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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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