We have our first glimpse at 2021-2022 cycle volume. As of 9/23 there were about 6,000 law school applicants so far this year. That's about 15% more than last cycle's ~5,100, and 50% more than the 2019-2020 cycle's ~3,900.
It's unclear how their test scores break down, which matters a lot- is the increase broadly distributed, or top heavy like it was last year? It's also not clear whether they're applying as broadly as last years applicants were (last cycle saw notably more applications per applicant).
It's important to remember that it's still very early in the cycle. Only about 7% of applicants have submitted by this point. It's hard to draw conclusions about what this means for the rest of the year. We did expect more re-applicants than usual this year, and those people would tend to apply earlier. There has also been a trend over the last several years for people to apply somewhat earlier, even before last cycle's craziness. We've also seen more re-takers in the recent LSAT administrations, suggesting more people were somewhat more prepared coming into the cycle.
Remember, last year we were up by 30% at this time and ended the cycle up 13%. Things change. We're trending well behind last year in registrations for the November LSAT (though somewhat ahead for the October LSAT). If you're a law school this is probably good news, and if you're an applicant it's probably not good news. But neither group should take this as a sure signal for the rest of the year. We expect to have additional details in the near future.