Before the JD: A Report on Undergraduate Views on Law School

What do undergraduates really think about law school?

Before the JD is an AALS-led research project intended to help understand what undergraduates think about law school, and sheds light on the factors contributing to undergraduates’ intention/decision to pursue a JD or other graduate or professional degree. The project is guided by three questions:

  1. What factors contribute most to the intention/decision to pursue (or not pursue) an advanced degree in general;
  2. What factors contribute to, and with what rank and/or weight, the intention/decision to pursue (or not pursue) a JD specifically; and
  3. What are the sources of information, by rank and/or weight, for making these decisions?

The centerpiece of the study is a national survey of undergraduate students who are enrolled in U.S.- based four-year colleges and universities, as well as first-year law students. The survey was fielded in 2017, yielding over 22,000 undergraduate survey responses and over 2,700 first-year law student responses.

The survey was carried out by Gallup, Inc and made possible with support from the AccessLex Institutethe American Bar Association Section of Legal Educationthe American Bar Foundationthe National Association for Law Placementthe Law School Admissions Council, and more than 12 leading law firms and corporate legal departments.

The results of Before the JD will be published in Before the JD: A Report on Undergraduate Views on Law School in mid-September, 2018. Please check back for information on ordering your copy soon!

For more information about the project, contact Dr. Jeff Allum.