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March 04, 2014


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New normal

There are fewer than 39,500 applicants as of the last day of February!?!? Considering the facts that most good schools have a 2/15 cutoff, that many more have a 3/1 cutoff, that the bushes were beaten last spring for the low hanging fruit, that the incentives (eg discounts) were trotted out in Jan and February, and that the drop is accelerating, I predict fewer than 50,000 total applicants.

I think we see as few as 33,000 matriculants.

an on

Prof Brophy:
There seems to be some confusion based on "applicants" and "applications."
On 2/26 you wrote, with respect to the 2/21 numbers:
"But perhaps you're correct and applicants will drop off even more at the end than they're dropping off now. That's entirely possible. Let me suggest this as an alternative prediction: at this time last year, we had 75% of the final application (not applicant) count. If we figure that we have 75% of the final applicant count for this year, then there will be in the neighborhood of 48,405 applicants this year."
Has your estimate of the number of applicants changed?


I think we'll probably get 40K matriculants this year and will then see a steady uptick starting next year.


Sounds like wishful thinking for next year.
Based on what?
Did you also predict that the economy would tank last year?
(Hint: it didn't. The law school crisis is not attributable to the economy, which we are told has been steadily improving. At the same time, law school enrollments have been steadily declining, and are reaching levels not seen since the early 1970s.)
The time for happy talk is over.

retiel nairb

Anony: Given that we had just under 40k matriculants this year, and applicants are down roughly 12%, I have a hard time believing that matriculants won't drop in the fall of 2015.

36k is probably the high bar at this point.

Alfred L. Brophy

Hi an on, I've been consistently projecting the total number of applicants based on the number of applicants (not applications) and the percent of applicants at this time last year. What you're referring to was my response to someone saying that the number of new applicants may drop off as we go forward this year. What's unclear is whether this year's applicants will follow last year's pattern. For reasons a bunch of people here have suggested, the decline in new applicants this year may increase as the year goes on. I think 50,000 to 52,000 is a reasonable estimate of the total number of applicants and probably in the neighborhood of 35,000 first years. But there are others who've looked at these numbers more closely than me.

Law school gilded age

@ anony:

Just hilarious! Please continue your ironic trolling! The only uptick that's going to be associated with legal education going forward is faculty layoffs and school closings. The law school gravy train is coming to an end, but not before countless young lives have been destroyed.

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