Several D.C. Law School Admissions Test preparation companies have reported a jump in enrollment numbers - a trend echoed by a record number of students taking the exam this year - and credit the economic recession as the chief factor behind the increase.
D.C.-based test prep company PowerScore has seen a 30 percent increase in students over the last year, said Dave Killoran, a spokesman for the company. That jump mirrors a 19 percent increase in the number of tests administered in October 2009 compared to those given in October 2008, according to the Law School Admissions Council. October has historically been the most popular of the four opportunities to take the test, given its proximity to the start of the law school application process.
Though PowerScore also prepares individuals interested in taking the Medical College Admission Test and Graduate Record Examinations, Killoran said the LSAT course and LSAT Bible series are the two main factors leading his company's overall growth. Killoran said he believes the recession is the largest factor.
"In grad school, students are able to increase their market value while also 'riding out the storm' and giving the economy a chance to rebound," Killoran said.
Strategy LSAT Prep, located just a few blocks off campus, has seen a similar increase.
"There's definitely been a significant change. For the last two LSATs and even for the one coming up in February, we've filled our classes and even had to add some," said Ben Olson, a spokesperson for Strategy LSAT Prep.
Olson said the popularity of the LSAT over other graduate school exams is due to the uniqueness of what the LSAT offers. With the MCAT and other standardized graduate school testing, the pool of individuals is limited to those looking to break into the associated fields, Olson said. However, many of the people Strategy LSAT Prep sees for LSAT prep are paralegals or others already in the field of law who have lost their jobs. Taking the LSAT allows them to go back to law school to gain an edge their competitors may not have, Olson said.
This story was updated May 3, 2013 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly identified Ben Olson's place of employment as Jefferson Test Prep. He works at Strategy LSAT Prep. We regret this error.