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WaPo: Law School Applications Increase - Trump Bump?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news /morning-mix/wp/2018/02/2 cyph3r02/23/18
That $1,000 a month job I posted the other week is always an khazaddum02/23/18
Amazon entering lawl school game? triplesix02/23/18
The media is attributing the increase to Trump. but I don't trijocker02/23/18
A just outcome no matter what. If it is the Trump bump, i wearyattorney02/23/18
The economic expansion can't go on forever, and it's quite l 6figuremistake02/23/18
Wonder what the quality of the applicants are. massivemissive02/23/18
BINGO dogdaypm02/24/18
No, more like the "dead cat bounce" -- i.e., a temporary rec patenttrollnj02/23/18
Not sure why there’s this presumption the applicants are l trickydick02/23/18
I don't believe it's a totally a "Trump Bump." I believe saltlifesticker02/25/18
cyph3r (Feb 23, 2018 - 8:38 am)


The 2008 market crash fell hard on the legal industry. Cash-strapped law firms laid off attorneys in droves and cut back on new hires. Many tasks once performed by young associates were automated or outsourced to contract lawyers. Full-time employment for recent law school grads sank, bottoming out at less than 54 percent in 2011.

It was a bad time to be a lawyer, and prospective students figured that out quickly. Law school applications — already in a slow decline — fell off precipitously after the recession. For the past three admissions cycles, the number of applicants has hovered below 60,000, down from 88,000 in the 2009-2010 cycle, according to data from the Law School Admission Council and Law School Transparency.

But this year, law schools are seeing an unexpected double-digit jump. And a new report says the 2016 election is a factor.

A survey of more than 500 pre-law students, released Thursday by the education service provider Kaplan Test Prep, showed that nearly one third of them said President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton “impacted their decision to become lawyers.”

Kaplan, which provides prep courses for the law school admissions Test (LSAT), offered a list of anecdotes from soon-to-be law students who said the election motivated them to apply. Their reasons varied, as did their politics, according to Kaplan. Some reportedly expressed concerns about the administration’s crackdown on immigration, while others said Trump himself made them want to pursue public office.

“The election gave me a litmus test for how divided our country will be for the next few years and how I want to remedy that,” said one applicant who, like others, was not identified in the survey. “The country needs level headed leaders and through law school, I believe that I can become one of them.”

“I had already planned to attend law school previous to the 2016 election,” responded another. “President Trump’s support of the separation of powers, and his administration’s commitment to the rule of law have only further inspired me to pursue a career in the field of law.”

Law schools around the country are still accepting applications, so a complete picture of this cycle’s data won’t be available for some time. But figures from the Law School Admission Council already show a significant uptick.

In December, the council reported that the number of applicants was up 12 percent and applications were up 15 percent over the same time last year. Those numbers held steady as of mid-January, according to more recent data.

In another indicator of the upward trend, nearly 28 percent more LSAT tests were administered in December 2017 than December 2016, as U.S. News and World Report noted last month.

Lots of different factors could account for all this. The economy and job market have shown steady improvement. Law schools have offered tuition discounts. Though the entry level market for new lawyers still isn’t rosy, firms are hiring again.

But a Trump bump, as it’s been called, may be part of the explanation, too. Some of the most consequential news stories of the past year have revolved around the administration’s court battles. The president has picked fights with judges and openly attacked the nation’s top law enforcement officials. And the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has acquainted the entire country with incremental developments in complex federal court proceedings.

“Trump has had a galvanizing effect on many prospective students, both Democrat and Republican,” Dave Killoran, chief executive of the admissions consulting firm PowerScore, told U.S. News and World Report. “We see our students discussing specific policies far more frequently than in the past, and the depth of feeling they are expressing is greater than ever before.”

Jeff Thomas, director of Kaplan Test Prep’s pre-law programs, also noted that there’s been a lot of speculation about how the political climate has affected the rise in applications.

“We now have an answer: it’s significant,” he said in a statement Thursday. “The bump is real.”

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khazaddum (Feb 23, 2018 - 8:48 am)

That $1,000 a month job I posted the other week is always an option!

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triplesix (Feb 23, 2018 - 9:57 am)

Amazon entering lawl school game?

