Law grads earn an average of $53,000 more a year than people with bachelor’s degrees before taxes, according to the study by professors at Seton Hall Law School and Rutgers Business School. The average debt load for private law schools is $125,000, but this study suggests the high tuition might be worthwhile.
This chart shows how earnings peak for law grads at middle age, while they remain more stagnant for people with bachelor’s degrees.
The study looked at 33,158 people, 1382 of whom have law degrees.
The report’s authors decided to take a look at the economic benefit of law school in light of recent reports that going to law school is irrational because it’s so expensive and the job market is so grim.
“For most law school graduates,” the report found, “the net present value of a law degree typically exceeds its cost by hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The report is not without its critics. Above the Law’s Elie Mystal blasted the study for failing to take taxes or tuition into account.
“And you didn’t look at taxes on earnings. Put another way, I could say: “Manhattan offers the best home buying opportunities in the entire world, IF YOU DON’T LOOK AT HOW MUCH IT COSTS OR TAXES!!!!!” he wrote.
You can read the full study for yourself here.
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