Law school enrollment grows for second straight year

The GW Law School is among one-third of American Bar Association-approved schools to grow its enrollment this fall. Hatchet File Photo.
The GW Law School is among one-third of American Bar Association-approved schools to grow its enrollment this fall. Hatchet File Photo.
Updated: Dec. 29, 2014 at 6:32 p.m.

Enrollment at the GW Law School rose again this year, with the number of students entering the school increasing by more than 10 percent for the second consecutive year.

The school enrolled 539 first-year students in August, according to data submitted to the American Bar Association. The 57-student increase comes as GW has tried to return its enrollment to the school’s traditional level while maintaining its admissions standards. Meanwhile, fewer students nationally have applied to law school.

This year, GW’s newest class size is 3 percent larger than it was in 2010, the Washington Post reported, the last year the number of students who enrolled in American Bar Association-approved law schools grew.

GW’s law school is among one-third of American Bar Association-approved schools to grow its enrollment this fall.

This year’s fall class kept its average GPA at 3.71 and average LSAT score at 165 for the second year in a row. That should bode well for the college, which saw its selectivity take a dive when it added more than 80 full-time students last year.

The college also maintained its focus on enrolling minority students: 53 percent of the class is female, and 37 percent of students are considered minorities, the same as last year.

Of the total number of students, 504 are full-time and 39 are part-time. The law school is ranked No. 20 nationally by U.S. News and World Report, and No. 2 for its part-time program.

The University of Southern California Gould School of Law, which is tied at No. 20 with GW, also saw its 1L class size increase this year, jumping from 175 to 202 students. The University of Minnesota Law School, also tied at No. 20, saw a decline from 221 students to 193.

Neighboring Georgetown University, ranked No. 13, increased enrollment from 544 students to 580.

GW’s school shrunk its class size two years ago, but it surged last year to help maintain funding. GW has one of the largest law schools in the country, and, like the University, it is largely tuition-dependent.

Blake D. Morant, who took over the school’s deanship in September, will have to decide whether to continue growing the school’s enrollment or cut back as he oversees his first admissions cycle this year.

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