Archive for January 2014

The ABA Task Force Recommendations on the Future of Legal Education – Part 2: Accreditation & Innovation

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The report and recommendations of the American Bar Association’s task force on the future of Legal Education[1]  made several key conclusions regarding how law schools need to adapt to better serve law students, the legal community, and the general public.[2]

The second and third key conclusions were in regards to the accreditation standards of the ABA and how the standards stunt innovation.  More specifically, the report concluded that the rigid system of accreditation is neither sufficiently flexible to account for the various diverse needs of the students of different ABA member schools nor does it promote a system that is cost effective.[3] The task force recommended that the ABA accreditation standards be modified  to enable “more heterogeneity” and encourage “more attention to service, outcomes, and value delivered to law students.” More specifically, the task force recommends either repealing or dramatically changing the accreditation standards.

The report later notes that the ABA standards tend to increase the quality of legal education without regard to how the benefit of such increases correlate with the costs.[4]  This appears to be a fairly convoluted way of saying that the trend of utilizing law professors to produce more scholarship and teach amorphous policy-based courses, as opposed to skills courses, is a great way to increase the quality of legal education, but it also increases the cost to law students without providing equivalent value in return.  This is a pretty subjective conclusion as it pitches hard data of increasing legal education costs against the value of legal education measured in non-economic terms.  If such value were determined using hard financial data, like the average real increases in law graduate salaries compared to the increased costs of education, then I am confident there would be empirical findings to support, or disprove, this conclusion.

In terms of innovation, the report correctly concludes that the ABA standards prevent law schools for experimenting with different types of legal education.  Indeed, law schools face significant restrictions on the types of educational delivery systems that may be employed, decisions of curricular priorities, and specialty areas.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. See Generally, Report and Recommendations, Task Force On the Future of Legal Education (American Bar Association, January, 2014)
  2. This is the second part of a series of posts addressing the key findings of the ABA task force. See the initial post at The ABA Task Force Recommendations on the Future of Legal Education – Part 1: The Funding Mechanism for Law School or later posts as they become available on this lawblog
  3. See Report and Recommendations, Task Force On the Future of Legal Education (American Bar Association, January, 2014) at p.2.
  4. Id at 23-24.

The ABA Task Force Recommendations on the Future of Legal Education – Part 1: The Funding Mechanism for Law School

ABA Logo

The American Bar Association’s task force on the future of Legal Education recently released its final report and recommendations. [1]  It appears the findings and recommendations failed to receive the blessing of the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors at the ABA as the report begins with a significant disclaimer stating that the views in the report “should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.”[2]  This post is the first in a four-part series[3] addressing the various assessments and recommendations of the task force and what the recommendations might mean to various persons with interests in legal education. Today’s topic is the pricing and funding mechanisms for law school.

Pricing and Funding of Law School

The task force found that law schools are increasingly listing nominal tuition rates and then seeking top students using a scholarship system.  Many of these internal scholarships, however, are not like most scholarships in the traditional sense where a third party pays the actual cost of tuition to the school on behalf of the scholarship recipient.  A traditional scholarship places the school on equivalent financial footing between scholarship students and non-scholarship students.  Rather, these internal scholarships are really just tuition price reductions for the top incoming students, which actually make some sense as the higher GPA and LSAT scores by these incoming students increases the ranking and prestige of the law school.

This system presents a couple of significant problems.  First, the law schools have to make up the cost of these scholarships and typically do so by charging non-scholarship students more in tuition.  Also, most of the non-scholarship students are financing their legal education with debt from federal loans which are extremely easy to obtain in amounts up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.[4]  So the students with the lowest likelihood of success in law school, meaning students with the weakest incoming predictors like LSAT and GPA, who are also the least likely to benefit from their legal education in monetary terms are the very same students who are paying the most.

The task force also points out that this system for funding law schools “tends to impede the growth of diversity in legal education and in the profession.”[5]  The report makes little mention of diversity either generally or in its more detailed findings and, frankly, I am surprised this statement made it into the report at all without some kind of empirical support.  We are left to speculate as to how the funding mechanism for law schools affects diverse individuals in the legal field any differently than non-diverse individuals.

