It’s that time of year again. December 15th is the annual reporting day for ABA 509 Disclosures for all law schools. These are required public disclosures that all law schools must make as part of their ABA accreditation. As soon as the ABA been releasing the data, I began to compile it and release reports at Associate’s Mind. This year the report is moving to LawyerSmack.
Warning: before you continue, this post includes huge images and graphs. If you’re on mobile, you’re probably better off waiting until you reach a desktop.
- Dumpster Diving Into the ABA’s 509 Information Reports (Statistics + Graphs)
- ABA 509 Matriculant Data: Top 50 Schools
- There Will Be Blood: ABA 509 Matriculant Data On All Ranked Schools
- The Walking Dead: ABA 509 Matriculant Data On All Unranked Schools
2015: 2015 ABA 509 Disclosures: Fifty Shades Of Grey
2016: ABA 509 Disclosures For All Law Schools 2016
How are things looking in 2017?
Law school matriculants remain flat
The reported ABA matriculant data in 2016 was 36,999. This year it increased to…37,000. A whopping +1 student.
Total matriculant change from 2011 to 2017: 47,050 to 37,000. A -21.4% change.
Before we begin, here is a list of all law schools sorted alphabetically if you just want to jump to your school easily (huge image file).
2011 To 2017 Changes
- 165 law schools decreased in matriculants from 2011 to 2017.
- 2 law schools are now dead: Charlotte & Whittier.
- 8 schools had matriculants decrease by over 50% from 2011 to 2017.
- 135 law schools had a double digit percentage decrease in matriculants since 2011.
- Largest decrease: Arizona Summit at -89.1% (450 to 49).
- Runner-up decrease: Valparaiso at -87.2% (218 to 28).
Top ten largest percentage decreases from 2011 to 2016
ARIZONA SUMMIT LAW SCHOOL -89.1%
VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY -87.2%
FLORIDA COASTAL SCHOOL OF LAW -84.2%
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY (COOLEY) -60.6%
PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF P.R. -58.9%
OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY -53.6%
NEW ENGLAND LAW | BOSTON -51.9%
APPALACHIAN SCHOOL OF LAW -50.0%
NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY OF -49.3%
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA -48.3%
- 38 schools had no change or increased matriculants from 2011 to 2017.
- 13 schools had a double digit percentage increase in matriculants.
- Largest increase: Lincoln Memorial at 194.1% (34 to 100).
- Runner-up increase: Mitchell Hamline at 91.2% (205 to 392).
- UC Berkeley is the only T14 law school in the top ten percentage increase.
LINCOLN MEMORIAL 194.1%
UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE 80.0%
CALIFORNIA-IRVINE, UNIVERSITY OF 78.7%
WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY 35.5%
PENNSYLVANIA STATE – DICKINSON LAW 32.7%
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY 28.6%
CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY, UNIVERSITY OF 19.7%
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY 17.6%
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY 16.9%
2016 To 2017 Changes
- 126 schools decreased in matriculants from 2016 to 2017.
- 2 law schools are now dead: Charolette & Whittier.
- 3 law schools had matriculants decrease by over 50% from 2016 to 2017: Valparaiso, Arizona Summit, & Florida Coastal.
- 13 schools had matriculants decrease by over 20% from 2016 to 2017.
- Largest decrease: Valparaiso at -72.8% (103 to 28).
- Runner-up decrease:Arizona Summit at -65.7% (143 to 49).
Top ten largest percentage decreases from 2016 to 2017
VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY -72.6%
ARIZONA SUMMIT LAW SCHOOL -65.7%
FLORIDA COASTAL SCHOOL OF LAW -54.9%
KENTUCKY, UNIVERSITY OF -36.9%
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY – 26.8%
CINCINNATI, UNIVERSITY OF -23.8%
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY -23.8%
FAULKNER UNIVERSITY -22.8%
PENNSYLVANIA STATE – PENN STATE LAW -22.2%
ARIZONA, UNIVERSITY OF -21.6%
- 76 law schools had no change or increased matriculants from 2016 to 2017(Georgetown, Seattle University, Stanford, &Texas A&M)
- 53 schools had a double digit percentage increase in matriculants
- Largest increase: Appalachian at 92.1% (38 to 73).
- Runner-up increase: Lincoln Memorial at 63.9% (61 to 100).
APPALACHIAN SCHOOL OF LAW 92.1
LINCOLN MEMORIAL 63.9
FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY 47.0
TOURO COLLEGE 41.6
WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY 40.2
OREGON, UNIVERSITY OF 38.5
CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY 36.9
QUINNPIAC UNIVERSITY 35.9
WESTERN NEW ENGLAND UNIVERSITY 32.9
REGENT UNIVERSITY 32.9
T14 (+1) Peek
Law schools continue to remain flat. We’ll see if the “Trump bump” increase in LSAT test takers translates into more students actually enrolling in law schools.
Another interesting trend was pointed out by Professor Muller over at Excess of Democracy. While JD enrollment isn’t going anywhere, non-JD enrollment in law schools is sky-rocketing. Nearly 1 in 7 students at law schools are not in JD programs.
This is likely due to the growth in non-JD legal education. Legal certificates and the like. And it shows no signs of stopping.
It goes without saying that members of LawyerSmack got to see all this data first right?