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.