As interest rates have risen significantly over the last five years, something which is likely correlated to increased unemployment and default rates, the true cost of a law school education over the life of each law student has increased dramatically. One issue that has gotten a great deal of press lately is the fact that student loans are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.  This is a factor that is certainly contributing to declining applications and enrollments for law schools as the financial considerations for engaging in legal studies have pushed many of the brightest students into other career paths.  If a change in ABA policy is able to move law schools to either curtail the cost of law school or develop revenue sources outside the current federal student loan regime then this would certainly improve the economic prospects for students considering law school.  While other funding mechanisms might be available over time, the ABA can immediately implement policies that encourage fiscal responsibility and reduced costs.

This Week’s Roundup of Supreme Court Decisions

The United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C. - Photo by John S. Treu

Washington D.C. – Heroin as a basis for penalty enhancements in a drug-related death, timekeeping for steel workers, and who bears the burden of proof in a declaratory judgment proceeding for a patent were a few of the topics addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court this last week.[1] The following is a summary of the holdings in each case:

January 23, 2014

In Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC,[2] the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the federal circuit court by ruling unanimously that a patent holder bears the burden of proving infringement, even in lawsuits brought by a licensee seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement against the patent holder.

January 27, 2014

In Burrage v. United States,[3] the U.S. Supreme Court Held that a defendant cannot be held liable for penalty enhancement under 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(b)(1)(C) based on drug distribution unless such drug is the but-for cause of the victim’s death.  The evidence presented at trial indicated that the death may have occurred even without the use of heroin and the trial judge ruled that the Government only had to prove that the heroin was a contributing cause of death.  The judgment was unanimous and Justice Scalia wrote the opinion for the majority, subject to minor concurrences by Justices Alito, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor.

In Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp.,[4] the U.S. Supreme Court held that time spent by steel workers putting on protective gear was not compensable under 29 U.S.C. Sec. 203(o) absent a collective bargaining agreement providing for such compensation. Justice Scalia delivered a unanimous opinion of the court, except as to fn. 7 which was not joined by Justice Sotomayor.

In Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper,[5] the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Aviation and Transportation Security Act immunity pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Sec. 44941(a) for airline employees reporting suspicious activity may not be denied to materially true statements as the immunity is patterned after the actual malice standards of New York Times Co. V. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, which requires material falsity. Having found that ATSA immunity applies, the Court held against the Pilot’s defamation suit.

Visiting vs. Transferring Law Schools

Law School Weekly News

Even though visiting another law school and transferring to another law school may have a number of practical similarities, the two processes are very different both in terms of the time it takes to complete the application process and in regards to how it affects your resume and job prospects. As a transfer student you will be a graduate of the new law school and you will generally be treated as if you were always a student there. On the other hand, as a visitor you will merely be an interloper at the visiting law school. You can only transfer before the fall semester of your second year due to the 30 hour limitation on transfer credit and transfer applications are typically due by June or July. So if you have already started your second year of law school then you are not a candidate to transfer and graduate elsewhere, but you may be able to take up to a year of school as a visitor.

Visiting In Law School

If you visit another law school, even if for your last semester or your entire third year, then you will still graduate from your original law school.  The specific arrangements vary from school to school, but the credits you earn at the institution you are visiting will be added to your law school transcript as transfer credits applicable towards graduation.  Since most schools limit such credit to a maximum of 30 hours or so, your maximum visit time is for one academic year.  A visiting semester or year at a particular law school is unlikely to have a positive impact on your resume other than showing an interest in a particular geographic area.  Visiting is usually done as a matter of convenience, such as if your spouse has a job in a different state.  Visiting law students will not receive a degree from the school they are visiting and won’t have full access to that school’s career services and even may get the last pick of course offerings.  Law schools are generally happy to oblige with admitting visiting students as it merely adds to their bottom line with little impact on their resources or the experience of their students.  The visiting application process is fairly menial and is more of a simple administrative process than law school or transfer applications, although a personal statement indicating the reasons you are seeking to visit is required.  That said, timing can still be critical so if you want to visit another school you should look into the process in advance to make sure you have all the documentation in place ahead of the relevant deadlines.

Transferring In Law School

On the other hand, if you are transferring law schools, it is a major undertaking with a significant impact on your life and career. Transferring to a different law school requires an application that is similar to, although not as extensive as, your initial law school application.[1] When you transfer to a new law school you will receive your degree from that school and you won’t even be required to mention your first-year school on most job applications. You will also count in the transfer law school’s employment numbers and you will be an alumnus of their institution for the rest of your life. So law schools are very careful in considering transfer applications and you should set aside a significant amount of time to put together your applications if you decide you want to transfer law schools.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. See 3 Things to Know for Law School Transfer Applications.

