Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Best Value Law Schools

CoverThe November 2011 issue of the National Jurist includes a ranking of the 60 Best Value Law Schools, based on tuition, average student indebtedness, two-year average bar passage rate, and two-year employment rate. Here are the Top 20:
  1. Georgia State
  2. BYU
  3. Florida State
  4. North Carolina
  5. Georgia
  6. LSU
  7. New Mexico
  8. Alabama
  9. Nebraska
  10. Mississippi
  11. Kentucky
  12. Wisconsin
  13. South Dakota
  14. Tennessee
  15. Wyoming
  16. U. Washington
  17. Southern
  18. Arkansas
  19. Florida International
  20. Texas Tech

The next nineteen law schools are grouped together as A- Law Schools, followed by twenty-one law schools grouped together as B+ Law Schools. A complete ranking of 198 law schools, with the remaining 138 law schools grouped together in three categories of C Law Schools, D Law Schools, and F Law Schools, is available in the hard copy of the magazine.

Update: ABA Journal, 60 Top-Value Law Schools Named; Georgia State Is No. 1 Once Again

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How many times must it be said: 90% ROI (average salary divided by average tuition) and 10% weather.

Posted by: Matt | Nov 9, 2011 9:53:54 AM

17 out of 20 are TAX-supported state schools. How surprising.

Posted by: Law Prof | Nov 8, 2011 5:42:52 PM

Best value would be to to a tier one school in Canada vs out of state US fees. You have access to top global firms if you go to UofT.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 8, 2011 12:52:45 PM

The percentage who got ANY kind of job averaged over two years…. That pretty much invalidates the study. What value does a law degree really have, regardless of how low the tuition, if half of the law school’s employed graduates are flipping burgers?

Or to put it less sarcastically, if a huge percentage of a law shool’s graduates are working jobs that don’t require a law degree, how is it a good return on the investment to have lost three years of work opportunities and be out thousands of dollars in tuition?

Further, are they counting only fully employed graduates or underemployed ones as well? Are they including graduates that many law schools hire for temporary positions in a deliberate attempt to game employment statistics?

If they are then this study is no more informative and no less misleading than the self-promotional spin that many law schools publish under the guise of employment statistics.

Posted by: P. Cravath | Nov 8, 2011 11:49:08 AM

Of course, I forgot to include the actual URL:

Posted by: Chris Sgarlata | Nov 8, 2011 10:45:05 AM

Interesting to note the similarities and differences between this "best value" list and one I compiled in *1996*.

Also interesting to note how variations in our methodologies affect relative rankings.

Posted by: Chris Sgarlata | Nov 8, 2011 10:43:28 AM

I went to #7, U of New Mexico. I certainly agree it is a good value.

Posted by: Brian G. | Nov 8, 2011 10:18:09 AM

Interesting that the top 20 are skewed so heavily to the southern US. Any ideas why?

Posted by: Al Johnson | Nov 8, 2011 9:14:33 AM

I've never heard of National Jurist (though granted, I graduated from law school 14 years ago) but as a member of the alumni board of my alma mater, I'd be very interested in finding a copy of the full list I can share.

Posted by: countertop | Nov 8, 2011 7:54:50 AM