Despite the bad job market, however, law school tuition keeps going up.
Tuition is surprisingly steep at some law schools that aren’t highly ranked and don’t have the best track record for graduate employment. Many of these expensive schools are also located in the most expensive city in America: New York.
A highly ranked school, Columbia University Law, was the most expensive with annual tuition of $55,488. Columbia is number four on U.S. News general rankings, and its graduates almost always find jobs.
Less impressive schools also charge high tuition, though. Brooklyn Law charges the 13th-highest tuition at $49,976, but nine months out of law school 21.5 per cent of its 2012 grads had no job at all, according to a National Law Journal analysis of ABA data. Brooklyn Law ranked number 80 on U.S. News’ overall law school ranking.
Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law in New York had the 12th-highest tuition at $50,046 but ranked 58th on U.S. News’ overall rankings. Nine months out of school, about 35 per cent of its 2012 grads hadn’t found a job requiring a law degree.
Fordham University’s Manhattan-based law school has a much higher overall ranking than Yeshiva or Brooklyn — it’s ranked 38 — but it also probably charges too much at $49,526. New York Law School, which didn’t even get ranked by U.S. News, costs just slightly less than Fordham at $49,225. Half of its 2012 graduates hadn’t found a job requiring a law degree nine months out of school.
So, if these New York schools aren’t great at getting grads jobs, how can they charge students so much money? The answer is probably that everything in New York is more expensive due to astronomical real estate prices. Future lawyers who want to go to law school there are paying a premium just to be in New York.
Since it’s tougher to pay back law school debt as wages remain stagnant while tuition climbs, law students should probably consider going to top-ranked schools that are more likely to earn them marketable degrees.
If they can’t get into top schools, then they should consider cheaper options, like these 10 law schools that give you the most bang for your buck. There’s not one school on that list that’s in New York.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.