Paul L. Caron

Monday, November 25, 2019

Forbes: Is Your Law School Worth It?

Forbes, Is Your Law School Worth It?:

It’s no secret going to law school is a big investment in both time and money. But does that investment always pay off? Of course, lawyers often enjoy high salaries, rewarding careers, and more. But where you go to law school can mean a lot in how that investment pays off. New data released from the Department of Education this week gives us a peak into the debt and earnings for law schools across the country. These data show how much the median student borrows for law school (undergraduate debt is excluded) and how much the median student earns one year after earning a law degree. ...

In the chart below, you can see how schools compare. The schools are color coded by the sector of the school. Click here for interactive data.


Schools vary greatly in both the median debt and median salaries and they are distributed across a wide spectrum.  

Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Which Law Schools Have the Best and Worst Debt-to-Income Ratios Among Recent Graduates?:

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted data disclosures from the Department of Education concerning debt and income outcomes of graduates across a variety of metrics—institutions, majors, degrees, and so on. One intriguing figure is the “debt-to-income” ratio, or how much student debt recent graduates have compared to their earnings. Lower is better. ...

A good rule of thumb is that “manageable” debt loads are those where debt is about equal to expected income at graduation—i.e., a ratio of 1.00 or lower. Only 11 schools meet that definition among median debt and earnings ...


Derek Muller (Pepperdine), What Are Debt and Expected Earnings Like For Those In Non-JD Legal Education Programs?:

Non-JD legal education has seen extraordinary growth in the last few years—and it has minimal oversight from the American Bar Association. I’ve wondered about the value proposition of such programs, given what little information we have about them.

The DOE data gives us a few tools to start looking at it.

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