I've been keeping an eye on the online coverage (and blog postings) regarding UM's recent offer of a public interest scholarship to students who defer a year. Little of it has been in any way enlightening (even the comments here were very uneven). But the National Law Journal has actual facts,
Law school pays students to stay away: [Incoming UM Law Dean Patricia White] would not disclose how many students the law school accepted for next fall, but said that the yield rate increased from 28% last year to 36% this year.
Law school applications were up overall this year, but they didn't surge the way many had predicted. Conventional wisdom holds that more people seek out graduate programs during bad economic times to avoid a tough job market. According to the admissions council, law school applications increased nationally by 4.3%.
“We certainly haven't seen the double-digit increases we saw in past recessions,” said Yellen, who theorized that the high cost of law school and the news of law firm layoffs might have dissuaded some people from applying.
Assuming the change in UM's applications were somewhere near the national average (4.3%), a 28.5% increase in yield (from 28% to 36%) is indeed a monumental and unpredictable event.