All that wailing against law schools by unemployed law school grads is finally paying off: law schools—like the wicked witch that is an imperfect but not altogether inappropriate metaphor for them—are melting, melting before your schadenfreude-laden eyes!

Inside Higher Ed reports that at least three of America's 1876456 law schools are modestly shrinking their incoming class sizes over the next few years, which will very slightly decrease the number of horribly embittered 24-year-olds over that same period. The deans at those schools cite "moral" factors, but there may be something else at work, as well:

Applications to law schools dropped about 11 percent this year after a spike last year... Individuals seek professional degrees when they don't think there could be better options in the workforce, and spike in recessions. Between 2008 and 2009, the number of individuals taking the LSAT jumped from 151,398 to 171,514, according to the Law School Admissions Council. But with some economic recovery in 2010, that number receded to 155,050.

Read between the lines, aspiring lawyers: the panicked rush to law school that the recession caused is over, and there's now a glut of people who not only went to law school for purely desperate reasons, but graduated from law school into the worst job market in recent memory. So not only did they not really want to be lawyers in the first place, but their idea of just doing it as a safe and well-paid backup also failed! Plus they're in debt up to their eyeballs! So the fact that the trend in law schools is just now catching up with their predicament won't do fuck-all for them! It's sad, and you have our full sympathy. Unless you actually do land a job as a corporate attorney, at which point you lose our sympathy and gain our pity.

[Inside Higher Ed. Photo: Scott/ Flickr]