Everyone You Know Is Applying to Grad School Everyone You Know Is Applying to Grad School

Everyone You Know Is Applying to Grad School

by Nikhil Swaminathan

January 14, 2010
What are we going to get for suffering through this awful recession? More lawyers, apparently. Who are making out like bandits? Educational testing services.A piece in the Times this weekend puts data behind all the anecdotal evidence we've all collected: Everyone's scared and running to grad school. Twenty percent more people sat for the LSAT in 2009 than in 2008, and 13 percent more took the GRE.Obviously that means law school and graduate school applications are up as well (which means acceptance rates will plummet this year). The Indiana University has 54 percent more prospective lawyers to choose from this year than it did last. Cornell has 44 percent more. The University of Iowa has 39 percent more.I'd once thought I'd only see the inside of a classroom as an adjunct professor of journalism, maybe 15 or 20 years from now. But I'm on this bandwagon, too. I filed my last application this past weekend. Now I wait.And the waiting is the hardest part, I'd guess, for a lot of these people who hope that even higher education can jumpstart their job prospects. The crippled economy forced them into a sort of suspended animation, and they now wait for some overwhelmed admissions committee to decide whether they get a chance at a new career.I'm just not sure why everyone's going to law school. Stories of furloughs, delayed job start dates, rescinded offers, and downsizing abound. The fall-back field for the country's high achievers is certainly not as secure as it once seemed. (Interestingly, Columbia Journalism School is sifting through its most applications ever-also an odd move, given the uncertainty pervading that industry.)What if we used this glut of unoccupied talent to cut the so-called innovation gap between the United States and China and India? How about a program like STEM, which hands out grants to people who transform themselves into scientists and entrepreneurs that can help create an alternative energy economy?I mean, really, do we need more lawyers?Photo via
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Everyone You Know Is Applying to Grad School