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Law School Rankings by Female Enrollment (2019)

Where do women go to law school? Here's a state-by-state breakdown of the numbers.

Where do women go to law school?

Where Women Go to Law School - Gender Breakdown

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In 2019, for the fourth year in a row, women once again outnumbered men in law school classrooms across the country.

Here at Enjuris, we've spent the last 4 years tracking gender enrollment in law schools because we believe female representation is important in the legal field and society at large. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at law school gender demographics in 2019 based on the most recent data released by the American Bar Association (ABA).


Gender representation in U.S. law schools

In 2016, the number of women enrolled in juris doctorate programs moved past 50% for the first time. This trend continued in 2017 (51.27%) and 2018 (52.39%).

Law school enrollment trends: men vs. women 2019

Law school enrollment trends: men vs. women

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In 2019, women once again outnumbered men in law school classrooms. Specifically, women made up 53.31% of all students in ABA-approved law schools.

Total Juris doctor enrollment 2019

Total Juris doctor enrollment 2019

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Women outnumbered men in law school classrooms across the country for the 4th year in a row in 2019.  Tweet this

In addition, the number of people who identified as "other" increased from 109 students (0.10%) in 2018 to 149 students (0.13%) in 2019. In 2017, only 49 law students (0.04%) identified as other. The term "other," according to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, refers to "students who do not identify as male or female."

Law school enrollment trends: other 2019

Law school enrollment trends: other 2019

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Female enrollment in the best law schools (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report)

In last year's report, we pointed out that more women were enrolling in top-ranked law schools than ever before. This was exciting news, particularly because women have historically been underrepresented in the legal industry—especially in positions of leadership.

Out of the top 20 law schools in 2018, 11 increased the percentage of female attendees from 2017. What's more, nearly half (9) of the top 20 law schools in 2018 had more female attendees than male attendees.

Facing Facts The most recent Law School Survey of Student Engagement indicates that female law students earn slightly better grades than male law students, but are less likely than men to engage in important social, leisure, and self-care activities in law school.

The most recent ABA data indicate that 2019 was an even better year for women attending top-ranked law schools. Of the top 20 law schools in 2019, 14 increased the percentage of female attendees from 2018.

Further, 12 of the top 20 law schools in 2019 had more female attendees than male attendees.

US News: Best law schools 2019

US News: Best law schools 2019

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Overall law school rankings by female enrollment

ABA-approved law schools saw a significant bump in enrollees (both male and female) from 2017 to 2018. The ABA Journal, Law.com and other legal commentators have referred to this increase as the "Trump Bump," the theory being that the state of national politics inspired more people to attend law school during this period.

In 2019, the overall number of new law school enrollees actually decreased slightly (from 39,453 to 39,270), but the number of female enrollees increased once again, suggesting that—for women at least—the "Trump Bump" may be more than a passing trend.

As for other notable changes compared to last year's report, the University of the District of Columbia School of Law overtook North Carolina Central University School of Law as the top law school for women based on female enrollment (68.18%). After North Carolina Central University School of Law (67.86%), Northeastern University School of Law came in third (66.17%).

Top 20 law schools by female JD enrollment 2019

Top 20 law schools by female JD enrollment 2019

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There are now 140 ABA-approved law schools in the U.S. (out of 205) where women are the majority.  Tweet this

Law schools with the fewest women enrolled

This data also begs the question:

Where are women NOT going to law school?

There are still a number of law schools where the percentage of female students is lagging. However, it's worth noting that the percentage of female attendees doesn't drop below 39% in any of these schools.

What's more, 7 of the schools in the bottom 10 list actually increased female enrollment compared to 2018.

Where did women NOT go to law school in 2019?

Where did women NOT go to law school in 2019?

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Lastly, it's worth mentioning that Concordia University School of Law, which had the lowest female enrollment (34.25%) in 2018, managed (through a female-dominated 1L class) to bring its total percentage of female attendees up by 7.86%.


Looking forward

As the number of women enrolled in law school continues to rise, so does the number of women in the legal industry. According to a 2019 report from the ABA, women now make up 38% of the legal profession (up from 35% last year).

Women now make up 38% of the legal profession, according to @ABA.  Tweet this

Clearly, women are still underrepresented in the legal world and especially in leadership positions, but the numbers have improved since 2018. The percentage of women serving as general counsel for Fortune 500 companies is now 30% (up from 26.4%), and the percentage of women serving as law school deans is now 35% (up from 32.4%). The percentage of female law firm partners has largely remained the same.

Even as women gain representation in law schools and the legal industry, a wage gap continues to persist. Female attorneys earn roughly 80% of their male counterparts' salaries.

Weekly salary men vs. women lawyers 2019

Weekly salary men vs. women lawyers 2019

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Another thing we'll be watching over the next few years is the percentage of law students who identify as "other," as well as how law schools and the legal industry address gender identity, including the rights of transgender and non-binary individuals.


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About Enjuris®

Enjuris.com is a collection of independent legal resources designed to help people with their biggest questions following an accident or injury. Through instructive articles written by experienced attorneys, printable forms, and a free legal directory, Enjuris provides injury victims with the information and tools they need to take the next step. In keeping with its mission, Enjuris.com also provides promising college and law school students with scholarships and other resources to help them one day become effective lawyers.

Data source: American Bar Association, ABA Required Disclosures (Standard 509 Reports). Any mistakes in data reported to the ABA are the responsibility of the reporting school. Enjuris assumes no responsibility for inaccuracies or for changes in such information that may occur after publication. The figures here are as reported on December 16, 2018. Schools may update their data at any time. Please see the ABA website for up-to-date figures.


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