African American and Hispanic students have applied to law schools at steady rates since the early 1990s, but their representation in law schools has decreased over the past 15 years.
The proportion of black students in law school dropped by 7.5 percent from 1993 to 2008, reports Columbia Law School, which examined data from the Law School Admission Council. The proportion of Mexican-American students decreased by 11.7 percent over the same period. Together those students' enrollment went from 9.5 percent of the incoming class in 1993 to 8.7 percent in 2008.
The actual number of black and Mexican-American students also dropped, even as the size of first-year law classes increased by nearly 3,000 seats across the nation from 1993 to 2008.
Collaborations with high schools is one solution the panel recommended to increase African American and Hispanic enrollment in law schools. The panel also recommended a two-year gap with a law related job to strengthen a law school application.
This story first appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education. To view the full article, please click here.