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Majority of Law School Students Would Enroll Again

Law students who were surveyed recently said that they would definitely or probably attend law school again if they were given the chance for a do-over. Of those surveyed, close to 80 percent of the respondents said that they would return to law school again.

The survey, the 2011 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), obtained responses from some 33,000 law school students at 95 law schools in the United States and Canada. Close to one-third of the respondents rated their education in the legal field as excellent and close to one-half of the respondents rated their legal education as good.

“While it is not all good news for participating law schools, the results paint a more nuanced and balanced picture than that often reported in the press,” the report states.

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The survey also shows some disappointing figures:

• The first disappointing figure is that 40 percent of respondents feel that their legal education helped them with some or very little when it came to acquiring knowledge and skills for their job.

• The second disappointing figure is that 23 percent of respondents who anticipate graduation with over $80,000 in law school debt claim that they would not or probably would not attend the same law school if they were given the chance to do it again.

• The third disappointing figure is that 51 percent of female students said they ask questions in class. This number can be compared to 68 percent of male law students.

“Despite their academic success, transfer students’ overall experience at their new school is mixed,” said Carole Silver, a law professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington. Silver helped to conduct the survey. “The survey finds that transfer students do not fully integrate into their new environment, at least in the 2L year, although they are successful according to traditional academic measures.”

“LSSSE is premised on the notion that students’ reflections on their own experiences comprise a valuable barometer of the health of the law school,” said Silver. “As law schools increasingly compete for students, opportunities for transferring likely will increase. Awareness of these differences therefore enables law schools to address the challenges of transferring and adjust their programs accordingly.”

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