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Law school enrollment drops again

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Law school enrollment fell 11 percent in the fall of 2013, continuing a dramatic decline since 2010, according to national figures released by the American Bar Association.

Among the 202 ABA-approved law schools, 39,675 full-time and part-time students began their legal studies in the fall of 2013. This is a drop of 4,806 students from the fall of 2012 and a 24 percent decrease from the historic high of 52,488 in the fall of 2010.

The news was worse for some law schools. Eighty-one reported a decline in first year students that exceeded 10 percent.

However, 63 schools reported an increase in enrollment compared to 2012 and, of those, 27 posted a jump of 10 percent or more.

Enrollment in non-J.D. programs ticked up in 2013 to 11,139. These programs include both advanced degrees for which a law degree is required and degrees for non-lawyer professionals.

The figures show that 9,401 – or 84 percent – of non-J.D. students enrolled in advanced, post-J.D. courses while 1,738 – or 16 percent – matriculated in degree programs for non-lawyers.

The ABA released just the total enrollment figures. Over the next several months, the organization plans to publish reports and school-specific information.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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