Law Students

Hispanics Attending Law School at Higher Rates Than Before
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Summary: Despite lower enrollment numbers for law schools, Hispanics are attending law schools at higher percentages than they were before 2010.

Since 2010 enrollment numbers at law schools across the country have declined. The all-time high reported by the American Bar Association was 147,000 students at 204 ABA-approved schools. Despite the decrease in overall enrollment, more minority students are being admitted and attending law schools, GoodCall reports.


The overall numbers for minorities applying are still lower than what they were in 2010 but more are being accepted. The 2012-2013 school year had around 36,000 non-white students attending law school, the highest ever. The number has been increasing steadily since 1987.

Law Schools Hopeful That Enrollment Will Increase

Florida International University reports good graduation employment numbers for Hispanic students. At the nine-month mark, job placement at Florida International University is at 80 percent. The Miami community is a great place for bilingual lawyers. Dean Alexander Acosta reports, “We have 55 percent Hispanics [up from 43.8 percent in 2010] and 65 percent minority overall.”

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Rutgers University is also reporting an increase in their Hispanic numbers to now be at 35 percent. They have implemented mentorships, orientation, and other strategies to ensure the students are successful.

Law School Enrollment Continues to Shrink

When The New York Times reported minority enrollment at law schools in 2010, the trend wasn’t as positive. “From 2003 to 2008, 61 percent of black applicants and 46 percent of Mexican-American applicants were denied acceptance at all of the law school to which they applied, compared with 34 percent of white applicants.”

Even with the increased percent of law students being minorities, those numbers are not yet reflected in the higher levels of the legal system. Lawyer corps and judgers are still predominantly white. The appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court in 2009 is a step in the right direction.

Disparities still exist though that will have to be improved. Research done by Aaron Taylor at St. Louis University School of Law on LSAT scores found “schools with higher-median LSAT scores tended to enroll more white and Asian students. Black and Hispanic students were more likely to attend schools with lower median LSAT scores, particularly at private schools.”


Photo credit: Peter Skadberg/FreeImages


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