June 2023 / Episode 7 / Under 5 minutes
Assessing the 2023 Admission Cycle
Welcome to the Keeping Up to DataSM podcast, a space in which we discuss, analyze, and contextualize trends and perspectives in the current law school admission cycle by taking a deeper dive into the most up-to-date data and making sense of the complicated world of legal education.
SUSAN KRINSKY: Welcome back to Keeping Up to Data. I’m Susan Krinsky, LSAC’s executive vice president for operations and chief of staff. As the 2023 admission cycle winds down, with over 98% of the applicants and applications that we anticipate accounted for, the best word I can think of to characterize this cycle is “stable.” We’re looking at just under 60,000 applicants and just over 410,000 applications. These figures represent about 1,200 fewer applicants than we saw at this time last year, about a 2% decrease, and about a 3.1% decrease in applications. But viewed in the context of the four previous years, we're at virtually the same number of applicants as in 2019 and 2020, and, as I just noted, slightly under 2022's volume. The outlier year, of course, is 2021, when we saw about 7,000 more applicants than this year. This year's pool includes 46.5% applicants of color. That’s an increase over last year—indeed, a gradual increase each year since 2019, with one small dip of 0.3% in 2021.
With respect to gender, we again see a pool characterized by a majority of women, 56.5%, and a gradually increasing number and percentage of applicants identifying as gender diverse, about 1.3% of applicants this year. We are also now collecting first-generation status. This year, 29% of applicants have indicated that they are first-generation college students. About one-third of U.S. law schools are experiencing increases in application volume, most of those experiencing increases of less than 10%. Overall and in aggregate, schools in the Mountain West and Northwest are seeing the largest decreases in application volume, followed by schools in the Far West region and the Northeast. Schools in the Southeast are experiencing the smallest percentage drop in applications, at 0.2%.
I’ve been remiss in providing volume data for our member law schools in Canada. Applicants to our Canadian member schools are down 10%: about 6,600 applicants, as compared to 7,300 last year. The Canadian law schools have received almost 27,000 applications, down just over 9% from last year's application volume of 29,500. As was the case for the U.S. law schools, Canadian schools saw a big jump in 2021, which has since come down gradually to look more like 2019 and 2020.
As for test takers, we have completed the June LSAT administration with close to 20,000 test takers, several thousand more than last June. April's administration had about 5,000 more test takers than the previous April administration. Registration for the August test, our first dual-mode administration, closes on June 29, the day after release of the June scores.
To our listeners, thank you for joining us at Keeping Up to Data. We look forward to seeing you next time, when we will continue to take a close look at the data from the current admission cycle. Until next time, stay well.
Thank you for joining us. Keeping Up to DataSM is a production of LSAC. If you want to learn more about the current law school admission cycle and the latest trends and news, visit us at LSAC.org.