“I would say the trend continues to be about 48% women and 52% men,” she says.
Some law school applicants apply right out of college, while others work or take time off after graduating from college. That hasn’t changed much, educators say.
“My sense is there’s a little more of people taking time off after undergraduate work and then returning to law schools,” says Post. “My sense is that the trend will continue in terms of people taking one or two years off to pursue an opportunity such as the Peace Corps.”
In the past, she says, it’s probable that the majority of applicants went right on to law school after their undergraduate studies without a pause. “But today, it seems as 50% or so have some work experience before going back to school.”
“We have noticed an increase among those candidates who have been out of school for a number of years,” says Steve Jones, Dean of Admissions at Florida Coastal School of Law.
One trend that has emerged from law school applicants this year, and in the recent past, has been more diversification in their areas of college concentration.
“Typically, ten to 20 years ago, most of them were political science majors. But now we se a diversification with majors in everything from engineering to the environment,” says Bartlett.
Another subtle change is a somewhat higher quality of applicant, reflected by such indicators as higher LSAT scores, says Duke Law School‘s Hill.
The trend towards applicants applying earlier than in years past may be due in part to schools repeatedly urging early admissions. Counselors usually deny any preference for early applicants, but the LSAC points out several reasons to apply early.
It gives students more time to fill in any gaps in their files, for one thing. In addition, since most schools have a “rolling process” where applicants find out their acceptance before the deadline, students turned down at one school can apply to another.
Finally, admissions offices are often flooded with paperwork at the last minute.
“We always give thoughtful consideration to everyone, but people (admissions offices) sometimes get a little worn out as the law school application process goes on,” says Bartlett.
Some law schools encourage early law school applications through the use of monetary awards. Maybe it’s not much incentive, but consider the other advantages.
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