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"Law schools thus responded to the worst recession in the legal market in at least two decades by letting in more law students." So wrote Brian Tamanaha, Washington University Law professor and blogger at Balkinzation.
Comparing LSAC's number of total admitted applicants who enrolled with the Department of Labor's number of total law-related (attorney and non-attorney) employees, Tamanaha found that in 2009, despite the huge and ongoing drop-off in legal employment, law schools actually increased admitted students by five percent. And that uptick surpassed the percentage increase in law school applications.
Brian Leiter noted: "One can't tell, though, from the second chart what portion of the downturn in 'legal employment' is a reduction in the employment of attorneys as opposed to other law-related employees."
A conclusion to draw here is that the increasing number of people applying to law school doesn't seem too daunted by the grim job market. Or they do, but go anyways for whatever reasons. Or they're waiting the recession out in school. And possibly, but unlikely, they just have a spare $100,000-plus burning a whole in their pocket to spend on something that experts are deeming an unsustainable model.
Law school hopefuls: What are your reasons for wanting to go to law school in the worst legal job market in decades?
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