline in admissions. It accepted around 230 part-time and full-time students this year, a decline from their traditional class size of 300 students up until fall of 2012. But Vice Dean Antony Page says the smaller class size has a silver lining for students.
Shamefully the Monroe County Law School (otherwise known as the IU School of Law at Bloomington) has not even bothered to lower admissions when faced with a dwindling supply of applicants. Obviously the school simply lowered its standards to keep at 200 students. Fortunately my alma mater, IU School of Law at Indianapolis did the right thing and reduced class size. Further reductions are needed, however. We could go five years without graduating another law student and the legal market would still be oversaturated.