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### Latest Legal Education Data Deck Update by AccessLex Institute

WEST CHESTER, Pa., Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ – AccessLex Institute® has unveiled its latest update to the Legal Education Data Deck, featuring fresh insights on undergraduate debt, salaries for recent J.D. graduates, and first-time bar passage.

The Legal Education Data Deck serves as a platform for AccessLex to analyze trends impacting access, affordability, and value in legal education. Drawing data from various educational institutions, federal agencies, and organizations like the Law School Admission Council, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and the American Bar Association, the deck offers a comprehensive view of law student outcomes and demographics.

The January Data Deck highlights that almost 50% of law school students carry debt from their undergraduate studies, with an average remaining debt of around $27,000 in 2019-20. Additionally, it reveals that 22% of law students were first-generation college attendees, and 37% were former Pell Grant recipients during the same period.

Moreover, the report indicates that a majority of law graduates rely on loans to finance their graduate education. Between 2016 and 2020, the percentage of J.D. recipients borrowing for law school increased by five points. Compared to other 2020 graduate degree holders, law graduates borrowed less for undergraduate studies but more for graduate programs, surpassing borrowing amounts of all other graduate degrees except medical and health professions.

Positive news emerges in the form of increased median salaries for employed class of 2022 J.D. graduates, rising to \(85,000 from \)80,000 for the 2021 cohort. However, adjusting for inflation, median salaries dipped from \(89,600 to \)87,600 between 2021 and 2022.

Regarding bar passage rates, the Data Deck states that 75% of first-time exam takers from ABA-approved law schools passed the bar in 2022, though rates varied across jurisdictions, typically falling between 58% and 89%. Most states witnessed a decline in first-time bar passage rates for ABA-approved law school graduates from 2021 to 2022.

Tiffane Cochran, Vice President of Research at AccessLex Institute, noted, “Our latest Data Deck sheds light on the disparities in accessibility and affordability of a J.D. versus other graduate degrees, particularly in relation to first-generation college attendees and former Pell Grant recipients.” The institute remains committed to monitoring and enhancing diversity in legal education and the profession.

For more information, refer to the new Data Deck.

About the Data Deck:

The Legal Education Data Deck leverages publicly available datasets to offer insights into trends aligned with AccessLex Institute’s research focus on access, affordability, and value in legal education. Continuously updated, AccessLex encourages feedback to enhance the utility of this resource.

About AccessLex Institute®:

AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to guiding ambitious students towards a successful legal career. Collaborating with nearly 200 member law schools, the institute prioritizes enhancing access and transforming legal education since 1983. Learn more at AccessLex Institute® website.

CONTACT: Julie Solomon,

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SOURCE AccessLex Institute