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trijocker (Feb 23, 2018 - 10:08 am)

The media is attributing the increase to Trump. but I don't buy it.
I think students are applying to law schools in droves because there are less job choices today.
Before computers and technology, say thirty years ago, you could get out of school and work in a bank or even do casual retail or entry level corporate admin work. Now with technology we don't need bank tellers, many retail stores have closed and we don't need admins either, workers can print out their own letters, you don't need a secretary to type up work.
With less job choices, and graduates feeling confused about what to do, they just throw out a law school app, get bought into the entire LSAC machine, log in and chat on 7sage preparing for the LSAT a year, and forget why they even wanted to go to law school. Nor do many seem to read the warnings about law school debt, they just keep coming, incurring the debt and then end up graduating law school bewildered and angry they cannot find work. There is a home for them on JDU however!

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wearyattorney (Feb 23, 2018 - 10:24 am)

A just outcome no matter what.

If it is the Trump bump, it will be a nice little learning experience for the snowflakes to have their liberal professors, always preaching sacrifice and social responsibility, to turn Alec Baldwin on them and start telling them about personal responsibility, boot straps, and how law school is a business when they graduate indebted and underemployed. If you go through the law school and still have liberal views, you need your head examined. It’s the clearest example of why liberalism fails. People are selfish and they will pursue their personal interests at the expense of others. The people that preach self sacrifice our almost always the worst, as they want the government to forcefully secure their position, and the whole altruism spiel is a con game. (The law school scam wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the federal government writing a blank check to these “institutions of higher learning.” The funding is secured by preaching a message of social responsibility and then taking over the agency responsible for oversight. It’s a microcosm for the overall problem, but a very clear microcosm.)

If on other hand the snowflakes don’t think there are other options because wearing a white collar outweighs every other consideration when considering employment, then let them suffer accordingly.

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6figuremistake (Feb 23, 2018 - 10:44 am)

The economic expansion can't go on forever, and it's quite likely that there will be another recession just in time for these chumps to graduate. As someone else mentioned, we'll see just how compassionate the social justice minded professors are when the next crop is tossed out into the street with 200 large in debt in yet another miserable market.

Maybe a second mass wave of failed law graduates will put a few more scam schools on the Whittier express.

These kids are even more ridiculous than my era of LS grads were. At least, we were under the delusion that there were good jobs out there that would justify borrowing six figures.

Do they really think anyone is going to pay them $180k a year to fight Trump (who may not even be president when they graduate)? If they do land high paying jobs, they're going to be analyzing corporate documents not ushering in the people's revolution. If they don't have the credentials for BigLaw, it's unlikely they'll end in any position to influence politics and will probably be more concerned about preserving IBR than defending immigrants anyway.

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massivemissive (Feb 23, 2018 - 11:02 am)

Wonder what the quality of the applicants are.

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dogdaypm (Feb 24, 2018 - 8:54 am)


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patenttrollnj (Feb 23, 2018 - 11:32 am)

No, more like the "dead cat bounce" -- i.e., a temporary recovery from a prolonged decline, followed by a continuation of the decline.

There is no evidence whatsoever that jobs for lawyers have returned, and so called "JD preferred" jobs seem to be preferring non-lawyers over lawyers more and more. No way applications will start going up again, especially if Trump puts a cap on student loans.

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trickydick (Feb 23, 2018 - 7:35 pm)

Not sure why there’s this presumption the applicants are liberal, the article clearly states that their politics vary and one guy openly states that Trump’s commitment to the rule of law (like labeling federal judges who rule against him traitors) led him to enroll in law school. Some of these clowns are going to law school in hopes of serving Trump, not to protect people from him.

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saltlifesticker (Feb 25, 2018 - 11:06 am)

I don't believe it's a totally a "Trump Bump."

I believe that when people graduate from undergrad with degrees that aren't career focused they are faced with a tough job market and many don't find their way into steady employment. It's a harder decision to decide between law school and a good job out of undergrad (or a job with good potential out of undergrad.)

In other words, I think an increase in admissions is more so a reflection of how few middle class career options exist for undergrads (or at least options that they realize.) People are probably desperately overeducating themselves because their undergrad education didn't lead to a decent wage.

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