Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Spivey predictions for 2018-19

Comments

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    Sigh it would be the year I finally apply lol after 8 years of working toward law school and improving myself and FINALLY applying...

    Next year looks great!

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    I don't really understand the rational for why high scoring applications would go down.

    It tends to bounce up and down. That doesn't sound like it should explain applications above 160+ being up 20 percent. They certainly have not bounced up and down that much before.

    This cycle is an outlier. Okay, but there are too many people making deciaions to apply too law school for it to be the result of chance.

    College enrollment is down 1.5%. Was it up 20%?

    Trump effect will fade. First of all, I'm not convinced the increase was a Trump effect. Why would a Trump effect be concentrated among high scorers? Shouldn't people motivated to attend law school by Trump have had less time to prep for the LSAT? Second of all, for all we know there could be impeachment trials. Wouldn't that strengthen a Trump effect? There are definitely still going to be plenty of court cases and press coverage of Trump.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    3072 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Trump effect will fade. First of all, I'm not convinced the increase was a Trump effect. Why would a Trump effect be concentrated among high scorers? Shouldn't people motivated to attend law school by Trump have had less time to prep for the LSAT? Second of all, for all we know there could be impeachment trials. Wouldn't that strengthen a Trump effect? There are definitely still going to be plenty of court cases and press coverage of Trump.

    I'm curious: Did you vote for Trump?

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" FWIW, he didn't say that 160+ scores would go down to the level that they were before this 20%+ bump. He said it would likely be down compared to this year. So, could still be up like 15-18% relative to the cycle before this one. Just that it normally spikes and then goes down some.

    He also didn't tie the Trump bump (ugh I hate that term) to the high scorers specifically, just the overall higher number of applicants which is likely to go down somewhat this year. (Also, given that the election was in 2016, I think people inspired by that would have had plenty of time to prepare. It wouldn't have necessarily been just the election result but the whole climate surrounding the election. I personally didn't start studying for the LSAT until February of 2017 and still got a decent app in.)

    My takeaway from this is that the overall trend of higher apps and high scorers isn't likely to be sustained 2 years in a row. More likely that it will wane next year. There's not a solid enough reason causing the increases that would be sustained growth.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    In my uneducated opinion, policy changes like an unlimted retake policy, more schools accepting GRE and the ABA possibly eliminating the testing requirement would all indicate that the number of applicants would increase. Maybe this upcoming cycle wont be as this one but overall I'm not really seeing tangible reasons why we there wont be an overall increase. The tricky thing about extrapolating data from past cycles is that they preceded these policy changes.

  • JPJ July2021JPJ July2021 Monthly Member
    1532 karma

    Spivey is pretty much always spot on with his predictions.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @westcoastbestcoast I don't think unlimited retakes would increase applicants. I do think it was a contributor to the increase in higher scores. But there probably aren't additional people applying to law school because of that. GRE seems possible, but according to Spivey it was a very small number of people that took advantage of that. Eliminating the testing requirement isn't a policy change that hasn't happened yet. So won't be able to speculate unless that happens for sure and how it is implemented.

    Again, I think his overall take is that next year will be down slightly compared to this year, but not necessarily that it will be way down or comparable to previous years. Just down from this unusually strong cycle. As he said, there's not much to show that this would be a continued upward trend, and the more usual trend is to have an up year followed by one slightly down, which does seem to make sense.

    My also totally uneducated guess would be that is right, that next cycle will be slightly down in overall applicants compared to this year. Not sure about the increase in the upper scores specifically though.

  • cstrobelcstrobel Alum Member
    228 karma

    I wonder is one of the reasons behind unlimited retakes was the expectation that there would be a sustained period of fewer test takers and that making it unlimited would allow for continued revenue.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    edited April 2018 1804 karma

    @cstrobel said:
    I wonder is one of the reasons behind unlimited retakes was the expectation that there would be a sustained period of fewer test takers and that making it unlimited would allow for continued revenue.

    Three letters come to my mind: G, R, E.

    I highly doubt the LSAC lifted the limit because of the possibility of fewer test takers. If it really was the case, the organization would have lifted it during the Great Recession.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Trump effect will fade. First of all, I'm not convinced the increase was a Trump effect. Why would a Trump effect be concentrated among high scorers? Shouldn't people motivated to attend law school by Trump have had less time to prep for the LSAT? Second of all, for all we know there could be impeachment trials. Wouldn't that strengthen a Trump effect? There are definitely still going to be plenty of court cases and press coverage of Trump.

