Thursday, October 27, 2016


Rise in law school applications hits UH

The increase in law school applications, roughly 201 students application this year, has placed the Law Center at 48th place in the nation. / Courtesy of UH

According to the Law School Admission Council, which writes and administrates the LSAT, 201 students from UH applied to law school. This made UH the 48th largest source of applicants in the nation. Out of the thousands of universities in the country, that makes UH close to the top of the list.

For those students who genuinely wish to pursue an education practicing law, the professors at the UH Law Center sincerely push those students towards their goal.

“I want to encourage you in that direction of a legal education because learning how to think like a lawyer is a wonderful aspect to have and gives you a credential that everyone respects,” UH law professor Tony Chase said to a group of Honors College students in his lecture delivered in Michael J. Cemo Hall on Oct. 11.

The instructors, who teach the legal material, placing a high value on their job and education field is a reason why law school has become more appealing to students.

In addition to the passionate professors, there are attractive programs beginning to be installed that are aimed at caring for the convenience of potential law school students. For example, the “3 + 3” plan at the UH Law Center is in the process of proposing a plan that will allow a law student to start their law degree in their fourth year of getting their undergraduate degree. This means less time in school therefore less money, a higher appeal and more law school applicants.

“That plan actually sounds great, except for the fact that law school is so demanding,” political science 2011 alum, Edna Hernandez said. “If you have an easy senior years of college, then it would be a great option.”

The predicted rise of upcoming law school applicants can be traced back to the recession and struggling economy in 2008. Because of this recession, there was a surge of law school applicants from students who were unemployed and searching for a job. These hopeful individuals realized that this specific job market was becoming too saturated, which can explain the following big drop in LSAT takers.

“Many prospective law school students decided to go down paths other than law schools,” executive director of pre-law programs for Kaplan Test Prep, Jeff Thomas said. “The idea that a law degree, which was once seen as a ticket to a lucrative, almost instantaneous job, really disappeared.”

Law schools had no choice but to proactively respond with a change in their curricula to make their students more prepared for the workforce. Some schools even resorted to cutting or freezing their tuition rates. Thus, the challenge of law school turned into an opportunity.

The rise of law school applicants will obviously mean a rise in competition. On top of having a perfect and well-rounded resume, it is important for any law student to realize that they genuinely wish to pursue a career in such a practice and why. And really this goes for any student pursuing any kind of education.

“We continue to advise all prospective law school students to be introspective about why they want to go to law school,” Thomas said. “Do you research, meet with your pre-law advisor and make an informed decision.”

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