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The dip in June test takers, and what it means for your prospective application.

By Ben Feuer

As most people know by now, Law School is in decline, at least when it comes to the number of students they graduate.  There was further evidence of that this month when the new data on LSAT takers showed a steep drop.

If you were one of those LSAT takers, of course, this is great news for you -- less competition means your application will be more competitive.  Just make sure that you are not falling into the same trap some of the last few class years of law students have fallen into by reviewing this ultra-simple checklist.

Is your LSAT over 160?  If the answer is no, wait a year and retake the LSAT.  If you never clear 160, choose another line of work, as your odds of gainful employment post-graduation go way down.

Do you have work experience?  K through JD might seem like the most efficient career path, but you could be setting yourself up for failure.  You are also making yourself less competitive at top schools, which prefer some work experience.  Again, the solution is to take a year or two and be sure this is what you want.

Are you ready to work really hard?  This one might seem self-explanatory.  After all, studying for the LSAT is hard too, right?  well, yes, but depending on what school you wind up going to, class rank is going to matter A LOT in your job opportunities, and class rank is competitive.  Class rank is also dependent upon the amount of time you are willing to spend studying.  Ergo, if you are looking to cruise or avoid academic hardship for a little while, wait.

Are you paying sticker price at a <T14 school?  Reconsider.  You will probably be better off getting to the top of your class at a T50 school while also saving some money on tuition, which in turn will save you from some of that nasty student loan debt.  At a T14 school, your odds of getting a big law offer improve dramatically, so this concern is somewhat alleviated.

You make the call on this one -- but really, take our advice (and everybody else's), and don't rush into a decision about ANY graduate degree, but ESPECIALLY a JD.


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