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December 18, 2020

ABA website updates data on law school admissions, tuition and other matters

CHICAGO, Dec. 18, 2020 – Information about fall 2020 admissions and other matters reported by American Bar Association-approved law schools to the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is now publicly available. The information is required to be made public under Standard 509 of the Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.

The spreadsheets, explanatory information and the ABA's database of Standard 509 reports, as they are known, are available at Some of this information has been collected and summarized on the section's website in its Statistics section under 2020 Standard 509 Data Overview. It shows that total J.D. enrollment for 2020 was up by 1.5% from the previous year. First-year enrollment was essentially flat, declining by 81 students.

The material is collected by the section, which requires law schools each year to disclose data in several categories, covering admissions, tuition and living costs, financial aid, class and faculty demographics, employment outcomes, bar passage and other areas. The data can be easily searched and sorted, allowing for school-by-school comparisons and analysis and should be useful to prospective law students, pre-law advisors, media outlets and others who study and write about legal education.

Employment and bar passage outcomes are collected and reported separately. Release of updated bar passage data for 2020 bar examination outcomes, usually reported in March, will likely be delayed because of bar exam scheduling changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment outcomes, which report employment for the class of 2020, might also be delayed beyond its usual April release for similar reasons.

The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the Juris Doctor degree, or J.D. The section’s 14,000 members strive to improve legal education and lawyer licensing by fostering cooperation among legal educators, practitioners and judges through workshops, conferences and publications. The section also studies and makes recommendations for the improvement of the bar admission process, and the section and its governing council operate for accreditation purposes as independent arms of the ABA.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news sat and on Twitter @ABANews