Legal education may be on the upswing. Despite the declining number of law jobs, law school application saw an increase over eight percent this year.

According to, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), a nonprofit organization whose members include more than 200 law schools, reported that 60,401 people applied for admission this fall, up from 55,580 last year. 

LSAC president Kellye Testy said, "I’ve heard from a number of schools that this year they are worried about not under-enrollment, but over-enrollment. Because the demand was so strong, some schools are finding that they may have had higher yield rates than they had in prior years, and they may have larger classes than they aimed for."

Based on the numbers of students taking the LSAT this June, it looks like the trend will continue into 2019. 

Testy said, "There is kind of a sigh of relief from the schools to see a return both in numbers and in quality [of applicants]."

While the numbers of applicants surged this year, so did scores, with the numbers of applicants with LSAT scores in the 175-180 band -- the highest -- 60 percent higher than last year. 

Applicants with scores of 170 to 174 were up 13 percent, and those with scores of 165 to 169 increased 27 percent.

Some, like National Association for Law Placement executive director James Leipold, have expressed concern that a jump in law school enrollment could drive entry-level employment rates down.

Testy said, "The job market is looking good. But that means we need to hold steady more than growing wildly. Overall, it’s good news. But we want to make sure we’re really being thoughtful about matching the enrollment side with the employment opportunity side.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show the job market for lawyers is set to grow by 8% and reported that starting pay for the Class of 2017 also increased, to $104,000.

Why now? Testy thinks it might have something to do with the current state of global affairs.

She said, "There is heightened visibility to law, legal process, and social justice because of all the various things happening in the larger world. The people coming out of college have a great desire to make the world a better place, in whatever way they define that.”

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