Law School Rankings by Female Enrollment (2021)

Where do women attend law school? Enjuris breaks down gender demographics in ABA-approved law schools in 2021 and beyond


women in law school 2021

Where Women Go to Law School - Gender Breakdown

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women in law school 2020

Where Women Go to Law School - Gender Breakdown

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Where do women go to law school?

Where Women Go to Law School - Gender Breakdown

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Where women go to law school, 2018

Where Women Go to Law School - Gender Breakdown

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Where women go to law school, 2017

Where Women Go to Law School - Gender Breakdown

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Where women go to law school in 2016



Women outnumbered men in law school classrooms across the United States in 2021 for the 6th year in a row, according to the most recent data released by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Where do women go to law school? Comparison chart (2017-2021)

Where do women go to law school? Comparison chart (2017-2021)

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Here at Enjuris, we've spent 6 years tracking gender enrollment in law schools because we believe female representation is important in the legal field.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the gender composition of law schools in 2021, as well as how gender demographics have changed since we first started tracking the data.

Let's also take a moment to highlight some of the impressive women enrolled in law school in 2021 and find out what they have to say about the state of women in the law.


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. Female enrollees then proceeded to outnumber male enrollees in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

In 2021, women once again outnumbered men in law school classrooms. Specifically, women made up 55.29% of all students in ABA-approved law schools.

Women outnumbered men in law school classrooms in the United States for the 6th year in a row in 2021. Tweet this

The percentage of women attending law school increased 1.2% from 2020, when 54.09% of all students in ABA-approved law schools were women.

Total Juris doctor enrollment 2021

Total Juris doctor enrollment 2021

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

In particular, women have been making steady gains in top-ranked law schools. Remarkably, 17 of the top 20 law schools in 2021 have more female attendees than male attendees. Every law school in the top 20 has at least 47.56% women.

17 of the top 20 law schools (as ranked by @usnews) in 2021 had more female attendees than male attendees. Tweet this

US News: Best law schools 2021

US News: Best law schools 2021

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Overall law school rankings by female enrollment

The percentage of women who attended ABA-approved law schools increased by 1.2% from 2020 to 2021. Nationwide, the majority of law schools (82.91%) have more female attendees than male attendees (up from 73.98% in 2020).

Nevertheless, some law schools are particularly good at attracting female students.

In 2021, Northeastern University overtook North Carolina Central University School of Law as the top law school for women based on female enrollment (71.99%). North Carolina Central University School of Law slipped to 3rd place, but women still make up an impressive 69.35% of attendees.

Top 20 law schools by female JD enrollment 2021

Top 20 law schools by female JD enrollment 2021

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Looking into the future

In 1960, women comprised only 3.5% of enrollees in ABA-approved law schools. In 1970, women comprised just 8.5%. Over the past 50 years, the demographics of law students have changed dramatically.

These changes culminated in 2016, the year Enjuris began tracking data, when women outnumbered men in law school classrooms for the first time. The percentage of female attendees has increased ever since.

Percentage of women attending ABA-approved law schools (2016-2021)

Legal observers point to a number of possible reasons for the increase in female attendees, including the inventive attempts by many law schools to broaden their base of applicants.

Though challenges remain in the legal field with respect to gender diversity, huge strides have undoubtedly been made in the last few decades with respect to gender equity within law schools.

Faby Rivera

Faby Rivera

of MVP Accident Attorneys

“I choose my law school because of the location and diversity. I don’t believe my experience as a female law student differed from that of my male counterparts. However, I strongly believe this is because I attended a law school that was diverse amongst faculty and minority students, and there were more female students than male students.”

Faby graduated from Western State College of Law in 2021. That year, 57.52% of women enrolled at Western State College of Law identified as female.

“Law school does not teach enough about the gender bias that one will experience as a female attorney,” explained Faby. “In my short time of being a licensed attorney, I have been told by attorneys and clients that I look too young to be an attorney or that they thought I was a secretary. Moreover, I think as female attorneys, we are often judged based on physical characteristics rather than how knowledgeable or capable we are. Unfortunately, I have yet to hear or see my male colleagues face the same situations.”


A closer look at some of the exceptional women enrolled in law school in 2021

The number of people (male and female) who applied to law school in 2021 rose 13% from 2020, making it the largest applicant pool since 2004.

Experts attribute the increase in applicants to a number of factors, including the hiring slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the new option to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) online, and the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which focused attention on the U.S. legal system and the role attorneys play in society.

One thing is certain, the large applicant pool in 2021 yielded some impressive female law students.

For example, Biruktawit Assefa, who enrolled in the University of Virginia School of Law in 2021, was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and later emigrated to the U.S. where she earned a master's degree from the Yale School of Public Health. Biruktawit helped launch Yale's SEICHE Center for Health and Justice and is interested in learning more about how the courts can be used to achieve greater economic equity.

Ivy Miller, a dual JD/MPH candidate at Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts School of Medicine, was awarded the prestigious Rappaport Fellowship in 2021. Ivy is interested in the barriers patients face throughout the healthcare system and how the law can help eliminate those barriers.

Of course, impressive female law students aren't confined to the 2021 class.

Sammi Lawrence, a standout 3rd-year law student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, was awarded the much-sought-after Virginia A. Pomeroy Scholarship in 2021. Sammi is a member of the Women Law Students Association and an editor for the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender, and Society. Sammi recently began volunteering with Safe at Home, a statewide address confidentiality program that provides victims of abuse with a legal substitute address to be used for both public and private purposes. Sammi plans to pursue a career in civil rights law and is particularly interested in victims' rights and the First Amendment.


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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 18, 2021. Schools may update their data at any time. Please see the ABA website for up-to-date figures.


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