Law school applications have declined worldwide over the last decade. It is a different world for law schools. Austen L. Parrish, dean of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, discusses how speaks to potential students in this climate.

There is no question that, starting in around 2010, the legal market has had major structural changes and as a result, the number of jobs that large law firms are offering has declined. But students are using a J.D. in different ways. For instance, our cybersecurity center has relationships with companies looking for students who might be interested in going into privacy management. Our entrepreneurial law clinic opens students’ eyes to how they can use a J.D. degree to create a start-up.

It sometimes makes sense for law schools to reduce class sizes to maintain quality, but generally they’re doing it for ranking purposes, not because it’s good for society. I don’t believe that law schools should somehow decide what the perfect number of law students is. Why should we deny students the chance to succeed as long as they understand the costs and benefits? Most students are fully aware that earning a J.D. is not a guaranteed ticket to riches and wealth, but it can open the door to a rewarding career if they work hard and hustle.

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