Law school enrollment nationwide is still falling, although the decline in students interested in pursuing a legal degree wasn’t quite as pronounced this year as in the recent past, according to data released by the American Bar Association this week.
Overall, first-year enrollment has fallen 29.4 percent since 2010, but the decline in the size of the 1L class from last year to this year was just 2.2 percent, Above the Law reported.
Enrollment trends at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law departed somewhat with those of their peers this year.
While both schools saw decreased enrollment from 2013 to 2014 — UM Carey Law by almost 5 percent and UB Law by almost 19 percent — UM Carey Law saw its number of first-years rise slightly this year, from 196 to 204, according to the ABA. UB Law, on the other hand, shrunk its 1L class from 233 to 200.
Both schools have said the smaller class sizes in recent years reflect both the drop in applications to law school and the desire to keep admissions standards high and not admit students who will not be able to pass the bar exam.
Applications to law schools nationwide are up this year by 3.4 percent over last year, according to the Law School Admission Council, but it’s likely too soon to tell how those numbers will impact law schools’ decisions on the size of next year’s 1L class.