As a future law student, you might have wondered how many other students you’ll be competing against for a spot in law school. Or, maybe you are curious if there has been a large decline in test-takers, if there’s still widespread interest in law school, or if you should really apply. So, you might wonder how many people take the LSAT each year.
Data From the Law School Admissions Council
Thankfully, the LSAC resources page is very open with statistics related to law school admissions and test-taker data. If you’re curious about what is going on behind the scenes, feel free to go through the publications and take a look at recent trends.
Trends in LSAT Test-Takers
As we can see from the above chart, there was a peak of students taking the LSAT from 2009-2010, with 171,514 test-takers in total. This was a 13.3% increase from the period before–in 2008-2009, 151,398 students took the LSAT.
After 2010, there was a decline in test-takers for 5 straight years. The biggest decline was from 2011 to 2012, when numbers dropped by -16.2%, the largest negative change since 1987. Finally, in 2014 to 2015, the LSAC saw it’s absolute lowest numbers since the modern LSAT era. A total of 101,689 students took the LSAT in that period, less than 115,988 in 1987.
The Recent Rebound
After those years of decline, in the 2015-2016 test period, there was an increase in test-takers by 4.1%. 105,883 students took the LSAT in that time. So far, in the 2016-2017 period, 23,051 took the June 2016 LSAT. As the fall administration approaches, we will wait and see whether the upward trend will continue or not.
What Do the Numbers Mean?
So how should you interpret these numbers? Firstly, regardless of competition or trends, you should consider and decide whether law school is the right choice for you. This may mean talking to lawyers in your community, examining your financial situation, and exploring areas of law you may be passionate about.
For students who were passionate about attending law school, a lower number of people taking the LSAT meant less competition. This is especially meaningful if there is less competition at the top competitive schools. So, as we see a potential upswing in test-takers, keep in mind whether now is the best time to apply. If test-takers reach another high peak, competition might be very high!
Ultimately, no matter how many other students are taking the LSAT, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. That comes with quality prep. Sign up here for a FREE TRIAL of Magoosh’s LSAT Prep and get 5 free lessons!