Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Fall 2020 Law School Enrollment Increased 2.4% (+1.5% JD, +7.4% Non-JD); 1L Enrollment Fell 0.2%

ABA Website Updates Data on Law School Admissions, Tuition and Other Matters:

ABA Logo (2016)Information about fall 2020 admissions and other matters reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available. The information is required to be made public under Standard 509 of the Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.

The spreadsheets, explanatory information and the ABA's database of Standard 509 reports, as they are known, are available at Some of this information has been collected and summarized on the section's website in its Statistics section under 2020 Standard 509 Data Overview. It shows that total J.D. enrollment for 2020 was up by 1.5% from the previous year. First-year enrollment was essentially flat, declining by 81 students.

2020 Standard 509 Information Report Data Overview (posted 12/18/2020):

ABA-approved law schools are required to post their Standard 509 Information Reports on their websites as part of their ABA Required Disclosures, annually by December 15. The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar website provides access to that information for all law schools, including downloadable spreadsheets of aggregate data that the law schools report. The Section is also providing spreadsheets on a school-by-school basis that report applicant data and LSAT and UGPA information for each school’s 1L matriculants, changes in the 1L classes on a school-by-school basis, and other information. These data come from the annual questionnaires that ABA-approved law schools file with the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar’s Managing Director’s Office.

As the chart below summarizes, 197 law schools that are approved by the ABA to confer the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree reported total J.D. enrollment of 114,520 for the Fall 2020 term. This is an increase of 1,638 students (1.5 percent) from 2019. An additional 21,292 students were enrolled in other than J.D. degree programs (LL.M., masters and certificate programs). This is an increase of 1,473 (7.4 percent) from 2019. This brings the total law school enrollment for Fall 2020 to 135,812, an increase of 3,128 (2.4 percent).

Law schools reported that 38,202 students began studies in the Fall 2020 1L class (plus the preceding winter/spring/summer terms for schools with multiple starts). This is a decrease of 81 students (-.21 percent) from the 2019 reporting cycle. Eighty-six schools reported smaller 1L classes for this admissions cycle and 111 schools reported an increase or no change in their new 1L classes compared to 2019.


Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink