Thursday, February 14, 2019

Applicant Update : Applicants up 0.9% per LSAC, Applications down compared to last year

Well, this is a completely unexpected result.  What started off as a strong showing for the current cycle has since petered-out into a rehash of last year, if not more so.  To be fair, I would argue that the year-to-year comparison is 3% above last year as opposed to 1%, but the fact remains.

As readers know I like the "velocity" chart, so I am pulling that up again.  In 2012, the Million-Dollar-Express rocketed up to more than 3,000 applicants/week by Week 8, to glide back down in a graceful parabolic curve thereafter.  I would argue that this shows interest was "strong", and the numbers back it up in that the total applicant count was the highest of all.  Later years showed a more modest trajectory - the end results, while less, were respectable, but definitely showed decreased interest.  2016 was the nadir - instead of a moon shot, the curve looked more like a cannon shot.  Long and flat, which would indicate minimal interest in applying to law school.

2017 and 2018 seemed to show renewed interest, tracking the performance of prior years.  But this year has shown the lowest-trajectory yet, which I still find very surprising given the initial stronger start.

What does this mean?  Well, the area under a flat curve can equal the area under a tall curve (that is to mean, total applicant count can be similar in both instances), but we have yet to see anything rival 2012.  What started as something similar to 2012 and 2013 has instead become worse than 2016 despite recent comebacks.  Total applicants will still likely reach somewhere around 60,000, but this is much less that was initially indicated earlier in the cycle.  

Perhaps people are still getting the message after all: that a JD is not a sure-fire path to riches or saving dolphins, but a form of modern-day indentured-servitude that few will be able to get out from underneath in any reasonable time frame.  To the extent that this represents a long-overdue market correction, we of the scamblog movement welcome this as the much-needed medicine that has been avoided for a long time.  0Ls, do your research, as this may be the best time to wait a year or more, if not scrapping the idea altogether.    



  1. Scrap the idea of going to law school, particularly if you would not go to Harvard or at least Michigan. If you go to any school in the fourth, fifth, or sixth tier (, you will get absolutely no sympathy from me.

    It's good to see that this year's figures are down, but they haven't fallen nearly enough. Sixty thousand applicants? There should be half as many.

  2. Old Guy: I received a broadcast message several weeks ago via my Google e-mail address that Google is going to discontinue their community of Google pages, such as blogs and the like. Question: will that affect this blog?

    Per the e-mail, the shut down will commence April 2nd of this year.

    1. I haven't heard anything about that. I certainly hope that our work won't come to harm for that sort of reason.

      Anyone who can answer Nutwigg1's question is invited to do so, preferably with supporting evidence.

    2. @ Old Guy:
      Within the E-mail was a link to FAQs about the shutdown.

      Here's that link:
      Frequently asked questions about the Google+ shutdown

    3. It sounds like Google+ is shutting down and the social networking aspects, not other applications like Google Drive, Pictures, Blogger, etc. Wait and see, I guess.

  3. Yes, we're uncertain whether 2019 apps will be lower than 2015, for the reasons that Duped mentioned. An all-time low may not be achievable this year.

    But looking at the respective curves, it appears indubitable that 2019 will be lower than 2018. And given the ridiculous hysteria over the "Trump Bump" and higher biglaw salaries, that represents substantial progress.

    Certain histrionic law profs may be forced once again to shut their yapping mouths this year. I would find that a delicious result, to calmly savor as one more reward for not going to law school.

    Believe it or not, back in 2013 I was considering places like Syracuse, Chicago-Kent, and Lewis and Clark as possible paths to a legal career. Nowadays I feel nothing but revulsion at the self-destructive absurdity of such plans. So hanging around here has not only informed me, but reinforced my respect for reason over time. Please don't hesitate to express yourselves even when the news is slow. You may be helping to educate someone.

    1. Thanks to admitting to having contemplated those fourth- and fifth-tier toilets a few years ago. You started with terrible ideas but at least were wise enough to reject them. Too many people are not.

