Bad Economy Causes Increased Interest in Law School

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According to a survey by Kaplan, 40 percent of pre-law students say the current economic crisis is motivating their decision to apply to law school.

Registration for free Kaplan LSAT practice exams spiked more than 20 percent as students and professionals explored law school as a safe haven option.

The survey also noted that among aspiring lawyers, political aspirations still run much higher for men.

Read more from the Kaplan press release:

New York, NY – According to a Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions survey of 1,040 pre-law students who took the February Law School Admission Test (LSAT), 40 percent say the economic downturn – which includes the highest unemployment rate in 25 years – is motivating their decision to apply to law school.

“Historically, economic downturns spark an increased interest in law school as students and professionals reevaluate their career tracks. Recessions often inspire people to look to law school to ride out the storm, transition into a new field, or broaden their education to make themselves a more attractive candidate,” said Jeff Thomas, director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. “We’ve experienced over a 20 percent increase in registration for our free LSAT practice test events over last year, supporting the notion that today’s challenging job market may be affecting people’s career plans, though there are a number of other excellent reasons for pursuing a law degree.”

Thomas noted that during the last economic crisis, which hit right after 9/11, applications to law schools spiked 17 percent, before stabilizing in line with an improving economy. And according to the Law School Admission Council, the administrator of the LSAT, law school applications just saw their first increase since 2004.

Other key survey results:

  • The Money Factor: While the recession is a key driver behind this season’s law school applications, earning potential is an even bigger driver: 67 percent say that high earning power “very much” or “somewhat” affected their decision to pursue a law degree.
  • Law School Remains a Popular Breeding Ground for Future Politicians: 54 percent of respondents say they will “definitely” or “probably” run for political office. Despite this high overall number, between genders there is a significant gap in interest level, with 68 percent of males answering “definitely” or “probably,” compared with 41 percent of females.
  • Trials of the Century: When asked for which historical legal case they would have liked to have served as counsel on if given the opportunity, the most popular response was Roe V Wade (34 percent), followed by the Nuremberg Trials (29 percent). Thirteen percent would have liked to have tried The OJ Simpson Trial.

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2 Responses to “Bad Economy Causes Increased Interest in Law School”

  1. JN Says:

    It’s simple. If you don’t want to be a lawyer and work your bum off to become one, don’t go to law school. Sure, it’s a nice finishing school, but it’s not for everyone. I’ve had many law school friends practice for a year or two and then give it up (still saddled with 90k+ in debt). Think twice. You’ll benefit in the long run.

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