Summary: A record-breaking number of aspiring lawyers took the LSAT this June.
Law schools may need to thank Donald Trump for a possible surge in admission applications. According to Law.com, a “Trump Bump” has occurred thanks to our nation’s 45th president, and the effect has inspired a new crop of potential lawyers to take the LSAT exam.
In June, the number of people taking the Law School Admission Test surged by 20% from last year’s test, and this increase is reportedly the largest hike ever recorded since September 2009.
Professors and law school deans guessed that the political tension in Washington D.C. rallied potential lawyers to fight for justice. They said that specific incidents’ such as the Travel Ban prompted many to consider attending law school. According to Law.com, “The June LSAT, which is widely viewed as the first of the 2018 admissions cycle, offered the first real test of the Trump Bump theory.”
Businessman and famous billionaire, Donald Trump, took office in January, and since then, the nation has experienced a high amount of change in a short period of time. Not only did Trump introduce a controversial travel ban of people from several Muslim-majority nations, but he has denied climate change, fought to repeal Obamacare, and deported numerous illegal immigrants who had made their homes in the United States for years.
“I think people are starting to understand again the necessity for the rule of law,” LSAC President Kellye Testy said. “Our current political climate has demonstrated that.”
Law school admissions officers said that June’s test was the right time to see if there was a Trump Bump because the February test date did not offer enough time for applicants to study and sign up for the crucial entrance exam.
Experts said that it was Trump and our political environment that attracted test takers more than employment rates. However, Testy warned that although people may be inspired to move into law because of Trump, it is unclear whether or not they’ll actually send in applications and even go to school.
But for people who are already lawyers, Trump has also inspired them to act. During his January travel ban, a number of lawyers offered immigration services pro bono at airports to help detainees, and Teen Vogue recently profiled two female attorneys who started their own firm to address the ban.
“I realized how privileged I was and I could be doing more,” attorney Victoria Slatton said to the publication. “And so I was trying to translate that to my personal life to doing more. We definitely jumped into a profession that is in direct response to the election.”
At 26, Slatton and her partner Michelle Stilwell formed Stilwell & Slatton in Washington, D.C. Both attorneys graduated from Pepperdine Law School, and Slatton said they were inspired to create their firm because the changes in the Trump administration “kind of woke me up.”
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