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ABA Data Reveals Minority Students Are Disproportionately Represented in Attrition Figures

Recently, AccessLex added new ABA non-transfer attrition data disaggregated by race and ethnicity to Analytix by AccessLex. Non-transfer attrition refers to students who discontinue their legal education for any reason other than transfer to another law school. Previous ABA data reports show that non-transfer attrition often occurs for academic reasons, but can also result from financial and other circumstantial challenges. The ability to evaluate 1L non-transfer attrition data by race and ethnicity is a significant development, enabling a more nuanced analysis of non-completion among law students (NOTE: The following analysis does not include the three ABA-approved law schools in Puerto Rico.)

The new data reveal that historically underrepresented law students—those identifying as American Indian, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, and two or more races—are disproportionately represented among students who do not persist beyond the first year. In 2016, white students comprised 62 percent of 1L enrollment and 49 percent of 1L non-transfer attrition. In contrast, minority students made up 30 percent of 1L enrollment but accounted for 44 percent of 1L non-transfer attrition. This disproportionate representation of minority students among those who did not advance to the second year of law school is largely driven by the over representation of Hispanic and black students in 1L non-transfer attrition figures…”

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