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Friday, March 17, 2017

2018 U.S News Law School Rankings: Average Student Debt

2018 U.S. News Law 2Following up on my posts (links below) on the 2018 U.S. News Law School Rankings:  Matt Leichter, Only 13 Law Schools Didn't Report 2016 Graduate Debt to U.S. News:

Each year U.S. News & World Report lists law schools by the average indebtedness of their graduates. Importantly, the figures exclude accrued interest, which can be quite considerable. However, these numbers are probably the best estimate of the cost of attendance at a particular law school presented in a comparable form. The ABA does not publicize graduate debt in the 509 information reports, making U.S. News an unfortunately necessary source.

Here are the 25 law schools with the highest amount of average law school debt (among those students with law school debt).

# SCHOOL 2015 DEBT 2016 DEBT PCT. CHANGE
1. Thomas Jefferson 172,726 182,411 5.6%
2. Whittier 148,316 179,056 20.7%
3. San Francisco 162,434 167,671 3.2%
4. New York University 166,022 167,646 1.0%
5. Georgetown 160,606 166,027 3.4%
6. American 160,274 164,194 2.4%
7. Golden Gate 143,740 161,809 12.6%
8. Columbia 168,627 159,769 -5.3%
9. John Marshall (Chicago) 162,264 158,888 -2.1%
10. Florida Coastal 160,942 158,878 -1.3%
11. Cornell 155,025 158,128 2.0%
12. New York Law School 161,910 157,568 -2.7%
13. Pennsylvania 144,153 156,725 8.7%
14. Virginia 146,907 155,177 5.6%
15. Northwestern 155,796 154,923 -0.6%
16. Pepperdine 148,959 154,475 3.7%
17. Elon 128,407 153,347 19.4%
18. Harvard 149,754 153,172 2.3%
19. Ave Maria 134,071 152,476 13.7%
20. Detroit Mercy 137,047 152,000 10.9%
21. Barry 138,410 151,479 9.4%
22. Denver 132,158 150,055 13.5%
23. Santa Clara 144,130 149,940 4.0%
24. Miami 155,796 149,580 -4.0%
25. Willamette 133,318 148,429 11.3%

TaxProf Blog posts on the 2018 U.S. News Law School Rankings:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/03/2018-us-news-law-school-rankings-average-student-debt.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

Interesting. To take two examples, Columbia and Harvard both sticker at or above $90k per year now, about $60k of which is tuition, and per their Form 509's large pluralities or even small majorities receive no tuition discounts. So ostensibly there are people paying around $270k for those degrees (before interest, tuition increases, bar loans, etc). Per those 509's, those students are in no way "balanced out" by an equally large group of students receiving full boat discounts. So how are the average debt loads so *low*? Hmmm... Wealthy families? Fudged numbers? Who knows?

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Mar 17, 2017 10:44:57 AM

Probably because most law students work during the summer and during the school year and don't spend money like their the Sultan of Brunei while they're in law school (i.e., live with rooomates, have a tiny dormroom, take a part time job that provides free housing).

I'm still amused by the law student who sued her law school and was including in her request for damages the debt she incurred on shopping trips to tiffany's and other luxury outlets while she was a student!

Posted by: Math | Mar 17, 2017 4:04:45 PM

Interesting points, Math. Of course 1L's aren't allowed to work unless the ABA changed that regulation since last I checked, of course not all 2Ls and 3Ls can work for the exact same reason only 59% of law school grads wind up with full-time jobs as lawyers, and far from being profligate, law schools in cities with skyrocketing costs of living in large part haven't budged their COL allowances. In fact, one DC law school that starts with a "G" decreased over the last several years, by excising the technology budget, the books budget, and the public transportation budget. Who knew that the Metro was free now, amirite?

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Mar 18, 2017 10:39:28 PM

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