Law School Admissions, 1985 to 1995, Assessing the Effect of Application Volume (RR-97-02)
Two trends in application volume to American Bar Association (ABA)-approved law schools were evidenced between the years 1985 and 1995. The first part of the decade saw a steady rise in applications; the latter part was marked by yearly declines. Institutional rates of acceptance are inversely related to application volume. Thus, for most schools, as the number of applications rises, admission becomes more selective; as interest in obtaining a legal education falls, rates of acceptance rise. Also affected are two generally recognized measures of academic preparedness. As application volume climbs, the undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score medians of entering classes rise. When the number of candidacies recedes, GPA and LSAT score medians also decline. These findings hold whether the law school is a public or private institution.