Joke all you want at the Thanksgiving dinner table about a world without lawyers, but if law students keep taking the LSAT at this kind of diminish rate, well, who knows? Per the Law School Admission Council, the number of LSAT tests administered dropped from 45,169 last October to 37,780 this October—a decline of 16.4 percent. The October test typically has the most takers, Paul Caron of the University of Cincinnati College of Law wrote at TaxProf Blog, and the number hasn't been this low since 1999.
The figure is nothing new to those who have been following the plight of law schools recently. In March David Segal of the New York Times reported that the number of test it administered in the 2011-2012 academic year dropped by a little over 16 percent from the previous year. Segal wrote that the "decline reflects a spreading view that the legal market in the United States is in terrible shape and will have a hard time absorbing the roughly 45,000 students who are expected to graduate from law school in each of the next three years." Meanwhile, Paul Campos reported at Salon in May that "approximately half" of those 45,000 would graduate from ABA-accredited law schools would "never find jobs as lawyers." So while there may be fewer people taking the initial steps toward applying to law school, the legal world doesn't look that appealing.