With Travel Season winding down, File-Reading Season coming up fast, and ….
Wait … “End of Travel Season” + “Beginning of File-Reading Season” = Halloween.
We have to write this blog post ASAP before the kids are home and need to get ready for trick-or-treating! Let’s dispense with the usual pleasantries and jump right into matters so that you—the dear reader—can go back to working on applications, and I—the dear writer—can prepare some children for a drastic intake of sugar.
Update on App Numbers and LSAT Registrations
National applicants and applications continue to be down a good bit. Last week, applicants were down 6.2% while applications were 14.3% off of last year’s pace. Another week down the road, and not much has changed vis-à-vis LSAC’s Current Volume Summary report.
The gap has closed a little bit but certainly nothing drastic. Next week’s check-in should be interesting since we will have had the release of the October LSAT results as well as the passage of a few big Early Decision deadlines. If we’re going to catch up to last year’s applications, we should start to see some movement soon.
Speaking of the October LSAT, LSAC’s LSAT Registrants and Test Taker Volumes report continues to show a drastic increase in October and November registrants versus last year.
It appears that about 1,000 November registrants have moved their test date to January. As such, the October/November increase is now at a mere 25% versus the 44% when we started monitoring this a few weeks ago.
And in one other interesting bit of data, LSAC’s Current Volume Summary report also gives a breakdown of applications by LSAT score band:
As well as individual LSAT scores:
While the current decline in applications is being felt across the entire universe of scores, it appears to be most acute in the T14 range between 170 and 175. If you are in that zone and are finalizing your applications, it may not be the worst idea to send out an additional app or two to schools with medians just one point above your score. For example, if you have a 170 and were not planning on applying to any 171 median schools, it could be a good idea to check out the apps for Michigan, Georgetown, and UVA.
Transition to File Reading
With the bulk of law fairs in the past, law school AdComms will put on their reading glasses, brew a pot of coffee, and start reading applications. While understanding that decision-making may be a little slower this year due to the unique combination of the decline in applications and the increase in Oct/Nov LSAT test takers, November is when we begin to see more schools start to issue decisions. Last year, Yale, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, and Cornell all issued their first waves of decisions before Thanksgiving. Michigan may be a particularly interesting bellwether for the larger market. For starters, they’re led by an extraordinarily experienced team who has been around through other ups and downs in the admissions world. But they’re also a school that issues decisions like clockwork once they begin—admits go out on Wednesdays. So we’ll be paying attention on November 1 to see if our friends in Ann Arbor are going to get rolling with decisions!
Law Fairs and On-Campus Recruitment Events
Alas, the gravy train of frequent flyer miles and hotel points comes to an end for admissions officers! They have to return to their offices, open their doors, and realize that they forgot to ask someone to water their plants before they left for that first fair back in September.
There will also be one last in-person Forum on November 18 in San Francisco—we’ll be sure to mention that event again in next week’s update!
As always, be sure to check out LSAC’s Calendar of Events for the latest and most comprehensive information regarding law fairs.
And, as always, be sure to check out our page of law school-specific recruitment events. Of particular note:
– Yale Law hosts their next Online Open House on November 6.
– Michigan Law is hosting their next session on the app process on November 8.
Additionally—shameless plug!—we continue to host a number of information sessions on different app components led by various 7Sage admissions and writing consultants. Be sure to check out the schedule and drop in for a session or two!