Law School Applications Crater

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Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Law school applications appear to be headed for a 30-year low. Based on applications so far for Fall 2013, experts expect there will be about 54,000 applicants -- that's about half the number that applied in 2004.

Reasons for the slide have been well documented: lousy job prospects, huge debt loads, and large tuition increases. See more +

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Law school applications appear to be headed for a 30-year low. Based on applications so far for Fall 2013, experts expect there will be about 54,000 applicants -- that's about half the number that applied in 2004.

Reasons for the slide have been well documented: lousy job prospects, huge debt loads, and large tuition increases.

While there will be enough applicants to fill first-year seats, schools below the very top tier may have to accept students with lower LSAT and GPA scores, or trim their class sizes to maintain quality.

A year ago, after a series of New York Times articles about law schools, reporter David Segal told us law school applicants "don't appreciate what debt they're taking on. . . almost none of these law students have any idea what they're getting into"

It seems they've gotten the message now, and many are choosing other careers.

If the downward trend continues, University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter expects 10 schools to close over the coming decade.

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