Optimism Among Legal Education Community According to Kaplan

The recent years challenged the world of legal education in the US. Law schools received diminished applications to the tune of 37% lower levels since peaking in 2010. Law schools subsequently began accepting weaker law students, shrinking sizes of entering class or a combination of these. Marketing and competition for the talent of incoming law students has been on the rise. Sizes of these entering classes at reduced levels also meant that gross tuition income. The result of this is faculty layoffs and underemployment of existing staff and even campuses closing.

Yet the world of legal education could soon make a comeback?

Kaplan recently collected data via a survey and released the outcomes and some analysis to go with it.

Signs that the members of legal academia have guarded optimism are evident when reviewing the results of the 2014 Kaplan law school officers of admissions survey. Although gloomy statistics abound, the optimism in this survey is fascinating. Nearly half (to the tune of 46 percent) exhibit confidence regarding their school seeing overall increases of new applications in the coming two years, 2015-2016. During this application cycle, the sentiment is that where previously only 34% of surveyed members of the legal education community stated that the applications would be up when surveyed in 2013. They said this about the 2014-2015 application cycle. Yet that clearly did not happen, which meant that at the time, the majority of these legal education folks were correct in not predicting any kind of spike in law school applications during the 2014-2015 cycle.

Adding optimism to the case: the lowest rate of cutting seats is predicted since tracking began by Kaplan on the law school admissions issue in the year 2012. The rate at which law schools reported slashing seats to the entering class pool went below 50% to the level of 47%. In the year 2013, this rate had reached 54%, yet in 2012 the number was 51%. Furthermore, the survey in 2014 found 22% had plans for cutting admissions the following year.

Yet many wonder what makes up the basis to this law school applications optimism? Applications for law school continue to drop, with legal employment after law school remaining quite soft. According to the foreclosure defense advocates at the new policy institute, the numbers are on the rise for new law grads.

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