The latest Trump bump? More students considering law school

The election of President Donald Trump pushed Tiffany Boguslawski over the edge.

The 19-year-old aspiring politician knew she wanted to be a lawyer, but the new president, who shares her hard-line stance on immigration and international trade, sealed the deal.

Boguslawski, a triple-major in political science, history and global affairs, is among a group of students across the political spectrum who were so moved by last November’s election that they decided to take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, because they view law school as a means to making a difference.

In the past year, the number of people taking the test, which is administered nationally four times a year, has surged. In February, 21,400 people took it, up 5.4 percent from a year earlier. In June, the number of test-takers was up 19.8 percent year-over-year, to 27,606 people. And the number of people who took the test in September rose 10.7 percent from a year ago, to 37,146 people. As of Oct. 30, registrations for the Dec. 2 exam were up 21.4 percent.

In 2013, 84.5 percent of graduates fresh out of law school found jobs, a substantial decline from headier days. In 2007, nearly 92 percent of law grads nationwide found jobs. Since then, the job market is slowly reaching a new normal. In Chicago area there are 23,000 lawyers, who make on average, $134,200.

The job market is “way better than it was in the worst of the aftermath of the recession,” said James Leipold, executive director of the National Association of Law Placement. “It’s not nearly as good as it was in the glory days before the recession.”

The only real area of job growth has been at the biggest law firms, with 500 or more attorneys. “Hiring at the other (small and midsized) law firms have been flat or fewer jobs,” he said, adding,“The biggest law firms are still hiring about 1,000 fewer associates than they did before the recession.”

For some wannabe attorneys, the numbers mean keeping your eye on the prize, regardless of the political climate.

Robert Baurley, a senior and co-founder of Loyola’s Pre-Law Society, knew he wanted to be a lawyer years before Trump was elected. Baurley, 22, took the LSAT in September and plans to take it again next year to improve his score. He’s interned with an assistant district attorney in his native Pennsylvania, he said, and is working to get into his dream school, the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

As far as Baurley, is concerned, people motivated by the election of Donald Trump should reassess why they want to invest in a legal education. The current political climate Baurley said, is merely a momentary glimpse of time. “For me, I’ve known forever that I wanted to be an attorney.”

Twitter @corilyns

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