Legal Education

There are fewer JD students this year and increases in non-JD programs, new ABA data says

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There is a slight decrease in JD enrollment for the fall 2022 term, according to data released Monday by the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The data is from Standard 509 Information Reports. Total JD enrollment for the fall 2022 term was 116,723, compared to 117,501 in 2021. That amounts to a 0.66% decrease, according to an overview posted on the section’s website.

Also, 38,020 students started their first year of law school during the fall 2022 term, compared to 42,718 in 2021, according to the overview.

Compared to 2021, 46 law schools saw increases or no changes in 1L class sizes during 2022, while 150 had smaller entering classes. That was a bit of a flip. In 2021, 153 schools had 1L enrollment increases or reported that the numbers were the same that year, while 43 had smaller entering classes.

Meanwhile, there is a slight increase in non-JD enrollment, according to the data. In 2022, the programs had 24,134 students, compared to 21,044 in 2021. If combining JD and non-JD enrollment for 2022, there’s a 1.67% increase in law school enrollment overall, according to the overview.

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