The full questions reads Is there an increasing premium on work experience in admissions? It seems seems like people going straight in from college have had rough admissions cycles, even with great numbers
Yes, for many schools, and not surprising at all. For starters, deans of law schools have increasingly been asking their admissions offices to look at employability and maturity in admission decision-making. And this is an "up" cycle -- the first in a good while. So there are some schools who have, or believe they have, the ability to take more factors into tie-breaking admit decisions, and work experience would be a sensible tie breaker.
But also, this is the cycle of neuroticism. We spoke about this mid-cycle and now, when we talk to our admissions colleagues, we hear the horror stories. The anxiety levels expressed to admissions offices seems to be at an all-time high. So, another way of either trying to vet through this, or perhaps a real variable for who comports themselves with a bit more calm under the pressure of the cycle, could be having more work experience and years under your belt.
Links of interests
Generation Neurotic: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/generation-neurotic/
Emailing an admissions office: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/why/