Paul L. Caron
Dean


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nine California Law Schools Bucked National Trend, Increased 1L Enrollment in 2014

National JuristNational Jurist, Enrollment Up at 9 California Law Schools:

Law school enrollment dropped by 7.2 percent this year, but 33 law schools bucked the trend and increased enrollment. Nine of those law schools hail from California — more than any other state.

“We aren’t in an arctic vortex,” joked Edward Tom, Dean of Admissions at University of California, Berkeley School of Law when asked why California schools fared better this year.  “Honestly, I have no idea.”

While the nine schools saw improvement this year, they are still down 13 percent from 2010. ... While nine California law schools were up, nine were also down. Total enrollment in the state was down 5.1 percent this year, and is more than 18 percent off from 2010. ...

California law schools that increased enrollment this year:

  1. Chapman 21.37%
  2. UC-Berkeley 4.2%
  3. La Verne 3.47%
  4. UC-Davis 2.81%
  5. UCLA 1.74%
  6. California Western 0.91%
  7. USC 0.66%
  8. Stanford 0.52%
  9. Pepperdine 0.5%

Of these nine schools, one increased the median LSAT of their larger entering class (Stanford +1, to 172); six maintained their median LSAT (UC-Berkeley & UCLA, 167; USC, 166; UC-Davis, 162; Pepperdine, 160; La Verne, 147); and two decreased their median LSAT (Chapman -2, to 156; California Western -1, to 150).

Nationally, six law schools increased enrollment by 5% or more:

  1. Arizona Summit 22.49% (no change in LSAT median, 144)
  2. Chapman 21.37% (-2 LSAT median, 156)
  3. Idaho 9.29% (-1 LSAT median, 151)
  4. Washington University 8.66% (no change in LSAT median, 166)
  5. Hawaii 6.2% (-1 LSAT, 156)
  6. Notre Dame 5.58% (no change in LSAT median, 163)

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/01/nine-california-law-schools-bucked-.html

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Comments

Prof Caron,

Have the schools that kept their median LSAT at historical norms also kept their 25th percentile LSATs? It seems that many schools have purposefully structured their classes so that the median is the same or a point below normal, but the 25th percentile has fallen off the earth.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 31, 2015 7:59:52 AM

Unemployed, I got curious and looked at the 509s. Here's how the 9 California law schools which increased their IL class size changed from 2013-14 with respect to the 25th percentile LSAT:

1. UC-Berkeley +1 (163 to 164)
2. UCLA +1 (162 to 163)
3. UC-Davis +1 (159 to 160)
4. Stanford, Same (169, 169)
5. USC , Same (163, 163)
6. Pepperdine -1 (154 to 153)
7. Chapman -2 (155 to 153)
8. California Western -2 (148 to 146)
9. La Verne -2 (146 to 144)

Posted by: Jack | Jan 31, 2015 5:12:09 PM

Hey Jack,

Thanks for the info. I've dragged the comparison back to 2011; the change is more notable over that timeline.

Stanford 167 169 (+2)
Berkeley 164 164 (0)
UCLA 164 163 (-1)
UC Davis 161 160 (-1)
Chapman 154 153 (-1)
USC 165 163 (-2)
California Western 150 146 (-4)
Pepperdine 158 153 (-5)
La Verne 150 144 (-6)

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 31, 2015 8:35:32 PM