5 Things to Consider Before Deciding to Transfer Law Schools

Tax Litigation Appeals are brought in the applicable Federal Appellate Court or the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Many law students who were not successful getting into their first choice law school will consider whether they are a good candidate to apply as a transfer student after their first semester grades come out.[1]  But the decision to transfer to a law school is unique from the initial decision of whether to go to that same law school as a 1L.  In fact, in certain circumstances you may be worse off by transferring to a more prestigious law school after your first year.  This article sets out five factors to consider when deciding whether to transfer law schools and provides advice for mitigating some of the negative factors that can impact you if you decide to transfer.

1) Your Ability to Network Will Be Affected

Your 1L year is a singular and unique experience where you likely developed a bond with many of the members of your first-year class who made it through the same trial by fire.[2]  You will always have a commonality with the members of your 1L class that gives you a networking advantage both during your last two years of law school and, more importantly, throughout your law career.  Starting at a new law school as a 2L or a visitor means that you will be an outsider and you will be viewed differently by your peers than students who completed all three years at the same law school.

This can be overcome, but you should recognize that transferring means you will need to put a lot more time and effort into networking than you did to connect with your 1L classmates.  The one exception to this will be connecting with other transfer students, which will come quite natural to you for the same reasons connecting with other 1Ls is natural, but you should make it a goal to assimilate as much as possible with non-transfer students since it is a much larger networking pool. With a little extra effort you can turn this negative into a positive where you have connections at both your 1L law school and your transfer school, but it will take more effort and time.

2) You May Be Precluded From Law Reviews and Moot Court Teams

Law Schools have come a long way to improve the life of their transfer students by offering better opportunities for journal participation and competition teams.  As a transfer student who was very highly ranked in my 1L class, I would have been a virtual lock for Law Review membership at my 1L law school, but I was precluded from Law Review participation at my transfer school during my 2L year as the Law Review membership had already been set before I was even admitted.  I was still able to write on for my third year as a senior staff member, editor positions were not an option.[3]

Not all schools preclude transfers from Law Review positions for the 2L years, but some have very interesting methods for earning such a position. Take Columbia, for instance, which allows transfer applicants to participate in its law review competition which is held several weeks before the school even makes its decision as to transfer admissions.[4]  It takes a special type of personality to be motivated for a law review competition under any circumstances, but I really want to meet the person that is willing to subject themselves to a law review competition at a law school where they haven’t even been admitted.[5]

3) On Campus Interviews

All schools have different timelines for on-campus interviews with potential employers, but OCIs tend to occur during the Fall of your 2L year.  As a transfer student this means you will be putting your resume with grades from your 1L law school up against your peers with their grades at the likely more difficult transfer law school. This is a mixed bag as you likely have a better ranking at a less difficult law school that will get you past the “top-20% only” restrictions in the application process, but employers will know this and your grades will be less impressive to them than the grades of your peers.  If you want employers who are looking for individuals who scored in the top 10-20% of your 1L law school, they will be interviewing at your 1L law school.  Again, this is not an insurmountable hurdle, but it is something you should be aware of when considering a transfer.

4) All Law School Applications Take Time and Energy…Even Transfer Apps.

I covered the law school transfer application process in more detail in another article,[6] but it will represent a relatively significant investment of your time and resources.  The transfer application process is a lot easier to complete than you initial law school application, but it will involve getting letters of recommendation from your current law professors and so it would be unwise to put it off until just before the deadlines. There are significant demands on your time in law school and so adding even a relatively manageable application process can take a lot out of you.

5) Credit and Course Transfer Limitations

Similar to undergraduate programs, Law schools will generally only transfer a certain number of credits, typically 30 credits is the maximum.[7]  If you took a large credit load during your 1L year or you did an externship at your 1L law school during the summer, or both, then you may end up losing a few credits by virtue of your transfer.  Also, variance in the 1L curriculum of your 1L law school as opposed to your transfer school means you may have more required courses than non-transfer 2Ls including re-taking certain courses.  For most students, these factors are only a minor inconvenience that can be overcome fairly easily, but this factor could be more of an issue if you were planning on early graduation as that may not be attainable with a loss of credits or due to variance in your required course load.