    I'm curious: Did you vote for Trump?

    Nope, I voted for Clinton. That said, I was a Sanders supporter and it was definitely a lesser of two evils decision for me. That doesn't mean that I think anti-Trump people are likely to score in the range where the score increase was concentrated though. 175+ scorers increased by 67.8% according to Spivey. For me that is not evidence that anti-Trump people are applying to law school in greater numbers. It is something else. I seriously doubt that law school applicants motivated by being anti-Trump have a mean LSAT score all that different than the general population and don't believe they are more than negligibly more likely to score 175+. I'm sure there are many anti-Trump people who could get 175+ scores, but there should be a similarly proportioned increase in160-170 scorers if that is the driver and there isn't.

    http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/new-2017-2018-cycle-data-as-of-march-6-2018/

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @"Leah M B" said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" FWIW, he didn't say that 160+ scores would go down to the level that they were before this 20%+ bump. He said it would likely be down compared to this year. So, could still be up like 15-18% relative to the cycle before this one. Just that it normally spikes and then goes down some.

    He also didn't tie the Trump bump (ugh I hate that term) to the high scorers specifically, just the overall higher number of applicants which is likely to go down somewhat this year. (Also, given that the election was in 2016, I think people inspired by that would have had plenty of time to prepare. It wouldn't have necessarily been just the election result but the whole climate surrounding the election. I personally didn't start studying for the LSAT until February of 2017 and still got a decent app in.)

    My takeaway from this is that the overall trend of higher apps and high scorers isn't likely to be sustained 2 years in a row. More likely that it will wane next year. There's not a solid enough reason causing the increases that would be sustained growth.

    Yeah, but the 20 percent increase for 160+ scorers and 67.8 percent increase in 175+ scorers was not remotely normal. I don't know why he tried to explain it as the result of normal bouncing up and down when things don't normally bounce up or down remotely on that scale.

    The overall higher number of applications was heavilly concentrated among high scorers. Low scoring applications actually went down. So you can't really say that he was explaining the general increase, but not the higher number of high scoring applications. The two are inextricably tied to eachother.

    There might have been some things like Trump making fun of some judges that would have taken place before the election. However, most of the focus on lawyers and the court system started when the Russia investigation got going and when he did things like make the executive orders on immigration. Additionally, most of the highest scoring applicants applied early with more than half applying before December 15th. That isn't a long time after the innaugaration to decide you want to be a lawyer, start studying for the LSAT and score a 175+ by September.

    Just because we have not thought of the explanation for the higher number of higher scoring applicants this cycle doesn't mean it is not out there. I'm going to assume there was some reason, that it wasn't the Trump Bump, and that it wasn't chance. I'm going to remain open to the possibilities that we could have even more high scorers, keep the same number, or have fewer again, until someone provides a reasonable explanation of why we just had the huge heavilly concentrated increase of this cycle.

    http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/new-2017-2018-cycle-data-as-of-march-6-2018/

  • Brian_LSATBrian_LSAT Yearly Member
    232 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" I agree that the increase in the number of high scorers is not likely the result of a “Trump Bump” (apart from the normal increase in high scorers that would be expected from a larger applicant pool overall). Spivey mentions that the number of high scorers often oscillates year to year, though as far as I know he doesn’t give an explanation for that. Something that I could see magnifying that effect this year in particular is a few changes in the admissions process that may have motivated some people sitting on a high score to use it this cycle rather than wait. LSAT scores are good for 5 years, and applicants looking at the number of schools accepting the GRE and the switch to unlimited LSAT takes could reasonably decide that a high LSAT score should be used sooner rather than later.

    It will be interesting to see how things turn out next cycle. I would not be surprised to see a significant number of applicants from this cycle with great numbers and disappointing results try their luck again, which ironically would only make next cycle more competitive.

  • J.CHRIS.ALSTJ.CHRIS.ALST Alum Member
    edited April 2018 394 karma

    @Brian_LSAT said:

    It will be interesting to see how things turn out next cycle. I would not be surprised to see a significant number of applicants from this cycle with great numbers and disappointing results try their luck again, which ironically would only make next cycle more competitive.

