Legal Education

Overall, law schools see increase in 1Ls and decrease in non-JD students

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There is an 11.8% increase in first-year law students for the 2021 admissions cycle, compared to 2020, according to data released Wednesday by the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The data is from Standard 509 Information Reports that the section collects from law schools, according to a website summary. In total, 42,718 students started their first year of law school during the fall 2021 term, compared to 38,202 in 2020. Total JD enrollment for the fall 2021 term is 117,501; it was 114,520 in 2020.

Out of the 196 ABA-accredited law schools, 153 reported class size increases or no change from the previous year. Also, 43 law schools reported having smaller 1L classes for the 2021 admissions cycle. Additionally, the data showed a 1.2% decrease in students enrolled in LLM, masters and certificate programs.

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