Home

Legal education doesn’t necessarily lead to luxury
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

A law degree won’t necessarily lead to financial security. According to the National Law Journal, buying a house would require earning three times your law school tuition. The nation’s economic climate puts the stereotypical view of a legal career’s benefits on its head.

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law’s Jim Chen shared that reality in a paper titled, “A Degree of Practical Wisdom: The Ratio of Educational Debt to Income as a Basic Measurement of Law School Graduate’s Economic Viability.”

Chen pondered paying off a student loan as a law school graduate looks for home, in order to determine legal education financial viability. His research revealed many law students’ rose-colored glasses blind them to certain realities.

  
What
Where


For instance, Chen said they obsess over law school alumni highest salaries—not starting salaries.

“There is obviously a lot more that goes into the decision to attend law school, but you look around the world right now and everyone is paying attention to debt-to-income ratios,” Chen said. “I wanted to offer some guidance to people contemplating law school.”

Earning three times their tuition only secures “adequate” income, Chen’s research found. That conclusion is only true, if one assumes students only borrow for their tuition and have no other debt. Chen used mortgage provider guidelines to make the determinations.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




So, students paying $16,000 per year in tuition need to earn $48,000. Those who paid $32,000 would have to bring home $96,000, while lawyers who paid $48,000 would have to earn $144,000. Again, this would only ensure an adequate financial position.

Boosting their financial to “good” would require earning six times their tuition, according to Chen. That means lawyers who paid $16,000 per year in tuition would have bring home nearly $100,000, while those who paid $32,000 would need to earn nearly $200,000. And, those paying nearly $50,000 in tuition would have to earn $288,000.



Sustaining minimal financial viability requires new lawyers earn twice their annual tuition. With that said, the National Association of Law Placement notes new law graduates earn an average of $68,500. Chen said that’s enough for many new lawyers to afford both college loan and house payments.

Lenders, according to Chen, take a dim view of student loan debt that’s more than 8 to 12 percent of a potential borrower’s monthly income.

“I was trying to think of a simple way to capture some of the growing discomfort over the economics of the decision to attend law school,” he said. “At a bare minimum, you should not borrow so much money that you can’t afford a house.”



 

RELEVANT JOBS

Litigation Attorney

USA-CA-San Rafael

J Supple Law, PC is a litigation law firm specializing in defending liability claims against all asp...

Apply now

Deputy Chief Litigation Counsel

USA-KS-Topeka

Job Responsibilities may include but are not limited to the following: Evaluating issues an...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Corning

The Stroud and Ludwig Law Firm, formally TravisStroudLaw Firm, is looking for an Associate Attorney....

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-NV-Las Vegas

Description Our private law practice is seeking an associate lawyer for our litigation department...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Insurance Associate Attorney

USA-FL-Tampa

Tampa office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks insurance associate attorney prefera...

Apply Now

Insurance Associate Attorney

USA-LA-New Orleans

New Orleans office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks insurance associate attorney p...

Apply Now

Insurance Associate Attorney

USA-TX-Houston

Houston office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks insurance associate attorney prefe...

Apply Now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top