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Law Schools Getting Fewer Applicants

March 7, 1996

BOSTON (AP) _ For the fifth consecutive year, fewer people have applied for admission to American law schools, and a national group says this year’s drop of about 11 percent is the largest.

The Law School Admission Council expects about 70,000 applications for the term beginning next fall. That would be 11.2 percent less than last year. In 1991, a record 94,000 applied for admission.

The 178 accredited law schools have about 43,000 seats.

Explanations for the decline vary, with some analysts citing the poor job market for young lawyers as the main reason. It costs $100,000 for three years at some law schools.

Others say the bashing of lawyers has taken its toll.

``The impact of the O.J. Simpson trial didn’t help the image of lawyers,″ said Elizabeth Rosselot, director of admissions at Boston College Law School.

``There is a negative image of lawyers,″ she said. ``We loved the days of `L.A. Law.′ We’re waiting for another lawyer show.″

Applications to Harvard Law School dropped about 3 percent to 4 percent from last year, when the drop was 18 percent. But Harvard still will accept only one of nine applicants.

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