  4. On rejecting those schools, you know what they call a person who graduates from a fourth tier school after he passes the bar? A lawyer. The scam blogs are great for warning people about debt...the problem is they do not give people who want a challenging career many alternatives to consider. What you have to ask yourself is do you want your own business? Very possible with a law license...Do you want the possibility of being financially successful? Very possible with a law license if you are smart and aggressive. Do you want to understand the legal system? You can still get a relatively inexpensive legal education at public law schools, or at least as inexpensive as a typical college education. And the other big question is if you choose not to go to lawschool, what are you going to do? Work for the government? Work in private industry? Start your own business in something other than law? Well sure...if you think that will make you happy...go for it...nothing is a sure is just one way to challenge yourself and still have your own business with the potential of success. Starting a pet store is another way...or being a bureaucrat with a steady and secure paycheck.....what will in the end make you happy...and what regrets will you have upon choosing one course over the other?

    1. I'm beginning to think that this garbage, posted over and over again, should be blocked. There's no meaningful engagement with our concerns, just propaganda repeated ad infinitum. We've answered it a hundred times over.

      Please let me know your thoughts on allowing this kind of thing.

    2. Block it. From a realistic perspective, it is all lies.

    3. "Don't let nay-sayers hold you back from pursuing your dreams! Call now and receive your free information kit on owning your own legal business! "

    4. I get what 10:17 is trying to say - hey, everybody has to do something, go do what makes sense for you. Some people want to own their own business, some people want steady employment, etc. etc. There is risk out there in any endeavour.

      The problem with this line of thought is that the options are presented as fungible and interchangable, which is a false equivalency. Starting a construction company, a pet store, a medical office or a solo practice are not the same thing, even though they are all "owning your own business." Education costs, start-up costs, regulation and industry protections, insurance requirements, and good old-fashioned competition are all varied and different to say the least, let alone the actual work product one is trying to get paid for.

      Our warning is that the education costs for law are non-dischargable and near-catostrophic for the majority, let alone the working capital you need to run a law "business," the expenses you need to front, the time horizon on getting paid if you take a case all the way to judgment and collection, etc. If you can swing all this, great, but that pool is by definintion very few people. Not 40k graduates per year or whatever it is now.

    5. I'm with/OG; Mr. Ellipsis ought to be blocked. He's just another shill for the scam, as if owning the ABA isn't enough for the scamsters.
      Everything he writes is, at best, either patent nonsense or an apology for the scam or both.
      It isn't the mission of the scam blogs to provide career counseling; it's up to adults to make that decision for themselves. The mission of the scamblogs is to warn about the scam.
      The Apologist also fails to address the huge cost before you even begin-as in, open your doors. Total cost to attend even state u is going to run over 100K, and that doesn't include year round living expenses and the cost of taking the bar after graduation. And if you attend one of the scam schools-well, get ready for 200+K in debt, with the interest meter running immediately.
      I could go on and on, but it's all a lie. There's no reason to give the scam movement a platform to con the gullible; they've got the ABA, scam deans, scam profs, etc etc to do that.
      The best course is to block it permanently.

    6. Thanks for those comments. I intend to block any more repetitions of the rubbish blithely posted above—and in numerous other locations on this site—by 10:17. We're happy to engage in serious discussion but not to allow this forum to be used for deceptive propaganda in favor of the law-school scam.

      On top of the above criticisms comes the fact that most people going into law school do not seek to set up a business, at least not right away—and that they should not do so, for they don't know enough to practice law on their own.

      I agree that 2019 is rougher in many respects than, say, 1979, and that there just aren't many good professional options nowadays. That doesn't mean, however, that people should run headlong into law school, heedless of the certain obstacles (some of them discussed above) and of the low probability of even qualifying as a lawyer after attending a toilet or über-toilet law school.

    7. I vote to not block. For one it is Schadenfreude to see how deluded some of these people are. For another if this site can't offer rebuttals against such specious and simpleminded arguments, who can?

  5. Sorry I'm late to the party but do NOT Block comments just because they are scamdean propaganda. If we start blocking, people like Simkovic, Diamond and Letter will jump all over it, claiming that we are being censorious and refuse to air contrary opinions.

    The SJW types are notorious for blocking and deleting. Don't be like them. There are very few reasons to ever block:
    1. Profanity
    2. Publishing Personal details/outing
    3. Shilling commercial products (my aunt made $5000 last week working from home)