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Release: Immediate
Media Contact: Nancy Slonim
Phone: 312/988-6132

Law School Enrollment Edges Upward,
Minorities Show Slight Gain, Women Slight Drop

CHICAGO, Feb. 21, 2007 -- Enrollment at American Bar Association-approved law schools edged up slightly in the current academic year, with minorities gaining some ground as a proportion of the total, and the proportion of women dropping slightly.  None of the changes was substantial.

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar today released statistics on students enrolled in ABA-approved law schools across the country, based on information compiled in a questionnaire distributed last fall.  Among the results:

  • Total law school enrollment showed a net gain of 0.3 percent, increasing from 148,273 students in fall of 2005 to 148,698 the current year.
  • Enrollment by students seeking a J.D, the basic law degree, rose 0.5 percent, from 140,298 to 141,031.
  • There was a larger increase in first year enrollment, a rise of 1.7 percent, from 48,132 in fall of 2005 to 48,937 in the current academic year.
  • Men represent a slightly larger portion of the total J.D. enrollment and of the first year class this year than they did last year.  Out of total J.D. enrollment, 53.1 percent are men, compared with 52.5 percent last year.  Out of the first year class, 53.7 percent are men, compared with 53 percent last year.
  • Minority students edged up just slightly, representing 21.6 percent of all J.D. students this year, compared to 21.2 percent last year.  Of students in their first year of enrollment, minorities represent 22.3 percent this year, compared with 21.6 percent last year.

The statistics on minorities do not include students enrolled in law schools in Puerto Rico.

With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society.

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