Is 'Buy Low' Happening? Are LSAT Takers Really on the Rise?

By William Peacock, Esq. on March 31, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

On the one hand, it's doubtful that the number of test-takers could fall any lower. After all, we've seen the numbers plummet at every offering of the test since June 2010. In fact, pretty much every metric of law school demand has plummeted consistently, from LSAT applications to actual applications.

On the other hand, it's the February test -- the least popular administration time for the LSAT. The increase of 213 test-takers isn't quite the surge that schools and the Law School Admissions Counsel were hoping for.

Still, it might be sign, either that we've reached rock-bottom demand-wise, or a sign that would-be law students are buying low at exactly the right time.

Bottomed Out?

How about a few numbers? February's increase of a whopping 213 test-takers amounts to a 1.1 percent increase over the previous February. In total, there were 19,499 test-takers in February 2014, compared to 28,363 in December, 33,673 in October, and 23,997 in June.

In short, February's the unpopular test, and had already declined by 12.9 percent last year, 13.6 percent in 2012, and 7.5 percent in 2011. There wasn't a whole lot of room left to move.

Year-over-year, we're still looking at a 6.2 percent decline for 2013-2014, which is actually positive compared to the previous two cycles, which declined 13.4 percent (2012-2013) and 16.2 percent (2011-2012).

Buy Low

Yeah, I'll pat myself on the back here, should the numbers continue to increase.

The thing is, many schools have abstained from cutting class sizes, with this year bringing the first actual, indisputable decline from historical norms. They also don't want to plummet a dozen (or more) spots in the rankings. Buyer's market folks. If you've ever wanted to go to law school, now is the time to take the LSAT, try to get an above-average score, and take a full ride scholarship somewhere, or if you're really lucky, get in to a top-15.

There will almost certainly never be a better market for applicants to peddle their LSAT scores to the highest bidder. Cash in while you can, because if February LSAT numbers are any indication, we may have reached rock bottom demand-wise.

What do you think? Are we at rock bottom? Should pre-law folks "buy low" or avoid law altogether? Tweet us your thoughts @FindLawLP.

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