This article focused on some of the factors that may impact you as a law school transfer student in comparison to completing your degree at the law school where you attend as a 1L.  Unfortunately, most of the factors cut against transferring. For that reason, it is generally inadvisable to transfer law schools unless there is a fairly substantial difference between the transfer law school and the law school where you began your legal education. Although, you should take the time to research the specific school you are considering based on the factors above to see if that school has implemented policies that are more favorable to transfer students than what is generally the case.

Feel free to ask us a question in the comments section below if you are considering making the jump to a new law school after your first year.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. All ABA-approved law schools require that you complete 2 years of course credit at their respective schools, and so a transfer occurs after the first year, while a visiting year occurs after the second year.
  2. I use the word “bond” rather than friendship because what I am describing applies even if you did not like a single fellow law student.
  3. I was one of the fortunate ones to be able to write on as I believe there were about twenty five to thirty submissions for only two spots. Relying on the write-on competition for your third year is certainly a gamble and writing a note or comment will represent a significant investment of time that you may not otherwise receive any credit for.
  4. See Columbia’s Journal Policies for Transfer Students.  
  5. Columbia typically admits 35-60 transfer students out of approximately 400 applications.
  6. See 3 Things to Know for Law School Transfer Applications.
  7. See e.g., USC’s law school transfer policies.  

3 Things to Know for Law School Transfer Applications

Library of Congress - Interior (3) (Original)

If you are a 1L and the law school you are attending is not exactly your top choice, then you may consider applying to transfer to a different school starting in your second year. This article discusses three things you should know about the law school transfer application process.

(1) Your 1L Class Rank Is Likely the Most Important Determining Factor

Transfer applications are a completely different game than your initial law school application process because you now have an actual law school academic record, which is a much better predictor of future law school success and employment prospects than your undergraduate GPA, personal statement, or LSAT score.  So being in the top third to top ten-percent of your 1L class makes you a great candidate for a transfer, assuming your goal is to move to a more prestigious institution.  Alternatively, if you are outside the top half of your class then you will have a very difficult time trying to move to a higher ranked law school, although a geography-based lateral transfer may still be a possibility.

Other factors that tend to make a significant difference in the initial application process have less sway for purposes of transfer applications.  Undergraduate academic achievements, your LSAT score, and letters of recommendation from anyone other than a current law professor will have little effect on your transfer application.  My experience has been that diversity also does not play as significant a role in transfer applications as was the case during the initial application process.

(2) Transfer Applications Take Time and Energy At A Time When You Will Have Very Little of Either

Even though it’s a different animal, some elements in the application process will seem very familiar including essays or personal statements, letters of recommendation, and of course the fee that each school you apply to may charge.  In terms of maximizing your opportunities through transfer applications, the key is to plan ahead.  It is important to recognize that even the pared-down process still takes significant time, energy and planning.  Transfer applications are a walk in the park by comparison to your original law school application process, but you are also a lot busier during and following your 1L year than you were during your final year of college. You should at least be in the planning phase and assessing the process at your targeted schools before you disappear into your exam season in the Spring.  I would strongly encourage you to identify and meet with the professors who will be providing letters of recommendation before exam season.

(3) Identify and Meet with Your Recommending Professor Prior to Your 1L Spring Semester Exams

One interesting aspect of law school transfer applications is that they require letters of recommendation from one or more of your current law professors. These letters take time to write and law professors are not exactly known for keeping regular office hours during the summer, so you will get a much better result speaking with the law professor during the middle of your second semester.  Obviously you should select a professor from a class where you performed well and that you believe would have good things to say about you as a student.  This means you get to look forward to: (i) going in to meet with your law professor in person,[1] (2) informing said professor that you, one of their brightest students, are applying to transfer from their law school, and (iii) asking them to write a letter of recommendation to help you in that endeavor.

I will note that meeting with a law professor for a transfer recommendation can be a potentially awkward conversation and you will want to make sure that you have a good reason for applying to transfer that you can share with the professor. [2]  The reality is that most law professors are not so invested in their school as to take offense if you decide you want to pursue an opportunity to transfer.  The significant majority of law professors attended a top-ten ranked law school, which is probably not the case for you if you are considering a transfer, and so they both recognize that there may be better opportunities at other law schools and they will understand your desire to pursue those opportunities so long as you have a good reason for seeking a transfer.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Please do not even think about ducking out on this in-person meeting with your recommending law professor by requesting a letter of recommendation via email. It is a must that you meet with your recommending law professor face to face if you want to receive a valuable letter of recommendation.
  2. Simply stating that you are transferring to improve your job prospects by moving to a law school that is ranked slightly higher in the U.S. News rankings is not going to be very persuasive to either the recommending law professor or the law school to which you are applying. Even if that is the primary reason you are transferring, there are probably other reasons that will sound a lot more thoughtful and persuasive that you should be ready to communicate when you meet with the professor you selected. 

