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Indiana law schools remain predominantly white but women are gaining ground

December 26, 2017

Three of Indiana’s four law schools have shrunk in recent years but overall, minority enrollment has slipped while the number of women has been increasing since 2015, according to the recently released in the Fall 2017 Standard 509 Reports from the American Bar Association.

Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Valparaiso Law School all welcomed smaller classes in 2016 and 2017 compared to 2015. Valparaiso posted the most significant decrease, cutting the size of its student body by just under 200.

Both IU Maurer and IU McKinney reduced their enrollments by a total 33 students, each, since 2015.

However, the racial and gender mix of students from 2015 to 2017 differed at both schools.

IU Maurer’s minority enrollment ticked up in 2016 but slumped 4 percentage points to 17.4 percent in 2017. At IU McKinney, minorities have held steady at roughly 18 percent of the student population from 2015 through 2017. Both schools have charted a steady increase in the percentage of women with the balance tipping and females gaining a slender majority at IU McKinney in 2017.

At Valparaiso, women continued to outnumber men, although the gap has narrowed to 49.1 percent and 50.0 percent, respectively. Also, while the northwest Indiana institution still sustains the highest percentage of minority students of all the law schools in the state, as the number of students at Valparaiso has declined so has the percentage of minorities. In 2015, minorities composed 38.3 percent of the student body at Valparaiso while they currently comprise 28.6 percent.

Notre Dame Law School bucked the trend a little bit. Its student body has increased by 19 students since 2015 but the composition stayed mostly male and white.

Among the students, Black or African Americans and Hispanics have either been the largest or second largest minority group at IU Maurer, IU McKinney and Valparaiso since 2015. At Notre Dame, Hispanics have been the dominate minority for the past three years and Asians have consistently been the second highest minority.   

The 2017 statistics from the individual schools are as follows:

IU Maurer had a total of 505 students in 2017. Of that, the number of men was 267 (52.9 percent) and women was 237 (46.9 percent). Racially, 352 (69.7 percent) were white and 88 (17.4 percent) were minority with the largest minority group being Black or African American.

IU McKinney had a total enrollment of 783 students in 2017. Of the entire student body, men numbered 391 (49.9 percent) and women number 392 (50.0) percent. Also 628 (80.2 percent) were white and 140 (17.9 percent) were minority with Black or African American being the biggest minority group.

Valparaiso had a total enrollment of 234 students in 2017. Of that, men numbered 115 (49.1 percent) and women numbers 119 (50.9 percent. Also, 161 (68.8 percent) were white and 67 (28.6 percent) were minority. The largest minority group was Hispanic.

Notre Dame has a total of 600 students in 2017. The student body consisted of 333 (55.5 percent) men and 270 (45 percent) women. Also, 412 (69.7 percent) were white and 157 (26.2percent) were minority.

Statistics for 2016 and 2015 are as follows:

In 2016, the IU Maurer had 525 students of which 68.8 percent were white and 21.5 percent were minority while 55.4 percent were men and 44.4 percent were women. In 2015, the Bloomington school had 538 students. The composition was 69.7 percent white and 20.3 percent minority along with 57.1 percent men and 42.8 percent women.

In 2016, the IU McKinney has 804 students of which 79.6 percent was white and 18.5 percent was minority. Also, men comprised 51.1 percent of the student body and women 48.9 percent. In 2015, the Indianapolis school had 816 students. Of that, 80.9 percent was white and 17.8 percent was minority while 53.2 percent were men and 46.8 percent were women.

In 2016, Notre Dame had 599 students. Of that 68.8 percent white and 26.2 percent minority while 55.6 percent were men and 44.4 percent were women. In 2015, the South Bend school had 581 students of which 68.5 percent were white and 25.3 percent were minority while 58.7 percent were men and 41.3 percent were women.

In 2016 Valparaiso had 346 students. The composition was 66.5 percent white and 30.3 percent minority while 48.3 percent were men and 51.7 percent were women. In 2015, the northwest Indiana school had 433 students. Of that, 59.1 percent was white and 38.3 was minority while 49 percent were men and 51 percent were women.

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