    This has been my concern ever since I heard 2017-2018 would be an unusually competitive cycle.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    1804 karma

    @Brian_LSAT said:
    It will be interesting to see how things turn out next cycle. I would not be surprised to see a significant number of applicants from this cycle with great numbers and disappointing results try their luck again, which ironically would only make next cycle more competitive.

    Please don't say that...

  • PearsonSpecterLittUpPearsonSpecterLittUp Alum Member
    588 karma

    Question though: If ABA decides that a test is no longer needed beginning cycle of 2019-2020, don't you think that many people who would have applied next cycle would wait a year instead of having to take the LSAT?? (People who have not studied for it like us that is).

    And therefore could definitely impact application numbers!

  • Brian_LSATBrian_LSAT Yearly Member
    232 karma

    @PearsonSpecterLittUp I don’t see that having a significant impact, especially as soon as next year. It would also depend on what tier law school you’re looking at. The GRE is a big change because high ranking schools are accepting it, which in my opinion makes it more likely that there will be a “trickle down” effect of many more schools accepting it in the near future. It’s highly unlikely that any top schools will do away with tests altogether, so I don’t expect the same impact as the GRE has had.

  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    3112 karma

    @westcoastbestcoast said:
    In my uneducated opinion, policy changes like an unlimted retake policy, more schools accepting GRE and the ABA possibly eliminating the testing requirement would all indicate that the number of applicants would increase. Maybe this upcoming cycle wont be as this one but overall I'm not really seeing tangible reasons why we there wont be an overall increase. The tricky thing about extrapolating data from past cycles is that they preceded these policy changes.

    This is exactly my perspective. I believe that law schools weren’t expecting this increase which is causing some significant delays. I also believe that this influx is here to stay for all of the reasons mentioned above. But then again, I’m just an applicant so idk.

  • Return On InferenceReturn On Inference Alum Member
    497 karma

    @Brian_LSAT said:
    It will be interesting to see how things turn out next cycle. I would not be surprised to see a significant number of applicants from this cycle with great numbers and disappointing results try their luck again, which ironically would only make next cycle more competitive.

    I can definitely see this happening. There are a couple people on other forums with pretty insane numbers (3.7+/175+) with zero T14 acceptances. These people really don't have an option other than to wait a year and apply again next cycle.

    Personally I think that this cycle will also have a highly inflated number of 173+ applicants, for exactly this reason.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    @"Return On Inference" said:

    @Brian_LSAT said:
    It will be interesting to see how things turn out next cycle. I would not be surprised to see a significant number of applicants from this cycle with great numbers and disappointing results try their luck again, which ironically would only make next cycle more competitive.

    I can definitely see this happening. There are a couple people on other forums with pretty insane numbers (3.7+/175+) with zero T14 acceptances. These people really don't have an option other than to wait a year and apply again next cycle.

    Personally I think that this cycle will also have a highly inflated number of 173+ applicants, for exactly this reason.

    This, on top of more schools acxepting GRE, seems like the cycle will be more intense. Law schools will be able to selectively choose students with higher lsat scores to increase their medians while not decreasing their median gpa.

  • JPJ July2021JPJ July2021 Monthly Member
    1532 karma

    It's all speculation at this point. I guess we'll have to wait an see. It is making me nervous though because I'm applying next cycle as a K-JD.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    @Emily2122 said:
    It's all speculation at this point. I guess we'll have to wait an see. It is making me nervous though because I'm applying next cycle as a K-JD.

    If I were you, I would try to build up work experiencr before applying. Alot of kjds with 3.7 plus gpas and 170s scores got waitlisted from alot of t14 schools

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Obviously we’ll all have to just wait and see. Spivey has a lot of expertise in this area and has usually been pretty spot on, but also said that this has been the hardest cycle to predict.

    For us as applicants, all we can do is put the best app package together that we can and pray to the law school gods for their favor haha. I think I’ve made my final decision to reapply, so I’ll be sweating it out with all of you folks too.

  • JPJ July2021JPJ July2021 Monthly Member
    1532 karma

    @westcoastbestcoast When I apply in the fall, I should have a gpa slightly over 3.8 and I'm aiming for a 170. I don't want to wait because I know this is for me. If I don't like my options once I apply then I will just reapply the following year.

  • PearsonSpecterLittUpPearsonSpecterLittUp Alum Member
    588 karma

    Question: Since the December LSAT has now moved to November, when would still be considered "early" to apply??

