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July 07, 2016


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Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

I brought my old car in for servicing at the dealer the other day. It is uncanny how these posts resemble the show room white boards that feature charts with the sales person's name, numbers of cars sold and the goal. This post should give pause to the 54,708 Le Sabres, I mean applicants to law schools.

J.R. Goodwin

With no intention to preempt Dr. Brophy’s coming report(s), here are some numbers I tentatively came up with for this year’s and last year’s classes:

Extrapolating the numbers forward for academic year 2016-2017:
54,708 / 0.97 = 56,400 projected applicants for 2016-2017.

Working backwards to find the number of 2015-2016 applicants:
x + 0.011x = 56,400 (I’m holding the 1.1% increase constant here, which (at this late date) I believe is a reasonable assumption;

1.011x = 56,400 --> 55,786 applicants for 2015-2016.

37,058 of these 2015-2016 applicants [roughly 66%, or two thirds] were (1) accepted and (2) actually matriculated at accredited law schools*.

Using this same ratio (2/3), one can project that of the 56,400 anticipated law school applicants for 2016-2017, 37,393 will matriculate at an accredited law school.

The next question that arises is, how many of those 37,393 will eventually graduate from law school? In order to save time, I’m going to borrow a figure from another TFL article**:

“From 2007 to 2013, the percentage of JD’s matriculating [sic; he means graduated] from the entering class has varied from 86%-91%.”

I am being admittedly lazy, but to save time I will just use the midpoint of those figures - 88.5% - to estimate that (0.885)(37,393) = 33,093 students will graduate with a J.D. (in 2019 or (for part timers) 2020).

The next question that comes to mind is: How many lawyers will either die or retire in 2019? I.e., are we replacing them, less than replacing them, or more than replacing them? I don’t have the figures for this one, but my guess is that we are still much more than replacing them – and this doesn’t include other factors - such as jobs lost to overseas outsourcing and to do-it-yourself legal websites such as LegalZoom™.


** (2014 article by Steven Freedman).


J.R. Goodwin

I would very much like to here from certain very vocal and vociferous advocates here in the TFL a few years ago on the question of what the market for new lawyers will look like next year.

We must never forget what they said, and how they said it.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

anon at 12:48

The "vociferous advocates" on this Blog were correct. There are hundreds of legal job openings. They won't tell you that there are 1500 applicants for every job....and that's just the newbies, not counting graduates from a couple years back and us attorneys out over two decades who need work....It's absurd how many attorneys there are. For a major DUI, there are attorneys willing to try it for under 5 bills. Desperation.

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