Keeping Up to Data: June 2024

Keeping Up to Data logo

June 2024 / Episode 5 / Under 20 minutes

LSAC Law School Forums Information and Insights

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, interim president and CEO at LSAC®, with my regular update on the 2024 application cycle and an interview with Gisele Joachim, LSAC’s vice president for law school engagement, who will talk with us about the upcoming LSAC Law School forums, the first one of which is less than a month from now.

But back to the numbers. Based on last year’s experience, we’re just about 98% of the way through the admission cycle. As of today, we have 62,350 applicants, 5.3% ahead of last year, with the largest percentage increase in applicants from the Mountain West, as well as those with international addresses. Applicants from all regions are up compared to last year. Applicants who identify as Asian are up 6.1%. Those identifying as Black/African-American are up 6.7%, and Hispanic/Latinx-identifying applicants are up 8.9%. In all, over 45% of this year’s applicants identify as persons of color, over 57% identify as female, 1.2% as gender diverse, and almost 29% as first-generation college students.

As for application volume, applicants have submitted over 420,000 applications, 2.3% over last year’s total at this time. Over half of law schools, 117, are showing increases in applications today, 75 are showing decreases, and five are showing no change from last year. As I record this podcast, we have completed all LSAT® administrations for the current cycle, and we have just released June test scores. The deadline to register for the August 2024 LSAT administration, the first test in the 2024-2025 cycle, is just days away, and registrations are about 10% ahead of last year.

As always, you can find the latest applicant trends and numbers on our website, which is updated daily, 365 days a year.

And now I am very happy to welcome Gisele Joachim to Keeping Up to Data. Gisele is vice president for law school engagement at LSAC, and I’ve asked her to talk with us today about LSAC’s Law School Forums. Welcome, Gisele. So, let’s start by describing what an LSAC Law School Forum actually is.


GISELE JOACHIM: So, an LSAC Law School Forum, it’s kind of like a college fair. If you remember, when you were looking at colleges, you would walk into a big auditorium and there would be tables and booths staffed by different college representatives. It’s really an opportunity for people who are interested in law school to meet with representatives from law schools all over the country and Canada and learn about JD, LLM, and other law-related master’s degrees and certificate programs. Normally anywhere from 100 to 200 law schools will participate in each of our in-person forums and also at our digital forums. And it’s important to know that attending a forum is free for prospective law students.


SUSAN: So, you’ve explained why a prospective law student might attend a forum. Why would a law school participate in a forum?


GISELE: So, law schools want to participate in the forums because they’re really a great way for them to connect with prospective applicants. One of the things that we have found is that students who attend the forums are encouraged to look at law schools that maybe they didn’t think about before or didn’t even know about. So, they really get to learn about different law schools and meet the law representatives individually.


SUSAN: How many forums does LSAC sponsor each year or hold each year, and where are they?


GISELE: Each year, we hold a series of in-person and digital forums. This year, our in-person forums will be held in Washington, D.C., and that is coming up very soon on July 13, but then also throughout the fall in Toronto, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and Houston. And additionally, we will have four digital forums, one of which is devoted for LLM candidates in early September, and then three more that are focused for our JD population.


SUSAN: Are there other cities that LSAC holds forums in, perhaps in other years?


GISELE: Yes, we have two forums that we swap out each year. Boston and Houston next year will be replaced with Miami and San Francisco, and then we’ll come back to Boston and Houston in the following year, and so on.


SUSAN: So, you’ve mentioned digital forums and I suppose that that’s a way that somebody who doesn’t live in any of these cities or isn’t going to be in any of these cities might get the same sorts of benefits. Are there other ways that prospective students who don’t live near any of the cities where forums are held can access that information?


GISELE: Sure, and I will also say that we have quite a number of students who will attend both a digital forum and an in-person forum because of the wealth of information that a digital forum can give using all the wonderful tools of the internet, versus an in-person forum where you have the opportunity for meeting people live, in person, and shaking hands and getting to know people a little bit.

And so, if you don’t have the opportunity to attend an in-person forum, I still recommend the digital forum, and then maybe, for that in-person experience, plan on visiting your local law school, whatever that is, even if it’s not a school, necessarily, that you’re going to apply to, to get the sense of a law school and the admissions process.

Additionally, there are other sponsors for fairs and forum-like activities that prelaw advisors at undergraduate institutions sometimes put together or other consortia of schools hold. So, there’s probably something in your area, and you can look on We list all of those events in addition to the forums, so you can get a sense of where things are happening.


SUSAN: So, who would typically attend a forum, and when? That is, do you attend right before you’re getting ready to apply, or much earlier than that?


GISELE: So, most of the students who attend the forums tend to be entering the application process that cycle. The forums largely take place in the fall, and many students are at that moment where they’re deciding exactly where they’re going to apply to, and they’re seeking information at the forum that will confirm where they’re going to apply. Again, maybe look at different places they haven’t thought about, but also then through the workshops and other information that we give at the forums to find out more about the application process and financial aid and test preparation for the LSAT and a whole sundry of activities. So, it tends to be folks who are at the beginning of their application process.