    I plan on taking the September LSAT and assuming I'll be satisfied with it, click submit to my apps the day results are released!

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @PearsonSpecterLittUp said:
    Question: Since the December LSAT has now moved to November, when would still be considered "early" to apply??

    I plan on taking the September LSAT and assuming I'll be satisfied with it, click submit to my apps the day results are released!

    I don’t think the school timelines will change at all. Applications aren’t available until at least September, some don’t open until October. So applying in Sept/Oct would still be early. Ideally November at the latest. Before the end of the year is still on time and January starts getting late. Early decision apps usually have to be in by u think December 1 but varies by school.

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    1804 karma

    @PearsonSpecterLittUp said:
    Question: Since the December LSAT has now moved to November, when would still be considered "early" to apply??

    December LSAT being relocated to November is irrelevant because both December and January are pretty late in the cycle anyways. I would say November.

  • arman_65arman_65 Alum Member
    252 karma

    These predictions are somewhat putting a smile on my face since I'll be applying next cycle. I agree that the GRE pool is too low to make a meaningful impact and in addition, I believe that contrary to what many believe, the GRE will not have a trickle down effect. My uneducated prediction is that the point of the LSAT was to establish a standardized measurement that can be measured across all applicants. Throwing the GRE as an official option for all ABA accredited law schools will require admission offices to rethink their approach and possibly create a complicated system of comparing applicants with different admission tests. The GRE and LSAT are not similar. The prep that is required to excel in each test is fundamentally different so creating a standardized Z score may be harder than you might think? Maybe, I could be wrong.

    P.S: New 7sager here, nice to meet you all.

  • Mike SpiveyMike Spivey Member
    edited April 2018 267 karma

    I'm a bit late to this party :) As others have said, it's just speculation. We've been lucky three years in a row so maybe this is the year our luck runs out...I do wonder though (and maybe it is helpful), where is the supporting evidence that next cycle will be up or more competitive, beyond the one piece that this cycle was? We looked under a lot of rocks and didn't found that much, other than the early cycle reapplicants should be up.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @"Mike Spivey" said:
    I'm a bit late to this party :) As others have said, it's just speculation. We've been lucky three years in a row so maybe this is the year our luck runs out...I do wonder though (and maybe it is helpful), where is the supporting evidence that next cycle will be up or more competitive, beyond the one piece that this cycle was? We looked under a lot of rocks and didn't found that much, other than the early cycle reapplicants should be up.

    Why exactly did you think this cycle would be more competitive? I know you didn't get it perfect. For example, I think you said that admissions standards would remain about the same because schools would use the extra LSAT takers to boost class size. Even if they are boosting class size, I think it is clear that it has become more competitive.

    Nonetheless, you did say ahead of time that we would have more applicants and I believe also forecasted that the growth would be concentrated among high scoring applicants. What was the basis for that prediction? Is it supported by how things actually turned out?

    My main concerns with predicting that it will regress toward the mean are the following.

    I don't think that random chance can be the source of this big of a bump. I think statistics basically bares that out.

    I doubt year to year fluctuations bouncing up and down every other year can be the source of this big a bump either. You would know the normal size of these effects better than me, but I doubt that they are this big.

    I don't think a Trump bump explained the rise since a Trump bump wouldn't be concentrated among 175+ scorers. Anti-Trump supporters might be slightly smarter than the average, but not that much.

    Possible alternative explanations:

    The economy. Maybe for some reason it is becoming harder for highly talented young people immediately out or recently out of college in non-stem fields to get good jobs or advance. This would make law school more appealing to them. This would only hold for those who could score highly on the LSAT because people don't want to trade bad economic options for debt with bad economic options and the Top Schools place the best in things like Big Law. (I don't know if this economic change would be a one cycle thing or longer.)

    The internet: Maybe the ultimate effect of scamblogging, the internet, TLS/Law school life/reddit/7sage has not just been to convince people that lower ranked law schools are bad economic options. Maybe it has also convinced a lot of people that the Top 14 or 13 or whatever are a relatively solid route to economic prosperity through big law or meaningful employment through their LRAPs. In this case scoring highly on the LSAT which is an increasingly straight forward process using the internet is seen as the surest way to a good job. (This would seem to be a permanent change)

    Finally, maybe it is some sort of combination of factors. For example it could be a Trump bump making more people want to apply to law school across the board combined with research on the internet being easier and showing clearly that unless you could get a high LSAT score it wasn't worth it. (In this case the concentration of high LSAT scores may last, but may be being magnified by higher current interest in law). I'm a little skeptical of this though. I don't see any compelling reason why people motivated by an increased interest in law because of Trump would be more likely than others to heed the advice of the internet not to go unless you can get into a Top 14.

