Debt U: Study Ranks Law Schools With Greatest Debt Load For Students

A new report is out that the average education debt for law graduates at private schools last year was nearly $125,000. The list of the top schools in the debt competition may surprise you.

There has been an increase in debt of over 17 percent from the prior year for private law grads and 10 percent for public law grads. Here are the top five schools:

1) John Marshall Law School in Chicago, with average debt of $165,178.

2) California Western School of Law, with average debt of $153,145.

3) Thomas Jefferson School of Law in California, with average debt of $153,006.

4) American University in Washington, D.C., with average debt of $151,318.

5) New York Law School, with average debt of $146,230.

The next five include Phoenix School of Law (6), Southwestern Law School (CA) (7), Catholic University of America (Columbus) (DC) (8), Northwestern University (IL) (9), and Pace University (NY) (10). It is an interesting list. I had expected to see the top schools in the rankings since they tend to have the highest tuition. Northwestern (my alma mater) is the only such school in the top ten. Northwestern has always been one of the most expensive schools (it was the most expensive law school in the country when I attended). Yet, the high debt among lower ranked schools like Phoenix School of Law was a bit of a surprise.

Just for the record, the law school with the least student debt was Georgia State University — weighing in with an average of $19,971.

Source: US News and World Report as first seen on ABA Journal

21 thoughts on “Debt U: Study Ranks Law Schools With Greatest Debt Load For Students”

  1. AY – the Burger went to William Mitchell in St. Paul, MN. It offers both full-time day & part-time evening classes. I have no idea which he chose. When I was young & getting my degree through extension Mitchell was my goal until life got in the way.

    Mom – I just grabbed a bunch of state schools more or less at random. When they posted the top 20 I know MN was up there some place. But my real question is how much difference in a lawyers career would having a degree fro MN make as opposed to (I’m going to throw a dart at land grant schools in that region) Iowa or Nebraska?

    I also know that at $100k MN is the cheapest of the top 20 but say a kid could get the degree for $60 at “Arm-pit State” would they ever make back that 40k? Would they be denied opportunities available to an MN grad? Thats why I want to eliminate the prestige names from the discussion, I assume they do have doors opened.

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