Law School expects fewer applications

Law school application rates are down 12 percent nationwide.

With students graduating during a time when job prospects are low and the economy is in a downturn, some are making the decision to continue their education before entering the workforce.

The application process has started for some students, and, although the process has not finished yet at the School of Law, the application rate so far has showed the number of applications will decrease compared to previous years.

“Last year Mizzou Law received 1,024 applications for 150 spots,” said Michelle Heck, School of Law Admissions and Recruitment coordinator. “Although this year’s cycle is not over, we will be seeing a decrease as applications are down over 12 percent nationwide.”

Because there are no complete statistics or feedback from the students, it can’t yet be concluded that the decreasing number is mainly affected by the present economy.

Heck gave some possible reasons for the decreasing number.

The first possibility could be the normal application rate trend the School of Law sees throughout the years.

“The number of applications received last year was the highest since 2004,” Heck said. “Law schools typically see a plateau in applications before applications decrease drastically and then start to rise again.”

Heck also mentioned the effect of the current economy.

“Many times the economy can affect the number of students deciding to stay in school or enter the workforce,” Heck said.

The application rate of MU’s Graduate School is slightly different from that of the School of Law. The statistics have showed the application rate is currently increasing a little bit.

“The graduate admission process is ongoing,” Graduate Admissions and Records Director Terrence Grus said.

Grus said the Graduate School has 37 more applications at this time than they did in Feb. 1, 2010.

The deadlines of the different programs are not the same, so the whole number will remain unclear for a while.

“There are more than 90 graduate programs,” Grus said. “Some programs accept applicants only once a year, and other programs have no set deadline and accept applicants every semester.”

Grus said he cannot make a conclusion for why the rate this year has gone up, since the 37 more applications is the only number he has so far.

“So right now, the only thing we can definitively state is that we have 37 more applications than last year at this time,” Grus said. “We cannot make a statement that the increasing rate is the result of the current economy situation that makes people leave the job market.”

He said to understand the meanings of the statistics this year and find out the reasons behind those numbers, they need to survey the applicants to indentify the reasons for their choices in the future.

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