Rhode Island’s Law School Significantly Reduces Its Tuition

Library of Congress - Exterior Direct (1) (Original)

It appears law schools are finally starting to react to the significant drops in law school applications[1] by adjusting tuition cost downward.  Roger Williams University School of Law,[2] Rhode Island’s only law school, is reducing its tuition by nearly 20% and locking the tuition at this level for three years.[3]

Considering law schools are in the peak of admissions season, this may be a strategically sound move for a law school to make where the competition for students is increasingly stiff.  It will be interesting to see if the strategy pays off and is reflected in either a stronger, or at least a larger, first year class this upcoming fall compared to the school’s prior 1L class.

One writer has attributed the cuts in tuition, including cuts at other law schools like Penn State and Iowa, to the dismal legal jobs market,[4] but that is only partially true. The primary market trend the law schools are responding to is the downward law school applicant pool.  The law schools themselves have very little, if any, control over the legal market their graduates will inherit. But on thing law schools can control that is affecting demand for legal education is the cost, which has been skyrocketing the last decade or so. This is certainly a step in the right direction and hopefully more law schools will follow suit.


Should You Go For An LLM Degree After Law School? It Depends

Having completed an LLM degree myself, I have heard a lot of different opinions about LLM degrees[1] from both academics and professionals alike. If you are deciding whether to do a Master of Laws program then it is important to carefully evaluate your goals in such pursuit. I have organized this article by listing some of the potential goals you may have for completing an LLM degree followed by an analysis of whether an LLM degree is likely to help you achieve that goal.[2]

Seeking LLM Purely for Specialized Legal Knowledge

Library of Congress - Interior (3) (Original)If your primary goal in seeking an LLM is to gain specialized knowledge in a specific area of the law that you will not be able to attain from on-the-job training or some other source professionally, then an LLM program is a great way to go.  In fact, this is far and away the best reason for seeking an LLM degree in any subject area.  The vast majority of LLM programs do a good job of providing a relevant and useful curriculum for their students in the targeted area of the Law.  That said, if you already committed a significant portion of your second and third years of law school to that same area of the law, then you may not get a great deal out of re-taking many of those same courses at a different school.  Make sure the course offerings at the LLM program you are considering will be sufficiently diverse to broaden your understanding of the topic in a meaningful way either by teaching new topics or by going more in depth on the topics you already know.[3]

Seeking LLM to Improve Job Prospects

A lot of law students finishing up law school will often look to LLM programs as a résumé builder, particularly if they were unsuccessful at finding a legal job following graduation. If this is your primary goal, then the utility of an LLM program will depend greatly on the school where you are seeking your LLM and the specific subject matter you are pursuing.

Gaining a degree from a top law school can be very beneficial in your job search as a degree from an ivy league school or other top law program will always look good on your resume.  You will also gain access to that school’s alumni network and job postings for the rest of you life, which can be very valuable throughout your career.  The benefits are particularly significant if your J.D. degree is from a program outside the first tier.  However, it is generally known in the legal industry that LL.M. programs are not as difficult to get into as the J.D. programs at those same law schools, so the “wow factor” of having an LLM degree from a top law program, while beneficial, will not be as significant as if you had a J.D. from that same program.

If you are considering an LL.M. from a law school outside the first tier, it is unlikely to improve the profile of your resume in any significant way that would justify the cost,[4] although you will gain access to the school’s alumni network and get another shot at on-campus interviews with employers looking for the specific skills set taught in that program.  If there isn’t a significant difference in the reputation of the law school where you are considering completing an LLM and your JD law school, then the LLM program will do little to boost your credentials on paper (other than developing the specialized knowledge as discussed above).

In terms of subject matter, the best bet tends to be an LLM in taxation and, to a lesser extent, an LLM in international law.  These programs give you a specific skill set that is difficult to achieve in practice and they are widely known and respected.  These topics are attractive as tax translates well into other important practice areas like business and commercial law and international law may open opportunities for a job seeker outside the U.S..

