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Top 12 Most Expensive Law Schools in 2017
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Summary: What are the most expensive law schools in the country? 

Getting a law degree is a huge financial gamble. You’re basically paying six figures to see if you’ll land a BigLaw first-year associate job, a temp position making $25/hour, or nothing. With the high cost of getting a degree and a limited amount of lucrative jobs, potential law students should arm themselves with information about how much they could end up in debt after three years.


That’s where Law School Transparency comes in. The non-profit was started by law school graduates who wanted to pierce the veil of law school secrecy, and the company’s website is a one-stop-shop of information about law school debt, job outcomes, and other need-to-know information. Forbes used its data to compile a list of the top 12 most expensive law schools in the country, and it then broke down what graduates would have to pay per month for 10 years in student loans.

2017 Most Expensive Law Schools in America

12. Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Thomas Jefferson School of Law was famously sued by a former student who accused the 12th most expensive law school of lying about post-graduate employment statistics. While the judge in the case ruled in the school’s favor, the reputation of Thomas Jefferson was forever tarnished when revelations that recent graduates were Uber drivers or unemployed came to light. The San Diego-based law school costs a whopping $237,956, according to Forbes; which means that its students have a $2,644 monthly student loan payment for ten years if they’re lucky enough to get jobs.

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11. University of Hawaii 

The University of Hawaii is one of the smallest law schools in the country, according to leading legal site Lawcrossing, and it specializes in areas that other schools neglect such as Pacific-Asian legal studies, ocean law studies, and environmental studies. Students who graduate owe an estimated $246,817, which means they’re stuck with monthly loan payments of $2,744 for the next ten years of their lives.

10. George Washington University

Located in Washington, D.C., George Washington University is in a prime spot for any student wishing to one day work in politics. The oldest law school in the country is also an expensive investment. According to Forbes, the school costs $248,880, an amount which equates to a monthly loan payment of $2,767 for the next decade.

9. Georgetown University

U.S. News ranked Georgetown the 14th Best Law School in 2017.  After graduation, almost 87.2% of graduates find jobs. The Washington, D.C.-based law school costs $248,992 after three years of study, and its graduates are expected to pay $2,768 a month for ten years to cover that cost.

8. University of Pennsylvania 

Ivy League law school, University of Pennsylvania has an amazing post-graduation employment rate–97.8% of graduates find jobs in ten months. According to Lawcrossing, “The University of Pennsylvania Law School has always focused on the employability of its students rather than focusing solely on theoretical jurisprudence.” With those great employment odds comes the price tag of $250,201, or $2,782 a month for 10 years.

7.  Stanford University

U.S. News ranks Stanford as the second Best Law School in the country, and after graduation, nearly 93% of its students immediately find jobs. Notable alumni include Sandra Day O’Conner and William Rehnquist, and to join their ranks, graduates must pay $251,748. This means for the next ten years, graduates have a monthly student loan payment of $2,800.

6. Fordham University

Founded in 1905, Fordham Law offers a wealth of international and comparative law opportunities for students, both at the school and around the world, according to LawCrossing. The New York-based law school costs its graduates $254,829, which equates to a monthly payment of $2,834 over ten years.

5. Harvard University

Harvard Law is the second Best Law School in the country according to U.S. News, and its famous prestigious name opens doors for alumni. And that name costs them. According to Forbes, Harvard Law graduates owe $256,208 upon graduate, and this means that they’re stuck paying $2,850 a month for ten years.

4. University of Connecticut

SoFi ranked the University of Connecticut as one of the best law schools based on students’ salary to debt ratio. According to Forbes, graduates pay $2,865 a month for ten years, with their total debt being $247,572.

3. University of Chicago

University of Chicago enrolls 617 students and has an acceptance rate of 21.9%, according to U.S. News. After ten months, 96.2% of its graduates find full-time employment, and they owe $261,190. That means that their monthly student loan payments are $2,906.

2. Columbia University

Columbia University in New York is the second most expensive law school in the country, costing students $261,212. Leading legal recruiter Harrison Barnes of BCG Attorney Search said that luckily Columbia students tend to gravitate towards big law firm jobs, which will help them with their monthly student loan payments of $2,906.

1. New York University

Like Columbia, New York University has close proximity to major law firms, which is a draw for the 96.7% of students who find employment ten months after graduation. Those graduates need those BigLaw jobs to help with their $2,910 monthly loan payments to chip away at their total debt of $261,548.

What do you think about the costs of these law schools? Let us know in the comments below.


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