Does Less Law Students = More Economists?

The world of law school is a world of scandal these days. Schools are over-promising and under-delivering. Alums are suing schools. Job placement offices have managed to justify their existence.

At the root of this all, of course, is the horrific legal job market. None of the above issues would be rearing their ugly heads if everyone was too busy working to file frivolous law suits or complain about admission office puffery. Late 2000's layoffs and the resulting job market crowding have only been exacerbated by individuals who continued to apply to law schools in the face of a growing mass of evidence that doing so was far from a sure bet. However, over the past year or so, it would appear that more people are getting the hint.

First, from the ABA Journal, law school applications for 2012 are down over 15%.

Second, from the WSJ Law Blog, the number of people taking the LSAT (admissions test for law school) is the lowest in about a decade.

Ceteris paribus, it would appear that over the past year, some individuals have utilized the available information on actual job rates and have factored it into their decision processes. What a novel approach. As students who are forgoing law school for other options are exhibiting the laws of supply and demand delightfully, perhaps a different kind of grad school might be in some of their futures. That would be a welcome development because, as readers know, if there is one thing the world needs more of than additional lawyers, it is new economists...

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