The Minimal Increase in Law School Applications
During down economic times, the conventional wisdom is that applications to graduate school, particularly law school, go up. It’s only a natural feeling for those laid off from jobs such as those in the financial sector. You don’t have a job so you go to law school, and with any luck, the market will be good again by the time you graduate.
What’s interesting about the present day is that there has not been a flood of new applicants to law school. Nationally, applications are up only about 3 percent, which is not a striking increase. It seems that there are a couple of factors contributing to the minimal increase. For one, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of confidence in the legal market. When firms are laying people off left and right and other firms are dissolving, there doesn’t seem to be an indication of stability out there.
Another factor, of course, is the cost of law school. Here are the current tuition rates for the area law schools:
- Drexel – $32,200 (for the ’09-10 academic year)
- Penn – $41,600 ( ’08-09)
- Rutgers-Camden – $31,054 (out of state)/$20,860) (in state) (’08-09)
- Temple – $28.062 (out of state)/$16,118 (in state) (’08-09)
- Villanova – $34,850 (average for the next three years)
- Widener-Delaware – $31,950 (’08-09)
Again, these numbers are just one year’s tuition, which doesn’t factor in fees, books, other costs, as well as room and board. Penn, for instance, anticipates a full year’s expenses at approximately $62,000. Per year. That’s a lot of money to be investing for three years of school when you’re not even guaranteed a good job market after you graduate.
Given these factors, it’s certainly not surprising that folks aren’t rushing out to study up for the LSAT and apply to law school.