So, when something rises or falls to a level not seen in a quarter-century, it is, if not a sea-change, then at least a significant development.
And so it is with law school applications. As "Nando" of the excellent and important Third Tier Reality reports, the number of Law School Apaptitude Tests (LSAT) is less than the number in 1987-88 (112, 515 vs. 115,988) As recently as 2009-2010, 171,588 LSATs were taken. The decrease of 59,073 tests means that for every three LSATs administered three years ago, slightly fewer than two were taken during the current academic year.
What's really striking is that the decreases have been fairly consistent over three years: 9.6, 16.2 and 13.4 percent. Given the current state of the profession (contraction) and the development of technology, it's hard to see the legal job market recouping the jobs lost since the economic crash of 2007-2008.
Even Brian Leiter, so reviled (with good reason) by the scambloggers, believes that "a few"law schools will close during the next decade. Some commentators predict mass closings of law schools--perhaps as many as one in every four. Others, including Professor Paul Campos of the late, lamented Inside The Law School Scam, believe that for the next couple of years, class sizes will shrink and law schools will scramble for new sources of revenue as a few schools close.
Whichever of those scenarios comes to pass, more and more people will decide not to go to law school--which means that fewer LSATs will be taken, at least for the next few years.