We all know that a legal education can make the average law school graduate with up to six figures of debt — specifically, according to a 2020 ABA survey, the average debt for law school graduates is more than $150,000 — and we all know that education costs Outrageously expensive is the reason. According to the latest data from US News, the average cost of tuition and fees in private schools for the 2020-2021 school year was about $50,000, while the average cost of in-state and out-of-state tuition in public schools was $28,838 and $47,300, respectively.
Given how much debt some law schools leave their graduates with, it’s worth taking a look at their earning potential. Will they actually be able to service their huge debt burden?
Legal marketing agency Hennessey Digital recently conducted a study on this, gathering data from 183 law schools on how much 2020 graduates have to borrow in order to attend and comparing that to the amount they are expected to earn in their first year of law practice.
It is not at all shocking that the most expensive law schools in America are almost as private. Only one public school made the list. Behold, the most expensive law schools and the expected earning power of their graduates.
It is worth noting here that the majority of the law schools that made this list are among the best in the country. In top-ranked schools like this, you get what you pay for, and in the law school world, that usually means a paid job as a lawyer that allows you to service massive debt obligations in a timely manner — and be totally honest, with up to six figures of debt To pay it off, that’s invaluable.
“It is no coincidence that the schools highlighted in this study were at the top of the list,” a Hennessey Digital spokesperson commented. When it comes to the education of young people and their future, it is often necessary to target a school that has been proven to give graduates a chance to land their dream jobs. When someone decides to take out a loan of the size we saw in this study, they want to make sure it’s money well spent.
“The data shows that if students are willing to invest in their education and secure a place in the best law schools in the country, their sacrifices will be rewarded with well-paying jobs which in turn will make it much easier to manage the payments on those loans.”
No matter where you decide to go in law school, be sure to evaluate your payoff when it’s time to graduate. Given the information readily available online, will you be able to find a job? Will you be able to make ends meet while you make your law school loan payments? If you don’t think the answer to these questions is “yes,” you may want to consider another school.
Staci Zaretsky is Senior Editor at Above the Law, where she has been since 2011. She loves to hear from you, so feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or criticisms. You can follow it Twitter Or connect with her on LinkedIn.