After a downward spiral in the number of applications for the past few years, the number of high-scoring LSAT takers–specifically those with scores over 170–are back on the rise. What does this mean and what are its implications?
The Implications of The Growing Law School Application Pool
Aspiring law students and future lawyers are recognizing that it’s not a bad time to apply to law school. In spite of the many challenges that law firms are currently facing – relentless budget pressures, increasing workloads for associates, a growing number of complex cases, and demands for more rigorous internal controls and accountability – students are optimistic that a quality legal education from the right school can get them where they want to be. The students who truly know they want to go to law school, and aren’t just applying to hide from a weak job market like they did in 2008 and 2009, are more focused and determined than ever.
As more students with higher LSAT scores are applying, soft factors will be given more weight in the application process to distinguish the many high-scoring applicants. This is where our former admissions officers can really help you in developing your application persona to stand out from the rest of the high-scoring pack or to try to fight the uphill battle of applying with a lower test score.
Hard Factors vs. Soft Factors
Hard factors are the aspects in the law school application that are given heavy emphasis by the admissions committee, such as the LSAT score and GPA. All other factors that might influence a law school’s admission decision are called and considered soft factors, including the students’ extra-curricular activities, work experience, volunteer work, diversity, personal statement and essays, and any addenda that may be necessary.
Jordan Weissman’s statistical analysis of law school application trends using LSAC data from the past few years reveals that candidates with an LSAT score of 145-160 have been dominating law school applications. The impact of this will fall squarely on the middle-tier schools (as well as the applicants to these lower tier schools later in life) if there is no change from the status quo in the admissions standards.
This article was written by a law school admissions expert at InGenius Prep.
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