Why Is Everybody Suddenly Going to Law School?

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 17, 2019 11:01 AM

More students are going to law schools across the country, and it's not just a blip on the screen.

A handful of law schools doubled their first-year enrollments, and one school saw enrollments rise 82 percent in one year. It's hard to sort out a pattern, but the overall numbers don't lie.

Student enrollments are up nearly three percent nationwide. Do these future lawyers see something we don't?

Smart Students

Some pundits call it a "Trump bump," a bounce in enrollments as a response to the president's policies. But even the president's lawyers aren't doing well, so really?

Others observe that law schools lowered their admission standards to attract students after the bottom dropped out of applications years ago. But that strategy didn't work out so well, especially for lower-ranked schools that lured low-performing students in the "law school scam."

The University of Southern California law school, however, had a different experience. The top-20 law school reported an 18 percent increase while admitting a class with "the highest grade point average in school history."

Perhaps these smart students had read the news -- that the legal marketplace is growing. According to recent reports, it expanded by an average of three percent nationwide.

Growing Technically

Experts say technology is driving growth in many fields, including the law business. Legal jobs increased in Los Angeles by nearly 15 percent due to technology, media and entertainment.

"Los Angeles continues to be a driver of top legal talent, which is a huge contributor to the expansion of legal services," said Kevin Bender of CBRE.

He said law firms delayed hiring during the economic slowdown, but now they are catching up. That seems to work for law school enrollments, too.

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