Applications to Campbell Law School are up 20% this year!
It’s true, according to an article I read this morning on Carolina Newswire (they cover both Carolinas!).
Yes, I know you don’t care about Campbell Law School. I only mention it because the article quotes Campbell Law School’s Assistant Dean for Admissions Lewis Hutchison opining:
“It is interesting that the economy seems to be having no effect on applications. You would think the application count would be up overall given the state of the economy and job uncertainty, but it’s actually the exact opposite. In fact, 48 percent (96) of the 198 ABA approved law schools show a decline in the number of applications.”
I was surprised by Assistant Dean Hutchison’s statement, because, to me, incurring tens of thousands of dollars of debt in the hopes of entering a field where most employers are instituting salary and hiring freezes and others are laying people off is not natural.
Assistant Dean Hutchinson is right about one thing: the conventional wisdom is that the number of grad/law/med school applications increases during recessions.
I suppose some people look to school as a way to ride out the rough economic times and emerge on the other side with a valuable degree. If we’re talking opportunity costs, the three years of income you lose while in law school will likely be worth less during a recession. Also, school is an especially attractive sanctuary if Mom and Dad are going to pay for it. So, why are law school and grad school applications on the decline during this recession?
I think people have just discovered the wisdom in my instinctive recession survival strategy: drop everything, curl up into the fetal position, hold your breath, and wait for it to be over.