Diversity Statistics in American Law Schools

The “American Dream” is defined differently by different people… but most people agree it includes an education, and even college. How a group is doing in a professional degree like a juris doctorate is at least one indicator for how a group is faring in the American Dream.

In the United States, law schools have about 7 percent enrollment for African Americans, and about 7 percent for Hispanics, according to theAmerican Bar Association.

Locally, UNLV is above the national average for Hispanics at 10 percent, and at the average of 7 percent for African Americans.

A study from Columbia University shows that African Americans’ and Mexican Americans’ relative enrollment in law schools declined over 15 years between 1993-2008. Some bullet points from the study:

  • African American and Mexican Americans have been applying to law schools at a relatively constant rate over the past 15 years.
  • These applicants’ are doing better than ever on the leading indicators for acceptance (GPA, LSAT scores).
  • There are 3,000 more total law students enrolled than 15 years ago (more capacity)
  • African American and Mexican Americans gained none of the new 3,000 seats
  • Higher shut out rates

The scenario is worse in Michigan where a recent law banning affirmative action has left African American enrollment down 30 percent at undergraduate and law schools.


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