Friday, January 4, 2008
Columbia's Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic reports A Disturbing Trend in Law School Diversity:
- STEADY DEMAND: Over the past 15 years, African Americans and Mexican Americans have been applying to law schools in relatively constant numbers.
- IMPROVING QUALITY: These African American and Mexican American applicants are doing better than ever on the leading indicators used by Law Schools to determine admissibility: undergraduate grade point average and LSAT scores.
- RISING CAPACITY: During the same 15-year period, the size of law school classes and the total number of law schools have increased, resulting in nearly 4,000 more first-year matriculants. There were 176 ABA-accredited law schools in 1992. In 2006, that number increased to 195 schools.
- And Yet ... DECLINING ENROLLMENT: The percentage representation of both groups has actually trended downward since 1992. In real numbers, there were fewer African American and Mexican American first year law students in the Fall, 2005 class (3595 combined) than existed in Fall, 1992 (3937). Even taking into account the 2006 upswing in African American entering enrollees, heralded as the largest such increase in the past ten years, first-year African American and Mexican American enrollment has declined (3937 combined in 1992 v. 3914 combined in 2006).
See today's National Law Journal: Enrollment Decline Reported for Minority Law Students, by Vesna Jaksic