Whether drawn to the field by the desire to problem solve in the specific legal specialty of their choice, the potential to earn a good or even great living and very possibly by both, law was an extremely popular profession of choice.
But, as Bob Dylan famously said, “the times they are a changin'” as applications to law school are near 30-year lows and are coupled with a decline in the quality of the applicant pool.
From a 2013 New York Times article, ‘“We are going through a revolution in law with a time bomb on our admissions books,” said William D. Henderson, a professor of law at Indiana University, who has written extensively on the issue. “Thirty years ago if you were looking to get on the escalator to upward mobility, you went to business or law school. Today, the law school escalator is broken.”
The World Is A Complicated Place!
As issues concerning the law, whether it’s in business, healthcare, international law, technology, intellectual property as well as many others, change and morph dynamically, at the same time the availability of top quality attorney’s will be shrinking.
Statistically, in 2010 7,000 of those students with LSAT scores between 120 and 165 (termed low scoring) enrolled in law school compared to an estimated 8,700 enrolling in 2015.
Conversely, in 2010 9,400 students with LSAT scores above 165 (termed high scoring) enrolled in law school compared to an estimated 5,400 in 2015! (Source)
This won’t present a very good scenario going forward either for those who need representation or for the myriad of law schools starving for students.
So what are the solutions as non-top tier law schools struggle to deal with the new environment and the financial issues that come along with it?
As it is for so many of us in business they need to adjust, adapt and not depend on some of the old tried and true models that worked so well in the past.
How well they accomplish this will separate those who thrive (or survive) from those who disappear from the landscape.
Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.
HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.
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