June 1, 2021

Legal Education Data Deck

Research and Data

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, LSAC, and National Center for Education Statistics reports. Notable updates include:

  • Law school admission is becoming more competitive. After increasing in 2019, the number of admitted applicants fell slightly in 2020. The count of admitted applicants has remained stable since 2013, despite a continued increase in law school applications.
  • The number of J.D. degrees awarded to historically underrepresented students slightly increased last year, marking the first increase since 2012-2013. The share of J.D.s awarded nationally to historically underrepresented students continues to rise.
  • Students of color tend to be overrepresented among those who withdraw from law school for non-transfer reasons before their second year.
  • Average tuition at private and public resident law schools increased again in 2020. The median grant amount awarded to full time students also increased, though the increase was slightly less than the increase in average tuition. The percentage of students receiving significant institutional grant aid (at least half of tuition costs) increased slightly.
  • The percentage of schools offering conditional scholarships declined again, continuing a steady decrease since 2012. The share of the first-year class receiving these scholarships fell, continuing a trend that has been declining since 2014. 


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.