December 19, 2015

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Law School Enrollment Slumps 5 Percent.

Enrollment in the nation’s law schools dropped nearly 5 percent in 2015, including a slump by 2.2 percent in first-year class sizes, according to data provided by the American Bar Association. …

Although total enrollment for juris doctor degrees is down by nearly 6,000 to 113,900 this year, total first-year matriculation is more of a mixed bag. Ninety-seven schools reported same or increased first-year classes compared with last year’s 69 schools, while 107 schools reported decreased first-year enrollment compared to 127 last year.

The overall first-year numbers, however, continue a downward trajectory. This year, first-year students totaled 37,058 students, compared with last year’s tally of 37,894, marking a nearly 30 percent drop in first-year enrollment since 2010’s high-water mark of 52,488 students.

At the University of Tennessee College of Law, our enrollment is up. Tennessee increased its 1L class by 20% with no decline in quality (median 158 LSAT, 3.64 GPA).

But we’re not the biggest news: “William Mitchell College of Law’s 320 first years in 2015 is almost double 2014’s matriculation figure thanks to the school’s January launch of a hybrid online/on-campus program that brought in a vastly increased part-time student population.” Gosh, who could have predicted that that might work?

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