March 15, 2013
The Visible Deterioration of Law School Quality
A red flag is signaling the potential deterioration of quality at a significant number of law schools. LSAT medians rise and fall by a point or two over time at many law schools, usually in conjunction with changes in the size of the overall applicant pool and the standing of a particular school. That in itself is not a concern--problems arise, however, when law schools accept students who would not have gained admission in years past. Applicants with low LSAT/GPA scores, in particular, have a higher risk of failing out and a higher risk of not passing the bar exam.
Posted by Jim Zellmer at March 15, 2013 3:29 AM
Rapidly rising acceptance rates provide ample reason to worry. A decade ago, for the entering class of 2003, only 4 law schools accepted 50% or more of their applicants (the highest at 55.4%).
Jump ahead to 2009, when 35 law schools admitted 50% or more of their applicants to the entering class. Within this total, at 31 law schools the acceptance rate was between 50% and 59%; 4 schools accepted between 60% and 69%, and zero law schools accepted 70% or above.
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Deterioration of Laws School quality? Based on what? The article determines deterioration by the percentage of applicants accepted. I saw no mention of the range of LSAT scores however. Of course, there are additional factors over LSAT that are used. Like the SAT/ACT tests, their usefulness is determining quality of student is not particularly high to begin with.
If the LSAT scores of those admitted are slipping significantly, then I might agree, that a more detailed look at the quality of entering law students need to be reviewed, but rate of acceptance is no measure of quality of the applicants.
Of course, it would be great if law schools were deciding to admit science and math majors over political science, and English majors. It would be nice to have lawyers and judges who know the difference between opinion and real evidence.