Saturday, November 30, 2013
American Lawyer: 'White Flight' Hits Nation's Law Schools, by Matt Leichter:
As the number of applicants to law school continues to dwindle, some writers have begun pondering the demographic challenges facing law schools. Attorney Keith Lee and University of Saint Thomas School of law professor Jerry Organ recently wrote articles highlighting the decline in graduates from elite, "feeder" universities applying to law school. At the same time, recent law school applicants tend to have lower LSAT scores than their predecessors. Both of these observations fit into a developing narrative that highly intelligent and affluent college graduates are forgoing law school.
A different look at the data reveals a more profound trend: Most of the 8,651-student net decline in law school enrollments between 2010 and 2012 is attributable to white male law students going unreplaced. White women account for another big chunk of the decline
These changes in law school demographics raise an obvious question for those interested in the profession's diversity: Which law schools account for the drop in white students? Answer: Not the most popular ones. Using the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings—not because they measure prestige precisely but because they are widely known—it's clear that the bulk of the 6,528-person decline in white 1Ls occurred at lower-ranked schools. The 101 schools with a ranking of 100 or less accounted for only 38 percent of the decrease, while the top 50 were only responsible for 17 percent, and the famed top 14 just 3 percent. The 48 remaining schools, along with the rank-not-published University of La Verne, accounted for 41 percent of the lost white 1Ls.