Application, Admission, and Matriculation Trends: Asian and Non-Asian Law School Candidates (SSR 18-01)

Executive Summary

Studies examining trends in the number of Asian students enrolled in law school have shown a general trend of declining enrollment, with more severe declines at less prestigious law schools. The present study examines trends in law school application, admission, and matriculation volumes for all Asian candidates. One notable finding in these analyses is that, although Asian applicants have somewhat higher scores on the Law School Admission Test and higher undergraduate grade point averages, their applications are accepted at a lower rate compared to their Non-Asian counterparts, despite the fact that there is only a small difference between the two subgroups in the percentage of those who are accepted to at least one law school. This can be at least partially explained by the fact that Asian applicants appear be more likely to apply to top-tier law schools than their Non-Asian peers and that they are somewhat less likely to matriculate once they have been admitted. This latter point may also contribute to the finding in earlier admission studies that lower percentages of Asian American students are enrolled in lower tier schools.

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