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True, applications are trending downward.  But for those of you who really want to be lawyers, this might be good news.

We here at Forster Thomas have been tracking law school trends for quite some time.  As most people know by now, there has been a substantial decrease in the number of applicants to law school, leading some programs to shrink and a few to disappear entirely.  But for those of you who actually WANT to be lawyers (as opposed to those of you who just saw it as 'the thing to do'), this might actually be good news.  Why?  Because if you apply to law school this year, you are entering a buyer's market.  Schools are slashing tuition and cutting deals with cost-conscious students -- an extremely appealing prospect if, like most students, you look at the size of the debts incurred and get a little light-headed.

But there's more to it than that.  Big law firms are competing harder and harder for top students, offering bonuses of as much as $100,000, depending on experience.  Even the normally cynical Above the Law called the bonus news 'exciting.  And in certain, truly exceptional cases, such as the case of a Boies Schiller associate who put in an average of 10 hours every day, including weekends, for months on end, the bonuses got much, much bigger ... as high as $350,000.  Note -- Forster-Thomas does not endorse working 70 hour weeks.

The facts are clear enough -- while this might not be an ideal time to be at the bottom of the law school pyramid, or even in the middle, for students graduating at the top of their class or for students graduating from T14 law schools, this is an excellent time to be entering the job market.