The National Law Journal reports that the percentage of women applying to law school has been declining for the last several years.
"Since 2002, the percentage of women in law schools has declined each year, according to the American Bar Association. Five years ago, women made up 49 percent of law school enrollment. This year, 46.9 percent of law school students are women. And while the number of applicants overall has dropped in the past two years, the percentage decline in the number of women has been greater."
The article profiles one young woman who had considered law school and decided to become an analyst at Morgan Stanley and discusses possible causes for law’s tarnished luster and attraction, not the least of which is the billable hours requirements at top law firms.
I believe there is probably another factor too: Business and business schools have become much more effective in attracting women. MBA programs are encouraging applicants to apply earlier in their career, which means that business careers and family are not as frequently in direct conflict. Additionally, you now have an excellent organization, the Forte Foundation, dedicated to increasing the percentage of women going to business school and entering positions of leadership. And slowly but surely, women are coming to see business as providing more flexibility and options than law, as I have maintained for years (Please see "Women, Entrepreneurship, and Kids"). In a nutshell, business schools’ gain is law schools’ loss.