Ever-Increasing Law School Tuition

February 1, 2011 at 1:47 am ($, Choosing a law school)

When I began my pre-law school journey four years ago, I paid close attention to the cost of tuition; only to see it rise year after year. Just how much has it gone up?  Check out this ABA spreadsheet which examines the cost of tuition from 1985-2009 (which includes the % increase from the immediately previous year). Most shockingly, public school for in-state residents have seen the highest tuition-hike (in 2009 it increased 10% from 2008).  Private school, on the other hand, increased in 2009 (up 4% from 2008).

And check out this New York Times Article on law school tuition inflation, which states that law schools utilize “Enron-type accounting standards.” Yikes! Buyer Beware!

UPDATE: For additional reading and insight on law school tuition, I encourage you to check out Matt Leichter’s blog, The Law School Tuition Bubble: http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress.com/



  1. Matt Leichter said,

    Not to over-hype my own blog, but since it’s on-topic if you’re interested, I published a comprehensive chart of tuition increases for every ABA-accredited law school for the last seven years. Link in my sig.

  2. 10 year lawyer said,

    I don’t know if you’ve made your law school decision yet or not. I am a 10 year lawyer carrying a semi-crushing debt from law school.

    I highly recommend going to the cheaper school. Going to the Top 25 school will only pay off if you also are in the top 10% of your class. If you can do that – you can certainly be in the top 5-10% of your class at the other school – which will open almost all the same doors. In my experience, the fancy name on your degree will not be worth the $1,000+ monthly school loan payments you will pay for 20-30 years after you graduate.

    Good luck!

    • LawSchoolDreamer said,

      I haven’t made a final decision yet, but I really appreciate your thoughts. I keep imagining what it will feel like to pay nearly 1/4 (potentially) of my salary on loan repayment and I can’t help but feel that it would make me unhappy and question why I pursued law school if I’m not better off than when I was working as a paralegal. I do also feel that at the 2nd tier public school I received the full-ride to, that my undergrad, lsat, and life experiences are a little more on-par with my future classmates and that I will not only feel more confident but also be able to perform more competitively. Thanks again for your thoughts and for reading my blog!

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