LSAC has updated its volume summary through the first week of January. The total applicant pool remains down 22% over 2012. 42% of applicants had applied by this point in the cycle last year, so we're still heading for 53,000 total applicants (this is a lower number than the total number of people admitted to ABA law schools in any year over the last decade).
If law schools admit the same proportion of applicants this year as last year, and the same percentage of admitted students matriculate, the six-year window for first year enrollment will look like this:
Since the latter number would put quite a few law schools out of business, we can anticipate that schools will cut admissions criteria even further, and offer even bigger discounts off advertised tuition. These strategies have natural limitations, however. Admissions criteria have already been cut close to the bone at several dozen schools who are admitting entering classes with median LSAT scores below those of all LSAT takers, and median GPAs below the median GPA of all current college graduates. And while people go into law because they're bad at math, cutting real tuition to stanch the bleeding from the fiscal bottom line has even more obvious limitations.
If we estimate these desperation strategies will result in an entering class of 2013 of 37,000 members, we get the following striking fiscal picture: In the fall of 2010, law schools had enrolled 153,500 people over the course of the previous three admissions cycles. This coming fall, they will have enrolled approximately 130,180 over the previous three cycles. Assuming dropout rates have remained constant, that means there will be around 15.3% fewer people enrolled in ABA law schools than three years earlier. It's difficult to extrapolate precise revenue changes from this picture: nominal tuition will have risen about 15% over that time frame, but real tuition tuition will certainly have risen less, because schools will have given out more "scholarships" in an effort to stem the collapse in enrollments.
And of course since we're dealing with units within American universities, operating costs will have almost surely increased by quite a bit more than 15%, since the cost of providing a "first-rate education" (aka administrative empire-building, or the Chemerinsky Principle) always rises faster than any other factor in these calculations.
In sum, a lot of balance sheets are going to run red.