Legal Education Data Deck
AccessLex prepares the Legal Education Data Deck for the use of the legal education community, policymakers, and others interested in viewing a snapshot of certain data and trends organized around our three driving principles: access, affordability and value. The Data Deck is a living document that is updated periodically, and we are happy to announce the most recent version is now available. The updated data deck trends the latest admission, enrollment, degrees awarded, tuition, and grants awarded data from the most recent ABA Standard 509 and LSAC reports. Notable updates include:
- Law school admission is becoming more competitive. Applications and matriculants increased fairly substantially over the previous year, but overall admission rates declined to 68 percent.
- Female applicants make up an increasing share of law school applicants and enrollees. Admission rates for men have historically outpaced rates for women, but in 2021 women were admitted at a higher rate than the previous year, breaking the equal admission rates by gender streak from 2014 - 2020. Since 2017, female enrollment has increased while male enrollment has declined.
- The racial and ethnic composition of law school applicants remained relatively stable from last year but is more diverse than in years before 2020. In 2021, White applicants comprised roughly half of the applicant pool, while White applicants comprised just over sixty percent of applicants in 2019.
- The percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded to racial/ethnic minorities continued its steady increase from previous years and is now at 39 percent. The percentage of J.D.s awarded to minority graduates increased to 33 percent, a 2 point increase over last year.
- Underrepresented minority students—namely Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students—are over-represented in their academic attrition rates. For both Black and Indigenous students, their attrition rates are over-represented by more than 100 percent.
- The overall tuition for law students decreased in 2021. Average private school tuition and fees dropped to an amount not seen since 2016. Public resident tuition and fees dropped to approximate 2014 levels, and non-resident tuition and fees for public law schools fell below 2013 levels. The median tuition discount amount remained stable at $22,100.
The data contained herein exists thanks to the work of the Law School Admission Council, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the National Association for Law Placement, the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Labor. We thank these and other organizations for making such data available.
AccessLex Institute uses these data as the basis for the presentation, analysis and commentary contained herein, and takes sole responsibility for the quality and accuracy of such presentation, analysis and commentary.