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Number of New Law Students Dipped in 2019

December 13, 2019

The number of first-year law students enrolled in American Bar Association-accredited law schools declined ever so slightly this fall, reversing a small uptick in recent years that some law school observers had termed a "Trump bump." The admissions data were contained in an annual release of information Thursday by the law school group, which included data on enrollment, tuition and living costs, and employment outcomes, among other things.

Overall enrollment in the country's 203 accredited law schools rose slightly this fall, to 132,684 from 130,084 in 2018, the ABA reported. Enrollment in J.D. programs rose by 1.2 percent also. But the closely watched indicator of "1L" enrollment, referring to first-year students, actually declined by 0.3 percent, to 38,283 from 38,390. That's despite the fact that the number of applications to the 203 schools increased by 3 percent.


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