    TLDR:
    We don't know what is going to happen. It seems rather strange to just close our eyes and pretend that the current cycle didn't happen when predicting the next one. I think the most natural prediction in the absense of a compelling rational is to assume the next cycle will be similar to the current one. I also think medians will probably generally keep rising until law becomes clearly and dramatically less desireable as a profession again like it did for a while after the recession when schools in the Top 14 were struggling to place students in jobs.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @"Mike Spivey" said:
    I'm a bit late to this party :) As others have said, it's just speculation. We've been lucky three years in a row so maybe this is the year our luck runs out...I do wonder though (and maybe it is helpful), where is the supporting evidence that next cycle will be up or more competitive, beyond the one piece that this cycle was? We looked under a lot of rocks and didn't found that much, other than the early cycle reapplicants should be up.

    Why exactly did you think this cycle would be more competitive? I know you didn't get it perfect. For example, I think you said that admissions standards would remain about the same because schools would use the extra LSAT takers to boost class size. Even if they are boosting class size, I think it is clear that it has become more competitive.

    Nonetheless, you did say ahead of time that we would have more applicants and I believe also forecasted that the growth would be concentrated among high scoring applicants. What was the basis for that prediction? Is it supported by how things actually turned out?

    My main concerns with predicting that it will regress toward the mean are the following.

    I don't think that random chance can be the source of this big of a bump. I think statistics basically bares that out.

    I doubt year to year fluctuations bouncing up and down every other year can be the source of this big a bump either. You would know the normal size of these effects better than me, but I doubt that they are this big.

    I don't think a Trump bump explained the rise since a Trump bump wouldn't be concentrated among 175+ scorers. Anti-Trump supporters might be slightly smarter than the average, but not that much.

    Possible alternative explanations:

    The economy. Maybe for some reason it is becoming harder for highly talented young people immediately out or recently out of college in non-stem fields to get good jobs or advance. This would make law school more appealing to them. This would only hold for those who could score highly on the LSAT because people don't want to trade bad economic options for debt with bad economic options and the Top Schools place the best in things like Big Law. (I don't know if this economic change would be a one cycle thing or longer.)

    The internet: Maybe the ultimate effect of scamblogging, the internet, TLS/Law school life/reddit/7sage has not just been to convince people that lower ranked law schools are bad economic options. Maybe it has also convinced a lot of people that the Top 14 or 13 or whatever are a relatively solid route to economic prosperity through big law or meaningful employment through their LRAPs. In this case scoring highly on the LSAT which is an increasingly straight forward process using the internet is seen as the surest way to a good job. (This would seem to be a permanent change)

    Finally, maybe it is some sort of combination of factors. For example it could be a Trump bump making more people want to apply to law school across the board combined with research on the internet being easier and showing clearly that unless you could get a high LSAT score it wasn't worth it. (In this case the concentration of high LSAT scores may last, but may be being magnified by higher current interest in law). I'm a little skeptical of this though. I don't see any compelling reason why people motivated by an increased interest in law because of Trump would be more likely than others to heed the advice of the internet not to go unless you can get into a Top 14.

    TLDR:
    We don't know what is going to happen. It seems rather strange to just close our eyes and pretend that the current cycle didn't happen when predicting the next one. I think the most natural prediction in the absense of a compelling rational is to assume the next cycle will be similar to the current one. I also think medians will probably generally keep rising until law becomes clearly and dramatically less desireable as a profession again like it did for a while after the recession when schools in the Top 14 were struggling to place students in jobs.

    +1 to this explanation. This is completely anecdotal but most of my peers who majored in humanities are attending grad school. My STEM peers all have decent jobs and dont see the need for grad school. Some even questioned my decision to attend law school haha

  • Mike SpiveyMike Spivey Member
    267 karma

    I think everyone is on board with "we don't know what's going go happen"

Sign In or Register to comment.