The financial crisis that began in 2007 has had a significant impact on the legal education field. Unemployment rates for law school graduates have been on the rise; a law degree may have guaranteed employment in the past, but graduates are finding that this is no longer the case. As a result, potential (and current) law school students are carefully analyzing their job prospects compared to the cost of a law degree.
These costs may be higher than you think. In 2012, the average annual cost for tuition and fees at a private law school was $40,585; for a public school it was $23,590. With such high tuition rates, it's not surprising that 90% of law students finance their education with student loans.*
Your earnings after law school will depend entirely on your chosen legal specialty. Law school graduates have many different employment options, from public service to corporate to private practice. You need to make sure that your earnings will be enough to cover your debts before you make the investment.
The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is required for acceptance to law schools in the US and Canada. The LSAT includes five sections of multiple-choice questions divided into these topics: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning, followed by a 35-minute essay. You can only take the LSAT three times every two years.
The ABA website is an excellent resource for additional information on a legal education and career. For more details about specific schools, check out the ten most popular law schools below, or select a school from the dropdown list.
*Source: Wall Street Journal
Top U.S. Law Schools by Enrollment