Indiana Daily Student

Maurer School of Law saw increased number of applicants, admissions to be more competitive.

<p>IU Maurer School of Law is seen Nov. 15, 2021, on 211 S. Indiana Ave. Jeff Thomas, director of legal programs for Kaplan, said the increase of applicants raises the competitiveness of the admissions process, and students will need to perform better overall to be admitted.</p>

IU Maurer School of Law is seen Nov. 15, 2021, on 211 S. Indiana Ave. Jeff Thomas, director of legal programs for Kaplan, said the increase of applicants raises the competitiveness of the admissions process, and students will need to perform better overall to be admitted.

Law schools across the country expect the upcoming admissions cycle to be extremely competitive, according to a prediction by global educational services company Kaplan.

 

Kaplan released the results Nov. 8 of a survey conducted from August to September of 2021 of 90 American Bar Association-accredited law schools. According to the results, 78% of the law schools surveyed predict the number of applicants to either increase or stay at last year’s elevated level.

Janet Hein, director of admissions at the Maurer School of Law, said last year, law school admissions went up nationwide. Applications to the Maurer School of Law went up 15%, Hein said.

“That’s pretty significant for us,” Hein said.

Applicants shouldn’t compare their backgrounds and accomplishments to others, she said. Rather, applicants should try their best to communicate what they can bring to the law school they are applying to.

“Rather than say ‘How can I be different?’ you want to say ‘How can I best communicate what I’m passionate about?’” Hein said. “That’s really the best thing.”

Jeff Thomas, director of legal programs for Kaplan, said Kaplan has done the survey annually for the past 15 years or so to get insight from the people making the decisions. The survey included 16 of the top-25 law schools in the country and a good mix of demographics, he said.

“It’s a nice mix of schools from all over the country, every type of ranking, geographic area, size, etcetera,” Thomas said. “It’s a good cross section of schools.”

As a result of the pandemic, Thomas said law schools saw a huge increase in the number of applicants, and according to Kaplan’s results, the applicants may be drawn toward areas such as public policy and healthcare law. He said this increase raises the competitiveness of the admissions process, and students will need to perform better overall to be admitted.

“They’re going to need a higher GPA and a higher LSAT score than last year’s class to really be competitive and feel like they have a good shot at getting in,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he suspects many applicants will be waitlisted this year because law schools may want to wait and see how competitive the applications are. Law schools admit on a rolling basis, he said.

Even though the statistics seem daunting, students should not let the numbers discourage them from applying, Thomas said.

“Students should not let trends and data dictate whether or not they want to go to law school at all,” Thomas said. “This should not deter anybody from going to law school who really wants to go.”

Jake Rossman, prelaw advisor at the IU Health Professions & Prelaw Center, said last year, 81% of law school applicants from IU Bloomington were admitted to at least one law school. That is 11% higher than the national average, he said.

Rossman said students should take advantage of the public statistics and information available to them throughout the process, such as average GPA and LSAT scores.

“Law school is kind of unique amongst the different kinds of professional and graduate schools in that the admissions statistics are so extremely well put together, transparent and provided publicly,” Rossman said.

One of the best things an applicant can do through the process is stay informed and on top of current trends by doing research, Rossman said.

“Do be diligent,” Rossman said. “Conduct research ahead of time. Set goals for the process, with an understanding of what’s available through the admissions process.” 

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