Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Fewer First-Year Law Students in Fall 2019

While the total number of students in US law schools increased in 2019, the number of first-year students dropped slightly.

J.D. enrollment at ABA-accredited law schools was 112,882 for the Fall 2019 term. That’s an increase of 1,321 students (1.2 percent) from 2018, according to this ABA overview.

But the number of 1Ls dipped a bit from 2018 to 2019. A total of 38,283 students started law school in Fall 2019. That was 107 less than the 1L class of 2018.

Read the ABA 2019 Law School data overview here. Read a story in the ABA Journal about the data here.

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“Out of 203 ABA-accredited law schools, 84 reported smaller first-year classes for this admissions cycle, compared to 2018, while 119 reported increases or no changes for 1L class size,” according to the ABA Journal. “The 1L class for 2019 had 11,871 minority students, compared to 11,981 minority students in 2018.”

In addition to the nearly 113,000 students enrolled as traditional JD candidates, another 19,819 students were in LL.M., masters and certificate programs. That was an increase of 1,296 (seven percent) from 2018.

Barry Currier, managing director of accreditation and legal education for the ABA’s legal education section, said in a statement that 1L enrollment “remains basically level with last year and close to the enrollment that we have seen for the past few years” and that “the job market for law school graduates has stabilized and improved in some areas.”

The ABA overview breaks down first-year class sizes by school, as well as by gender, race, and ethnicity. In addition, the overview provides information on LSAT scores, undergraduate GPA scores, tuition costs, and financial aid.

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

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