The latest on the law school application scene:
1. Big drop in applications at New York law schools. Another sign that law isn't quite the select destination it once was: Columbia Law School, the nation's fourth-ranking law school, reports that applications have dropped 27 percent since 2008, and 12 percent since last year.
Despite that downward trend, David Schizer, a dean at Columbia, tells New York Law Journal, "we are incredibly spoiled [by the caliber of applicants]," adding "that there are many, many more people who would do well here than we can admit."
Maybe so, but you have to wonder what it means when a top-drawer law school is seeing such a spectacular decline in applications.
NYLJ also reports that the other 14 law schools in New York are experiencing varying rates of application drop, with the exception of Cornell Law School which claims a 4 percent increase since 2008. (Cornell has, however, had its own ups and downs in the admissions race—click here for related story.)
Compared to Columbia, its downtown competitor NYU School of Law fared a bit better: NYU's applications dropped 19 percent since 2008, and 10 percent from last year.
Of course, the law schools with the sharpest drops were ones with low rankings—like Albany, SUNY Buffalo, Hofstra, Pace, and Touro—which have all seen application declines of more than 40 percent since 2008. But even a perfectly respectable mid-tier school like Fordham saw law school applications drop 38 percent since 2008.
Any way you look at it, it's much easier to squeeze into a "reach" law school than ever before. So if you can't get yourself into a decently-ranked law school (let's say top 50 or so), you might think twice about whether you're cut out for this racket in the first place. (New York Law Journal)
2. Top 10 law schools for your money. A few weeks ago, we gave you The National Jurist's list of best value private law schools. This time, National Jurist is releasing its composite list for both private and public schools. Both lists weighed law school's tuition, typical student debt, and the location's cost of living, along with data about employment and bar passage rates
Here are the top 10 in this expanded group:
1. University of Alabama
2. University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
3. Louisiana State University
4. University of Nebraska
5. University of South Dakota
6. Brigham Young
7. University of Kentucky
8. Georgia State
9. Florida State
10. William & Mary
You might notice that Brigham Young, number six on this list, was number one on the private law school list. So any way you look at, BYU seems to deliver remarkable value. As we've said before: Go Mormon! (The National Jurist)
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