Law Schools' Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut

By William Peacock, Esq. on April 22, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Practicality? Puh-leez. If that was the only consideration, philosophy majors wouldn’t exist.

With the collapse of the entry-level legal job market, and the unfathomable employment statistics that go along with it, one would expect that the pool of potential law students would shrink. Indeed, that has been the case. One foolish blogger has even suggested that this is the perfect “buy low” time to go to law school.

That foolish blogger (who coincidentally holds a liberal arts degree with two liberal arts minors) apparently has company. A survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep finds a whole lot of pre-law students who are headed to law school knowing that there are no law jobs. A few of the hilariously naive results from the survey include:

  • Most students (71 percent) say they're motivated by passion, not money. Passion? That's cute. That must be why you chose to dual major in communications and philosophy, right?
  • Less than half will modify plans based on financial aid. Hah. You mean people are still going to law school at sticker price? Every applicant should be doing the cost-benefit analysis, unless, of course, they have a massive trust fund.
  • Half know exactly what they're getting in to. Fifty percent plan on using their degree in a non-traditional legal field. Forty-three percent hope to find a job in the business world rather than beg for BigLaw. (That sounds like a good book title. Hmmm.)

We're not saying that law school is a bad idea. Heck, if I had a do-over, I'd still strongly consider a legal path, though I would've waited a few years to take advantage of the buyer's market.

What we are saying is that law students need to be like stereotypical lawyers and make a cold, calculating, logical decision. How much is school going to cost? What is your best alternative, given your current major? Out of the schools that you are looking at, which have the best job placement post-grad?

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