Paul L. Caron

Monday, December 30, 2019

ABA 509 Report Data: Applicants Up 3%, Matriculants Down 0.25%

Following up on my previous posts on the ABA's release of the 509 reports for every law school (links below): Mike Spivey, An In-Depth Analysis of the 2019 Law School Admissions & Entering Class Data:

Let's start by talking about the total application pool.  The 2018-2019 cycle ended with a total of 62,543 applicants. That was a growth of about 3.25% from the prior year, and represented legal education's best year since the 2011-2012 cycle. However, overall matriculants to law school in Fall 2019 were actually down very slightly, by about a quarter of a percent.

Spivey 1

Applicant volume has recovered significantly since the depths of the financial crisis bottoming out. Since the 2014-2015 cycle, there has been an increase of about 9,000 applicants, an almost 17% growth in the applicant pool. Despite this growth, the matriculant population has barely changed. In Fall 2019 there were only about 1,200 more first year law students than the nadir in 2014-2015, an increase of about 3.3%. Growth in student population simply has not tracked growth in applicant volume.

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