Law Schools See Increased Enrollment
Law schools are finally getting the big bump they need.
Enrollment at law schools in the US has increased 3% this fall, according to a recent report by the American Bar Association.
First Measurable Increase
This year’s enrollment numbers show the first measurable increase since 2010, when enrollment peaked at more than 52,000 first-year students, Law.com reports.
From 2010 to 2015, law schools saw a 29% dip in enrollment and numbers showed that enrollment stayed capped at roughly 37,000 students for the next three years.
This fall, law schools finally saw the break they needed with 38,390 new students enrolling.
One potential reason behind the increase in enrollment may be due to an increased interest in politics, experts say.
“Trump has had a galvanizing effect on many prospective students, both Democrat and Republican,” Dave Killoran, CEO of the PowerScore, tells US News. “We see our students discussing specific policies far more frequently than in the past, and the depth of feeling they are expressing is greater than ever before.”
Another reason may be attributed to the economy’s improvement.
“Generally, two or three years after a recession, you start seeing people go back to law school, and one of the explanations is that immediately after the recession, as things start improving, people are doing better in their own jobs, so they don’t bother going to graduate school,” Austen Parrish, dean and professor at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University—Bloomington, tells US News. “But then at some point, they don’t want to put their lives on hold forever and for them to achieve their goals, they need to get a higher degree.”
Competition May Increase
With more students having interest in pursuing a law degree, experts say, the competition to get into law school may increase.
“As law school applications tend to be cyclical, I expect that we are in the beginning of a longer-term increase in applications,” Gregory N. Mandel, dean and professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, tells US News. “That said, given broader trends in the legal market and the extreme high before the recession, I do not expect that we will reach the level of law school applications that we were at ten years ago.”
Sources: Law.com, US News