The decline of applications and applicants to law schools over the past few years is well-documented and known. Some of the latest raw numbers from LSAC can be found here. Total applicants this year number just below 60,000, which I believe are 5-6 thousand higher than some estimates done by Paul Campos a few months ago (but don't quote me on that, if someone has some estimates post them in the comments and I will update this post to reflect that). The distribution of those who have stopped applying to law schools are not spread evenly throughout those on the LSAT spectrum.
Last year, a column ran in The Atlantic lamented that "the wrong people have stopped applying to law school." "Wrong people," of course, as defined by one's LSAT score, but the point was backed up by some hard-to-dispute analysis which noted that the drop of people with lower LSAT scores applying to law schools was less than those with higher LSAT scores, and that those with the higher LSAT scores would be getting into more reputable programs and enjoy the superior employment placement that those programs tend to produce.
This is corroborated by information highlighted recently by Associate's Minds:
"A 20% reduction in applicants in the past three years. People are not going to law school. But if you dig deeper, something else stands out. Looking into the LSAC’s granular data (pdf) – students at the top universities in the country are going to law school in even less numbers."It is barely worth mentioning that those at top colleges already score higher than average on standardized tests, and thus high LSAT scores are *almost certainly* packed disproportionately into top universities.
What this means to the profession will remain to be seen for at least a few years while the new crop of graduates makes their way through law school, eventually entering glutted field that is only getting worse.
Abovethelaw also has an article on the continued drop in law school applications and links to some other useful sources. It will be fascinating to watch the schools' reactions to the increased drop in applications and what the brain drain means in the short-term.