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80% of Law Students Surveyed Say They Would Do It Again, if Given the Chance

Posted Jan 13, 2012 9:14 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Eighty percent of law students surveyed say they would definitely or probably go to law school again if given the chance for a do-over.

The 2011 Law School Survey of Student Engagement received responses from 33,000 law students at 95 law schools in the United States and Canada. Almost one-third rated their legal education “excellent” and more than one-half rated their education “good.”

"While it is not all good news for participating law schools, the results paint a more nuanced and balanced picture than that often reported in the press," the report (PDF) says. The National Law Journal has a story.

The report also highlights what it calls disappointing findings:

• Forty percent felt that their legal education had contributed only some or very little to their acquisition of job-related knowledge and skills.

• Twenty-three percent of law students who expect to graduate with more than $80,000 in law school debt say they would not or probably would not attend the same law school if given the opportunity to start over,

• Only 51 percent of female students said they frequently asked questions in class, compared to 68 percent of male students.

The survey also looked at the experience of transfer students, who have lower entering credentials but get grades that match those of their new classmates.

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