UMass Law student enrollment up 30 percent

Aug 19, 2020

The number of first year students at UMass Law is up more than 30 percent this fall, with overall enrollment nearly doubling over the past four years, according to a press release from the school.

Massachusetts’ only public law school begins its academic year today with 146 new students, a 30.4 percent increase over last year, bringing total enrollment to 360 students.

At the same time, incoming student LSAT and undergraduate GPA medians set an institutional record, making this year’s incoming class the most academically qualified in the history of the school, the release stated.

“UMass Law has a powerful national brand, a unique identity as the commonwealth’s first and only public law school, and a critical public service mission that resonates with prospective students looking to make a difference in their communities,” said UMass Dartmouth Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chancellor Mark Preble.

Before this record-setting class, UMass Law’s enrollment growth over the past three years ranked third among the more than 200 ABA-accredited law schools in the country on a percentage basis.

“I think the reason for our growth is simple,” said UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick. “Students are looking to pass the bar exam and get a job without accumulating an inordinate amount of debt, and on each of those fronts, we deliver. We are both more affordable and we outperform in bar passage and employment outcomes.”

Other performance metrics include a rise of 121 percent in first-year enrollment since 2016, an increase of 94 percent in overall enrollment since 2016, and a Massachusetts Bar Exam success rate of 82.6 percent in July 2019 and 80 percent in February 2020, putting the school third in the state.

UMass Law also has one of the most diverse student bodies among New England law schools, with over 30 percent being students of color, including approximately one-third of first-year students. In 2019, students of color made up 39 percent of UMass Law’s graduating class, a higher percentage than any other law school in New England.

This year’s entering students were born in 16 different countries and come from 31 different states, with the largest cohort (43 percent) being Massachusetts residents. They graduated from 110 different colleges and range in age from 20 to 55 with an average age of 26.

Established in 2010, the UMass School of Law is one of seven colleges and schools of UMass Dartmouth. Its students, through the law school curriculum and outreach clinics, have provided more than 150,000 hours of pro bono legal assistance and related community service across the Commonwealth.