Law Students

Enrollment in Non-J.D. Programs Increases
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In a report from the ABA Now, enrollment in programs not related to J.D. at American Bar Association-approved law schools has seen a major increase since the year 2000. The data was released by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar on Friday.

There was a 39 percent increase in the enrollment for non-J.D. programs from the years 2005 to 2012. There was a 52 percent increase from the years 2000 to 2012. From 2005 to 2012, enrollment for first-year J.D. programs dropped by eight percent. Compared to 2000, enrollment was one percent higher in 2012 for first-year J.D. programs.


In 2012, total enrollment in programs related to J.D. was 11 percent higher than in 2000. Those numbers dropped between 2005 and 2012.

“Law schools see a demand for non-J.D. programs both for lawyers who want to develop expertise through an LL.M. and in business and professional communities where knowledge of the relevant law and process is valuable,” said Barry Currier, the ABA’s interim consultant on legal education. “And as the demand for J.D. degrees slackens, schools are exploring other ways to broaden their revenue base.”

The data released Friday, directly from the press release, is as follows:

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Non-J.D. enrollment at ABA-approved law schools

  • 2000: 7,291
  • 2005: 7,976
  • 2012: 11,067

First-year enrollment at ABA-approved law schools

  • 2000: 43,518
  • 2005: 48,132
  • 2012: 44,518

Total J.D. enrollment at ABA-approved law schools

  • 2000: 125,173
  • 2005: 140,298
  • 2012: 139,262


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