So the ABA is finally getting around to talking about the massive drops in enrollment. Yay! Now for some charts. First, all the schools listed by rank. (Edit: Professor Caron noticed that I had mislabeled Pepperdine red in the below chart, now fixed.)
Next, all the schools but ordered by percentage change:
- 98 of 146 ranked law schools have had double-digit matriculant percentage drops since 2011.
- 126 ranked law schools have had matriculants decline since 2011.
- 18 schools increased in matriculants.
- 2 remained even.
- The biggest loser: Hamline at -56.10% (205 to 90).
- Runner-up loser: New Hampshire at -51.37% (146 to 71).
- The biggest increase: Wyoming at 23.19% (69 to 85 students).
- Runner-up increase: George Washington at 13.71% (474 to 539).
- 3 schools had 50%+ decreases in matriculants: Hamline, New Hampshire, and Albany.
- 9 schools had decreases in the 40% range: NYLS, Miami, Santa Clara, William Mitchell, St. Louis, CUNY, Northeastern, Toledo, UT Knoxville.
- The highest ranked school (Yale) had a -2.43% decline.
- The lowest ranked school (McGeorge) had a -32.44% decline.
Yes, but does all this mean?!? I’m not sure at this point. People have been saying law schools are going to go out of business for awhile now and it still hasn’t happened. Things certainly don’t look good, but I think it’s going to take a few more years of this before law schools start closing shop. Honestly, in 4-5 years if all the doom and gloom has passed, and people begin to talk about a “lawyer shortage,” I bet people will start going back to law school in greater numbers. I definitely think the peak we hit “peak” law schools numbers a few years ago though.
If you want to see what other people are doing with the 509 information, here is a chart from Derek T. Muller over at Excess of Democracy: