Law School Dropout Rate In The USA | Common Reasons Students Leave Law School

Law School Dropout Rate In The USA

The dropout rate is a very important factor that you should check before choosing a subject to study. Because Dropout rate indicates how many students fail to cope with the challenge presented by the particular subject as well as the prospect and demand of that subject in the job market. Today, I will discuss the dropout rate of law schools in the USA and the common reasons why students are leaving law schools.

In the USA, the dropout rate of the low school is high compared to other disciplines. Law schools with median LSAT scores of 155 to 159 have a dropout rate of 2.0 percent. On the other hand, law schools with median LSAT scores of 150 to 154 have a dropout rate of 4.7 percent. Law schools with median LSAT scores of 150 to 145 have a dropout rate of 14.3 percent. Other Law schools with a median LSAT score of 145 or lower have an average dropout rate of 25.3 percent.

List Of Law Schools With Dropout Rate In The USA

Law SchoolDropout Rate
Arizona Summit65.31%
Florida Coastal School of Law38.86
North Carolina Central University School of Law28.92
Thomas Jefferson School of Law26.51
University of San Francisco23.78
Capital University Law School23.27
Widener University21.09
Liberty University School of Law20.55
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School19.44
Elon University School of Law18.84
St. Thomas (Florida)17.84
Florida A&M University College of Law17.57
California Western School of Law17.49
Ohio Northern University (Pettit)17.31
Southwestern Law School17.27
University of Dayton17.20
Faulkner University16.90
Nova Southeastern University–Shepard Broad College of Law16.37
University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth16.25
Florida International University16.11
University of Memphis (Humphreys)15.89
Western State College of Law at Argosy15.85
Ave Maria School of Law15.46
Howard University15.17
Golden Gate University School of Law15.05
Touro College–Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center14.69
UNT Dallas14.42
St. Mary’s University14.09
Western Michigan University (Cooley)13.97%
South Texas College of Law13.85%
Appalachian School of Law13.70%
New York Law School13.26%
University of the Pacific (McGeorge)13.16%
Texas Tech University12.95%
Regent University School of Law12.90%
University of Arkansas—Little Rock (Bowen)12.86%
Northern Kentucky University12.84%
New England Law— Boston12.43%
University of the District of Columbia11.83%
Campbell University11.80%
Suffolk University11.76%
Syracuse University11.05%
Georgia State University10.87%
University of Missouri10.81%
Duquesne University10.66%
Mercer University (George)10.55%
Texas Southern University–Thurgood Marshall10.50%
University of South Dakota10.42%
Southern University Law Center10.29%
Southern University Law Center10.20%
Concordia University School of Law10.19%
Barry University9.91%
Northern Illinois University9.82%
Widener University Delaware9.82%
University of Idaho9.78%
Belmont University College of Law9.42%
Oklahoma City University9.28%
University of Toledo9.14%
Texas A&M University8.81%
Inter American University School of Law8.77%
Seattle University8.77%
University of Akron8.76%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale8.60%
Washburn University8.40%
Charleston School of Law8.33%
University of Arkansas—Fayetteville8.28%
Mississippi College School of Law8.21%
Cleveland State University8.12%
University of San Diego8.11%
Pepperdine University8.00%
Case Western Reserve University7.95%
Seton Hall University7.66%
University of New Hampshire7.56%
Lincoln Memorial University7.54%
University of La Verne College of Law7.53%
University of Denver (Sturm)7.45%
Gonzaga University6.85%
University of Baltimore6.82%
Western New England University6.80%
Roger Williams University School of Law6.67%
Pace University6.54%
Santa Clara University6.54%
Hofstra University (Deane)6.50%
Albany Law School6.39%
Creighton University5.99%
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law5.98%
University of Kansas5.96%
Brooklyn Law School5.88%
Michigan State University5.83%
Chapman University (Fowler)5.83%
John Marshall Law School5.68%
Drexel University5.60%
Pennsylvania State University5.59%
Catholic University of America5.21%
Drake University5.10%
Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)4.86%
Quinnipiac University4.84%
LSU — Baton Rouge (Hebert)4.76%
Loyola Marymount University4.73%
Mitchell Hamline4.65%
University of Oregon4.63%
Marquette University4.55%
St. Louis University4.52%
Samford University (Cumberland)4.42%
University of South Carolina4.26%
Arizona State University (O’Connor)4.03%
University of Nebraska—Lincoln4.00%
Willamette University (Collins)3.99%
Loyola University New Orleans3.98%
University of Puerto Rico3.88%
University of Tulsa3.73%
University of Alabama3.57%
The Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, School of Law3.54%
University of California (Hastings)3.53%
George Mason University3.37%
Loyola University Chicago3.27%
Vermont Law School3.26%
Valparaiso University Law School3.26%
University of Mississippi3.21%
University of Maine2.99%
Stetson University2.97%
Southern Methodist University (Dedman)2.86%
University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign2.84%
Yeshiva University (Cardozo)2.78%
Ohio State University (Moritz)2.69%
DePaul University2.67%
Baylor University2.65%
Brigham Young University (Clark)2.65%
University of Nevada—Las Vegas2.65%
University of Louisville (Brandeis)2.52%
SUNY Buffalo Law School2.44%
Temple University (Beasley)2.44%
Washington University at St. Louis2.38%
University of Kentucky2.35%
University of California—Davis2.29%
University of Georgia2.21%
University of Oklahoma2.20%
University of Tennessee—Knoxville2.13%
Washington and Lee University2.10%
University of California—Los Angeles2.08%
University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill2.08%
Villanova University1.88%
George Washington University1.86%
University of Utah (Quinney)1.85%
University of Hawaii—Manoa (Richardson)1.83%
University of Pittsburgh1.74%
Emory University1.73%
University of Cincinnati1.68%
Indiana University—Indianapolis (McKinney)1.64%
University of Virginia1.60%
University of Miami1.53%
Indiana University—Bloomington (Maurer)1.53%
West Virginia University1.44%
University of Richmond (Williams)1.43%
Florida State University1.37%
University of Missouri—Kansas City1.37%
University of Southern California (Gould)1.37%
University of Minnesota—Twin Cities1.36%
University of Iowa1.33%
Tulane University1.32%
Harvard University1.32%
University of Wyoming1.26%
Georgetown University1.25%
Penn State Dickinson1.25%
University of St. Thomas1.22%
Wayne State University1.20%
University of Florida (Levin)1.11%
University of Wisconsin—Madison1.05%
University of California—Berkeley1.01%
University of California — Irvine0.97%
University of Arizona (Rogers)0.94%
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor0.82%
Fordham University0.79%
St. John’s University0.72%
Stanford University0.69%
University of Colorado—Boulder0.65%
University of Notre Dame0.64%
University of Maryland (Carey)0.60%
New York University0.59%
University of Pennsylvania0.54%
Boston College0.44%
American University (Washington)0.42%
University of Connecticut0.26%
University of Texas—Austin0.23%
Wake Forest University0.20%
University of Washington0.18%
Lewis & Clark College (Northwestern)0.14%
William and Mary0.13%
University of Houston0.11%
Boston University0.07%
Columbia University0.04%
University of Chicago0.00%
Cornell University0.00%
Duke University0.00%
University of Montana0.00%
University of New Mexico0.00%
University of North Dakota0.00%
Northeastern University0.00%
Vanderbilt University0.00%
Yale University0.00%

Reasons Why Students Are Leaving Law Schools

Reasons Why Students Are Leaving Law Schools

Law school graduates have a bright future and many of them are in leading ranks of politicians, business leaders, etc. So, why do students leave law school before completing graduation? Some common reasons student leaves law school are – 

1. Overconfidence

2. Unanticipated hardship

3. Unmet expectations

4. Poor Grades

1. Overconfidence

Usually, law students are ambitious and competitive therefore they fall prey to optimism bias. Here the students tend to exaggerate one’s own capabilities and minimize potential risks. However, optimism bias has depraved consequences like a poor or cramming session or a poor grade. Many students who joined law school assume that it is very easy to acquire a good result and they will have their pick of opportunities. But it is very hard to have a good performance in law school compared to colleges.

2. Unanticipated Hardship

Another key reason law students drop out of school is experiencing an unanticipated life event or hardship. It can be something like the birth of a child, a death in the family, or financial obligations. So, these events make it very difficult for law students to continue their studies for a law degree. This is a common issue for part-time law students who are trying to carry the responsibility of work, family, and law school all at the same time.

3. Unmet Expectations

Many students join the law school with dramatized expectations like the TV-style lawyers and legal work. But when they join the school and experience the reality of pouring over decades-old legal texts and composing their own drafts and briefs they become disappointed. They realize that there is no legal excitement in law school. So, these unmet expectations inspire some students to drop out of law school.  

4. Poor Grades

This is another driving factor of students leaving law school. Some students join the law school with overconfident and they remain so sure that they will succeed on top of their class. So, when they don’t achieve the target easily, they might feel dejected to the point of dropping out. Moreover, Law school requires lots of studies and hard work to achieve a good grade. This is why students with average or poor grades drop out of school.

FAQs About Law School Dropout Rate In The USA

Is It Common To Drop Out Of Law School?

Studying law is not easy therefore law school is difficult, and it isn’t for everyone. So, dropout is very common for law schools and many law schools have a dropout rate of up to 38 percent of first-year students!

How Many Lawyers Graduate Each Year In The US?

On average, every year around 30,000 students graduate from law school in the United States. The number of law graduates in the United States has decreased slowly between 2014 to 2021.                        

What Is The Acceptance Rate For Harvard Law School?

The acceptance rate of Harvard law school is 12.49% in 2021.

What Major Has The Highest Dropout Rate In The USA?

According to the latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, computer science degrees have the highest dropout rate in the USA. 



Last Updated on February 8, 2022 by

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