TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Law School Rankings by Graduates' Standard of Living

National Jurist National Jurist, Best Law Schools for Standard of Living:

To determine standard of living, The National Jurist used median starting salaries, average debt payments, estimated federal and state taxes and cost of living adjustments for the regions where graduates were employed. ... The National Jurist used Class of 2009 salary data from NALP, debt data from U.S. News & World Report, tax data from the Tax Foundation, cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, and debt repayment information from Jeffrey Hanson Education Services.

Best Law Schools for Standard of Living (private practice):

  1. Texas
  2. Georgia
  3. Vanderbilt
  4. Virginia
  5. Northwestern
  6. Chicago
  7. North Carolina
  8. Michigan
  9. Washington University (St. Louis)
  10. Duke
  11. SMU
  12. Emory
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Stanford
  15. Washington & Lee
  16. Yale
  17. Harvard
  18. UC-Berkeley
  19. Boston University
  20. Pennsylvania
  21. Catholic
  22. Boston College
  23. Illinois
  24. Wake Forest
  25. George Washington

The Top 50 are here. The complete ranking of 135 law schools (63 schools were excluded from the ranking because the percent of graduates with a known salary was below 40%; seven schools were omitted due to lack of data) will be published in the September issue of The National Jurist.

Update: The Careerist, Lifestyle Law Schools--University of Texas or NYU?

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Law School Rankings by Graduates' Standard of Living:


Enough with the hokey lists.

Posted by: jimharper | Jul 12, 2011 1:03:38 PM

No, Jim Harper, the point is that financial advantages perpetuate an ostensibly meritocratic society into an entrenched financial elite. When a state is too weak to hold back the ambitions of its financial elite, the entire country suffers.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 12, 2011 2:23:58 PM

I'd say this gets closer to a true ROI than most other lists. I'd replace average debt with average tuition cost though, because private schools tend to have wealthier kids to begin with that end up carrying less debt relative to tuition. I might discount cost of living too, because I'm not sure you can accurately compare this in regional versus national schools. Ultimately though, any reasonably intellegent person could figure ROI out for their circumstances IF there were actually reliable income figures being reported. Of course we all know that isn't the case.

Posted by: Matt | Jul 13, 2011 6:15:14 AM

No, Jim Harper, you are dead wrong.

Doing a detailed cost-benefit analysis of attending various law schools makes a huge amount of sense - since well over $100,000 in explicit and implict costs are usually at stake.

That was my thinking when I performed and published this analysis ( in *1996*.

And get a load of the obscene tuition inflation!

Christopher Sgarlata

Posted by: sca721 | Jul 13, 2011 10:55:09 AM