Year-over-year LSAT test-takers flat as the new normal continues

Last year, I noted that the reports about the number of LSATs administered is only a partial picture of the present state of the law school admissions cycle. The latest numbers on the June 2016 LSAT are no different.

About 23,000 tests were administered, down 0.8% over last June. But the LSAC reports, circulated via PDF and not available on its website, tell a little more.

First-time test-takers in the United States declined slightly less than this, down 0.6% over last June, or close to the 0.8% overall decline reported in the top-line results. Repeaters were up slightly, 1.4% over last June. The real decline occurred in Canada, which saw a 15.7% drop in first-time test-takers.

For those who anticipated that law school applicants had "bottomed out," it appears that it's more a "new normal," as I've suggested before. The bottoming out does not appear to mean that law schools will experience a new upswing in applicants, a rebound to previous levels. Instead, it reflects another year of a rather flat market. And it's a sign that temporary structural changes instituted at many law schools will need to become more permanent to reflect this reality.