Over at Associate’s Mind, Keith Lee crunched the numbers and realized that the decline in LSAT scores signifies just what you think it would signify: fewer top students are applying to law school. This is actually the continuation of a trend Lee identified last year, and it is a clear downward trend.
Maybe smart college graduates don’t want FutureLaw jobs. Or maybe they have done the cost-benefit analysis and realized that law school is a pretty terrible investment (despite optimistic reports of a law-job surplus within the next few years). Now that they are too smart for law school, they are probably just going into business and finance, instead, so they will help drive our economy off a cliff again in 10–15 years.
Whatever the reason, this is both good and bad. On the one hand, it is good because legal industry seems desperately in need of a “market adjustment” (fewer lawyers). On the other hand, it is bad because we always need smart, talented lawyers.