With the sugar high of Halloween wearing off and everyone adjusting to the extra hour of sunlight in the morning (because some of us are Morning People, not vampires), AdComms really begin brewing their strongest pots of coffee, finding their most ergonomic keyboards, and fine-tuning their file-reading playlist so that they can focus on evaluating applications. As we officially turn the page from Travel Season to File-Reading Season, let’s take a quick lap around the admissions world to see what’s up.

We mentioned in last week’s blog that this week would probably let us know whether or not the long-theorized wave of apps would arrive. The theory was that:

  • Apps are down nationally thus far,
  • This is probably due in part to increased supplemental/required statements from schools in light of the SCOTUS Students for Fair Admissions case, but also because,
  • There were significant tech issues with the August and September LSAT administrations, which led to a significant increase in October LSAT registrations, and
  • October LSAT scores would go live on November 1.

Well, here we are writing this blog on November 7 and it certainly seems like things are moving. Let’s take a quick look at national app totals from the past three Mondays via LSAC’s Current Volume Summary report. Here was the situation on October 23rd:

Jumping ahead to the 30th:

And Monday, November 6th:

While it’s still too early to make conclusions, it’s certainly looking like the surf is up!

Most notably:

  • The gap in applicants has closed significantly. This would seem to indicate that any folks who were delaying until they got an October LSAT score back have finally jumped in.
  • The average applicant on October 23rd had applied to 4.97 schools. Two weeks later on November 6th, that average had jumped to 5.40 apps. This would seem to indicate that students are also gradually slogging their way through those extra post-SFFA docs.

And now let’s take a look at the breakdown by LSAT score on November 6. Here’s the broader table:

The most significant decline is still in the 170+ range. However, this has caught up a smidge since October 30th—on that date, 170-174 LSAT apps were down 13% versus last year.

Interestingly, we’re seeing a little action right at the 170 mark. Here’s the breakdown of individual scores as of November 6:

Just a week earlier, 170s were effectively flat—just up 1.9% versus the year before. An increase in 170s may tempt some schools at 169 medians to try and lunge for the end zone to boost their score and may lead some schools at a 171 median to want to fall back, given the decline in 171+ scorers. While we feel good that we’re seeing that wave of apps arrive, it’s too early to make any calls here. But we’ll keep an eye on this possible bubble!

Updates on Decisions

Last week, we also noted that the first week of November typically brings the first waves of decisions from some T14s. We wrote that Michigan could be an interesting bellwether due to their experienced office and reputation for issuing decisions like clockwork. And sure enough—bless their maize and blue hearts—Michigan Law didn’t disappoint! Expect to see them issue decisions on most Wednesdays going forward.

But while Michigan’s movement was expected, it was a smidge surprising to see decisions from UC Berkeley this early. Last year, their first wave didn’t hit the shores until November 21. 

It’s still too early to draw any conclusive matters from these first waves of admits, but it appears that GW Law—despite that possible bubble of 170s we just mentioned—is all in on maintaining a 169 LSAT, and WashU may be trying for the mythical “4.0 GPA Median.” Much like a baseball team at spring training, hope springs eternal for admissions offices in early November.

November LSAT Registrations

While we’ve been primarily focused on the October LSAT, let’s make sure that we don’t ignore November. Just three weeks ago, November registrations were north of 32,000. They’ve since come down a smidge per LSAC’s LSAT Registrant and Test Taker Volumes report.

This is likely due in part to:

  • Students who had signed up for both October and November and got their target score in October, and can now cancel the November exam, or
  • Students who had registered for November and are now feeling insufficiently prepped, so have now kicked their registration to January.

Even with this decline, we’re still looking at a 32% increase in registrations versus last year. This information leads me to think that the wave in apps is going to keep going a little while longer.

Law Fairs and On-Campus Recruitment Events

While AdComms are shifting into evaluation mode, there are still going to be a few events keeping them busy. Of particular note next week is:

November 14

November 18

This will be about it until January, when a few Southern schools invite everyone to take a brief break from file reading and snow to enjoy a few days’ worth of events!

And, as always, be sure to check out our page of law school-specific recruitment events. Of particular note:

  • Harvard Law hosts their next virtual admissions Q&A on November 16.
  • Michigan Law will host a session on the personal statement on November 15, and a student-led session on “Why I Chose Michigan Law” on November 16. You can find info about both events here.

Additionally—shameless plug!—we continue to host a number of information sessions on different app components led by various 7Sage admissions and writing consultants. Be sure to check out the schedule and drop in for a session or two!