However, we also do get a fair number of students who might be a year or two out from that process. And there’s certainly plenty of information there for them. And the students run the gamut of traditional students, who either recently graduated from college or are about to graduate from college, to people who are looking for second careers, non-traditional students who are a part of the workforce already. And so, we try to set up the forums in hours and in ways that can accommodate all of those.


SUSAN: That’s great. So, you’ve talked a bit about prospective law students who may be right out of college, maybe still are in college, maybe they’ve been out of college for quite a while or are second-career people. Can you talk a bit about the ways forums serve other diverse populations?


GISELE: Absolutely. So, we do, as I mentioned before, a pretty extensive survey of everybody who attends the forums, both the in-person and the digital. And the information, the data that we have found out from those surveys has really been enlightening and really helps us to continue to offer the forums in a way that it’s meeting all of the populations that we want it to.

And what we have found is that, specifically for diverse populations, not only are they very well represented in terms of attending the forums, but that the forums appear to be doing a really good job of serving this group. The respondents who identified themselves as Black, Latinx, first-generation college students, or Pell Grant recipients were more likely to recommend the forums than any other groups. And then these same respondents attended the forums earlier in their law school application process than did white or Asian respondents. And these respondents also feel that they may need more time, and that therefore, the forums are really helping them prepare and be ready for the process.

More Black, Latinx, and multiracial respondents told us that they plan to apply to schools that they had not previously considered compared to their white and Asian peers. And this is another really important data point for us and that we believe that schools should take notice of, in that students are really coming out, and especially students who may have less information about the process, that they’re using the forums to get all of that information and really learning so much, not only about the application process itself, but about the variety of schools that there are for them to apply to.


SUSAN: In addition to the hundred or more law schools that attend a forum, I think you mentioned that there’s also a resource center. What is the resource center, and who’s there?


GISELE: So, the resource center is another area of the forum where participants can really get a lot more information about law schools and specifically the law school application process. We have tables there for test prep providers, so students can find out information about test prep. We have working attorneys who are available to talk about your career in law and what that may look like and feel like. We have financial aid experts, we have prelaw advising experts, and all of these, again, it’s all free. It’s all for students to just become more knowledgeable.

And then I will say, now we’ve talked about two of the three primary areas of the forum: the law school tabling, the resource center. And then the third and important final area is our workshops. We do run a series of workshops. One is about the law school application process, essentials of admissions. That is followed with a financial aid workshop. And then we have a short workshop on taking the LSAT. So, really, students can come out and leave with just a wealth of information.


SUSAN: About how many students or prospective students attend the forums?


GISELE: So, last year, in total, almost 11,000 people attended all of these forums. Each forum itself, it depends on the location very much. The digital forums tend to draw in 2,000 or 3,000 students each time. The in-person forums, anywhere from around 400 or 500 up to our larger forums, Washington, D.C., and New York, over the two days, tends to be over a thousand students.


SUSAN: And can students just show up and walk in, or do they have to sign up or register in some way?


GISELE: We do recommend that students register on the website. That way you’ll have all of the information in advance. But you can also just show up and we’ll be happy to have you there.


SUSAN: What kinds of feedback have you received from prospective students who’ve attended forums?


GISELE: So, the students who attend the forums, generally, it’s very, very positive, the feedback we get. They love that they have the ability to talk directly with law school representatives. They specifically call out, in the surveys, when current students at law schools are behind those tables and they get to hear a little bit from the student perspective. That’s something that they like.

They enjoy that the forums themselves are informative and easy to navigate. And so, generally speaking, they’re having a really good experience, and it’s making them feel really positive about what can be a very stressful time of applying to law school and concerns about where you might get in, and where you might not get in, and getting it right. It does seem to be anchoring students and helping them feel a sense of control over the process, which is a great outcome, I think.

So, Susan, before we’d wrap up, as we’re talking about what students gain from the forums, I thought that I would pull a couple of my favorite comments from the many, many positive comments that we received in the surveys this year and just read them, because I think they’re indicative about the experience that the participants are having.

So, here’s one who attended in Atlanta who said, “It was very well organized. I had a valuable experience, and I felt the forum was worth my time. I drove three hours each way to and from the forum, but I feel the drive was worth it due to the wealth of information I received.”

And then, here is another one, and this is from New York: “Great experience. It was my first law school forum. I went with a group of peers from a fraternity at my school who had attended the previous year. I was able to meet different law schools that I hadn’t thought about applying to and ask questions that helped me decide. It’s such a great thing to be able to talk to someone directly and not just get the questions answered on the website.”

And then, finally, one more from New York: “For the first time in my life, I was in the company of multitudes of people who wanted more for themselves in life. They were aware that education is the best way to begin the process.”


SUSAN: That’s really lovely. Thank you, Gisele, for an incredibly interesting conversation.


GISELE: Thank you.


SUSAN: To our listeners, thank you for joining us at Keeping Up to Data. We look forward to your joining our next episode, and we should be able to provide a wrap-up of the 2024 admission cycle and perhaps provide some early indications of the 2025 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

Back to Keeping Up to Data