Podcast #14: Keeping Up to Data - December 2019

This episode was recorded on December 11, 2019.

unlabeled bar graphsAre law school applications up or down compared to this time last year? Which regions are showing the largest increases, and where are we seeing a lot of volatility in the data? Join LSAC’s Susan Krinsky for the answers to these questions and more as she breaks down the latest volume summaries and explains how that information is updated and compared to previous years. Also tune in for some LSAT registrant and test taker numbers, as well as final attendee data from this year’s forum season.

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Hi. This is Susan Krinsky at LSAC with the December edition of Keeping Up to Data.  

At this time last year, we had seen about 33% of the final application volume for the year. As of today, applications to U.S. ABA law schools are up by 4.7% as compared to last year, and up 11% as compared to the year before. 108 schools are experiencing an application volume increase, 89 schools are experiencing an application volume decrease, and 4 schools are experiencing no change in application volume. All regions are showing increases in application volume, except the Midwest and the Northwest. The regions showing the largest increases are New England and the Far West. 

Applicants are currently up about 1% over last year, but up 11.6% as compared to two years ago. About half of the regions are showing increases in applicants. Even over the last week, however, we’ve seen a lot of volatility in this data.

As a clarification, when we report on applications, we are reporting on applications to the schools in a particular region. When we report on applicants, we are reporting on applicants from a particular region.

While it’s still early, and the data is volatile, it’s interesting to see that as of the date of this recording, applicant volumes in the higher LSAT ranges are up.  

Looking to Canada — applications to Canadian schools are up 2.6%, while applicants to Canadian schools are down 2.2%.

Remember that the Current Volume Summaries on our website are updated nightly and compare applicants and applications received through the end of the specified day in the current year to the same day of the week last year. So, for example, the volume of applications received through Tuesday, December 10, 2019, is compared to the volume of applications received through Tuesday, December 9, 2018. Note that other reports on our website and in ACES may compare the date this year to the same date last year — that is, without regard to the day of the week. 

Also in the Current Volume Summaries, be aware that the gender identity data now shows maximum reporting in 13 categories, so the totals on that chart will exceed the total number of applicants.  

You may want to take a look at the Notes tab of the Current Volume Summaries. For the July 2019 test takers who canceled their July scores and do not have a prior score, there is a table showing how many of these test takers have registered for a subsequent test and the test for which they registered. 

Looking now at LSAT Registrant and Test Taker Volumes, we have administered over 74,000 tests in June, July, September, and October combined. Final November numbers are not yet available but are likely in the vicinity of 20,000. The January 2020 test, for which the registration deadline has passed, currently shows over 24,000 registrants. The February, March, and April test administrations are, of course, still open for registration.

Now that the 2019 LSAC forum season has concluded, we have final attendee numbers. Over 7,100 candidates who identified themselves as being interested in JD programs attended the ten forums that took place between July and November of 2019.  This was approximately 1.8% fewer than attended the 2018 forums. 

That’s all for this month’s podcast. As always, we’d love to hear from you with questions or suggestions. Just write to us at podcast@LSAC.org. Thanks for listening. Until next time, this is Susan Krinsky at LSAC.