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### Over 40% of Law School Students Enter with Undergraduate Debt, According to AccessLex Institute

The mean debt for law students enrolled in the 2019-20 academic year averaged $27,000, as reported in the most recent update of the Legal Education Data Deck by the AccessLex Institute.

Among the law students in 2019-20, 22% were first-generation students, and 37% had previously received Pell Grants.

In comparison to other recipients of graduate degrees in 2020, law graduates borrowed less on average for their undergraduate education but borrowed more for their graduate studies. The borrowing amount for graduate school by law students surpassed that of all other graduate and professional degree recipients except for medical students.

The percentage of J.D. recipients who took out loans for law school saw a five-percentage-point increase between 2016 and 2020.

“Our most recent release of the Data Deck provides an updated perspective on the disparities in accessibility and affordability of a J.D. in contrast to other graduate and professional degrees,” stated Tiffane Cochran, the vice president of research at the AccessLex Institute. “Continuously monitoring and assessing our advancements in diversifying legal education and the profession is crucial as we engage in ongoing dialogues and initiatives.”

AccessLex Institute’s data is sourced from various educational institutions, organizations, and federal agencies, including the Law School Admission Council, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and the U.S. Department of Labor. The Data Deck also encompasses the most recent insights on law student results, along with fresh statistics from the U.S. Department of Education regarding law student demographics and indebtedness.

Please review the updated Data Deck for more information.