Enrollment Plummeting at These Law Schools

What you need to know about law school:

  • Just over 50% of new lawyers get a job in law, but they usually graduate with high debt.
  • According to the ABA, there are about 4900 new lawyers competing for about 1800 jobs. Here’s a good graphic spelling out the situation.
  • The top ten law schools for job placement are big state universities or Ivy League schools.
  • The school with one of the highest employment rates is the University of Virginia.
  • And here’s your best information, perhaps: lowest and highest underemployment rates for law school grads at these schools. Notice that the overall rankings do not at all correspond to the most employable graduates once you get past the very top schools. I would only consider a school in the top 25 or so for employability if I were going to start law school today.

Finding My College

I’ve written about the hard times law schools are going through. Applications are dropping like a rock and for good reason: law schools are overpriced and job prospects for newly minted lawyers are bleak.

Here are 18 law schools that have experienced enrollment declines of more than 30% since 2010 (the list was compiled by The National Jurist):

University of La Verne -66.2%
Cooley Law School -40.6% (saw the biggest drop in raw numbers)
Catholic University -39.5%
New York Law School -38.7%
University of Dayton -38.5%
Pacific McGeorge -38.4%
Widener U. – Harrisburg -36.9%
U. of New Hampshire -34.8%
Seton Hall University -34.7%
Liberty University -33.9%
Western New England -33.3%
Case Western -32.7%
Hamline University -32.7%
Ave Maria School of Law -31.8%
Appalachian School of Law -31.0%
Widener University – Delaware -30.5%
Vermont Law School -30.5%
Saint Louis University -30.2%

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Author: James Rovira

Dr. James Rovira is higher education professional with twenty years experience in the field in teaching, administration, and advising roles. He is also an interdisciplinary scholar and writer whose works include fiction, poetry, and scholarship exploring the intersections of literature and philosophy, literature and psychology, literary theory, and music and literature.. His books include Women in Rock/Women in Romanticism (in development), David Bowie and Romanticism (forthcoming 2022), Writing for College and Beyond (a first-year composition textbook (Lulu 2019)), Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History (Lexington Books 2019), Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books, 2018); Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2010). See his website at jamesrovira.com for details.

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