LLM degrees in other subject areas are not nearly as helpful in boosting your job prospects generally,[5] but there may be a benefit for certain specialized employers. For example, the EPA may find an LLM in environmental law to be very attractive, but such an LLM will do little to boost your job prospects with employers generally.  In fact, it my prevent you from getting jobs by employers who would otherwise hire you, but are reluctant because they know you are heavily vested in doing environmental law.

Seeking an LLM to Erase A Poor J.D. Academic Record

Of all the reasons you might consider an LLM program, this is probably the worst. Unless something drastic has changed in your life that will suddenly enable you to succeed in law courses in a way you were not able to succeed during your J.D. program (which is possible in some instances), you can likely expect to do no better academically in LLM courses than you did in your J.D. courses.  In fact, if you are making a significant jump from a low ranking school to a high ranking school, it may be a lot more difficult to get good grades.  Again, an LLM can be a great supplement on your resume, but it won’t erase your academic performance as a J.D.

Seeking an LLM as an International Student

Lastly, a lot of LLM programs are geared toward international students, meaning students who received a J.D. degree (or its equivalent) from a non-U.S. law school. This degree may make a lot of sense for some international students as gaining a background in the law within the United States can be very helpful to advancing a legal career internationally. An LLM degree can also allow an international student to crack into the U.S. legal market in certain jurisdictions where such a degree qualifies an international student to sit for the bar exam. Although, the U.S. legal market is very tight and even more so for foreign students, so it would be unwise to seek an LLM degree as an international student if your only goal is to become a U.S. lawyer.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1.  For those unfamiliar with the vernacular, an LLM degree (also called a Masters of Laws degree) is a specialized advanced law degree that J.D. graduates can earn by essentially taking a fourth year of law school.
  2. As someone who has counseled several attorneys and law students who were considering LLM degrees and as a tax LLM myself, I have a certain level of authority on this particular topic.
  3. The latter was the case for me as I attended NYU’s tax LLM program after I had already taken several tax law courses and practiced as a tax attorney and CPA for several years. Notwithstanding my tax knowledge going into the program, the course offerings were sufficiently broad that I was able to find topics that greatly expanded my knowledge base and the required courses in the more familiar topics went significantly more in depth than the previous tax courses I had taken.  
  4. One significant exception to this statement is the University of Florida’s tax LLM program, which has a great reputation in the tax law industry even though Florida is usually on the border between the first and second tier in the rankings.
  5. To use a relevant anecdote, a dean of a first tier law school (and not either of the schools I attended), indicate to me that a tax LLM is the only LLM program that is really worth pursuing.  In his experience, most LLM programs were basically money-grabs for the law schools initiating them, particularly for third and fourth tier schools.  Indeed, as enrollments have dropped, there are many struggling law schools that have sought to introduce LLM programs to strengthen their bottom line. For the significant majority of J.D. graduates, such LLM programs are simply not worth attending other than to learn the subject matter, but they might make sense for some international students as the incentives and benefits differ in such cases. 

Law School Applications Down Again For 2014

LSAC Applicant GraphThe Law School Admissions Council (or LSAC), which provides the primary service for aspiring law students to apply to law school,[1] has announced that applicants for Law School are down again at the start of 2014 by 13.6% from 2013 levels at this point and applications are down 15.8% from 2013.[2] This presents some interesting opportunities for students seeking to enter law school.

While many law schools have decided to decrease their enrollments to match the decreased applicant pool, there are infrastructural limitations on such decreases and not all law schools have reduced enrollment. So, on the balance, the decreased applicant pool should increase the opportunities for potential law students seeking admission. Particularly considering that the most significant drop in applicants has come from students from ivy league schools, which means there are more spaces in the most prestigious law schools for students outside the ivy league with strong GPA and LSAT score profiles.

Announcing Our New Law Blog!

The U.S. Supreme Court - Photo by John S. Treu

The U.S. Supreme Court – Photo by John S. Treu

We’re excited to launch our brand spanking new Law Blog covering a wide span of legal topics relevant to attorneys, aspiring attorneys, and the general public. Whether you have been practicing law for several years, you are merely thinking about applying for law school, or you just enjoy a good legal thriller, this blog will have something interesting for you.