Women are continuing to break barriers in the legal profession each day, and law school enrollment is no different.
In 2016, women outnumbered men in law school classrooms for the first time on record. Every year since, even more women have enrolled in law school, with 2021 data revealing that women’s enrollment as law students once again outpaced that of their male colleagues. For the sixth year in a row, there are more women learning the law than ever before — which is amazing.
According to 2021 data, 64,848 women (55.29%), 52,072 men (44.40%), and 377 people who identified as “other” (0.31%) were enrolled in law school. In fact, the majority of law schools (82.91%) had more female attendees than male attendees last year. But how many women were enrolled at the best law schools in the nation? Check out this table, courtesy of Enjuris, an independent legal resource (law schools where the majority of those enrolled identify as women are highlighted in orange):
Now that is a sight to behold. Seventeen of the top 20 law schools as ranked by U.S. News at the time had more women enrolled than men in 2021. Just a few years ago, this could only be said for nine of the top 20 law schools. Women are making amazing progress at the best law schools in the country.
On the other side of the coin, according to a recent study, although women are enrolling in law school in droves, the vast majority of those law schools are lower-ranked institutions. Per Enjuris, these are the top 20 law schools by women’s enrollment, regardless of U.S. News ranking:
Increased enrollment for women in law school is just the first step in achieving gender equity within the law, not to mention justice for women in a country where there’s a war on reproductive rights following the Supreme Court’s dismantling of the protections offered under Roe. Congratulations to all women enrolled in law school. We need you now more than ever before.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.