Who’s not applying to law school?

A recent report shows that applications from students at the nation’s most prestigious universities are down even more than the national average.

Keith Lee, founder and editor of Associate’s Mind, a blog that discusses legal issues and professional development, noted the trend. Lee looked at the graduates of Ivy League institutions as well as Stanford University, Duke University and the University of Chicago and discovered that many graduates from these top ranked institutions have stopped applying for law school.

The average decline in applicants was about 25 percent, when comparing data from 2008 to 2012.

Leslie Kingsley, a pre law advisor at Dartmouth University said it was difficult to determine whether or not the trend will continue.

“There has been and will continue to be a lot of change and rethinking of the legal field in the coming years and law schools are being extremely intentional and proactive about reframing and redefining their programs and developing the strongest lawyers to be successful,” she said.

She couldn’t pinpoint one factor as the reason for the decline of law school applicants from highly ranked institutions, but said some contributing factors could be the changing landscape of the legal profession and the changing employment opportunities. She added that other students may find it useful to work for a few years before attending law school, or that financial concerns could be impacting application rates.

Kingsley said she has cautioned some students away from attending law school.

“As an advisor I want to support, advocate for and challenge students to think about why they want to go to law school,” she said. “As with many other career fields, some students can be going into a field that isn’t the right fit for them or isn’t of true interest. I always want students to pursue a path that they are passionate about and will thrive in and can communicate that through their applications.”

Cornell University faced the sharpest decline of 42 percent between 2008 and 2012. Other schools that faced significant declines were Stanford University, Yale University, Harvard University and Brown University — each with a 25 percent change or greater compared to the number of 2008 applicants.

Lee also studied which undergraduate institutions had an increase in law school applicants, and found that just as there have been sharp declines, there have also been dramatic increases. Kaplan University demonstrated the largest increase due to the fact that it began offering Bachelor’s Degrees in 2003. Additionally Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences also had a significant increase, largely because of its creation in 2006. Liberty University, Sam Houston State University and Utah Valley University all displayed increases of more than 40 percent