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Law schools cut size of entering classes, adjust curriculums

Kaplan survey shows schools are making changes to reflect legal jobs market

Recently we reported that despite the fact that there has been a slight increase in jobs in the legal sector, the overall demand for legal services in the U.S. has declined for the second quarter in a row. Yesterday, Kaplan Test Prep released survey results showing that law schools are making some changes in response to the less-than-promising job market.

According to Kaplan’s 2012 survey of law school admissions officers, 51 percent of law schools cut the size of the 2012 entering class; nearly two-thirds of those that did so said it was because of the shrinking legal job market. Moreover, of the law schools that haven’t yet cut their class sizes, 28 percent said they plan to do so for the current application cycle.

The survey also found that 68 percent of law schools have adjusted their curriculums to make their students more “practice ready” by adding more clinical work opportunities and giving students the option to specialize in a specific field.

“With the supply of new lawyers outpacing the available number of positions for new lawyers, this is the most critical time for legal education in decades,” Jeff Thomas, Kaplan’s director of pre-law programs, said in a press release. “Our survey shows that law schools are taking much-needed action to better prepare new lawyers for the changing job landscape, while at the same time accepting fewer students, as they know jobs will not be easy to come by.”

For more InsideCounsel stories about law school and the legal jobs market, read:

Survey predicts reduction in law firm partners

Judge dismisses suits against John Marshall, Kent

Legal services jobs see slow growth, demand drops

Law school falsified jobs data, according to ex-employee

Median first-year associate salaries drop to $145,000

Study says Biglaw profits look “grim” for 2012

Law firm managing partners lose confidence in economy

Judge tosses Cooley Law grads lawsuit

Judge tosses suit against New York Law School for misleading jobs data

20 more law schools to be sued for misleading jobs data

12 law schools sued over misleading jobs data

Ashley Post

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