Law Students

Law School Debt Drops at 49 Schools for Graduates
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Summary: A new list shows that 49 law schools across the country have reported a drop in debt for graduates from 2011 to 2013.

Even though the average debt for a graduate of law school has continued to increase, there were 49 law schools that reported lower debt numbers from 2012 to 2013, according to The National Jurist.


For the class of 2012, average debt for law school hit $107,371. For the class of 2013, average debt for law school rose to $109,142, according to data from U.S. News & World Report.

The largest drop among the 49 law schools occurred at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Debt for its law graduates dropped from $142,587 to $121,700. Over a period of two years, debt dropped by 26 percent after hitting $165,178 in 2011.

“Along with scholarship amounts increasing, the Financial Aid Office implemented a mandatory financial literacy 90-minute session to our entering students,” said Yara Santana, director of financial aid at The John Marshall Law School. “The effect of the sessions had students emailing our offices, visiting our offices and calling my staff asking them to reduce their loan disbursements or to return a portion or the entire refund amount to the Department of Education.”

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The debt at Pace University School of Law saw its debt drop to $100,439 in 2013 from $139,007 in 2011. This was the second largest drop of the 49 schools. The third largest drop came at Duquesne University School of Law, which saw debt to $98,922 in 2013 from $128,057 in 2011.

Of the 49 law schools that reported a decrease in debt, 29 of them were private law schools.

“It’s tough to tell whether it is just statistic noise or something more meaningful,” said Kyle McIntee, executive director of Law School Transparency. “It could be that law schools were targeting people with greater means and so they had to borrow less. You could have more people paying full freight [on tuition] and other people paying a lot less.”

Six private schools made the list this year.

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Image credit: John Marshall Law School



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