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Law school is really expensive. For prospective law students, sticker shock is common, and tends to set in when the realization dawns on you that the price you just saw is only for a single semester, and that it doesn't even include living expenses.
However, in the end, there's a pretty good chance you'll actually land a job that allows you to pay off those loans, eventually, if you graduate and pass the bar. At least, that's what most law schools explicitly promise.
After you get over, or embrace, the sticker shock and the fact that you'll be indebted for at least the next decade, below are a few handy lists of the most expensive and most affordable law schools.
If you're applying to public schools that are outside your home state, you may want to brace yourself. The University of Texas-Austin, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Minnesota, the University of South Carolina, and UC Berkeley all had out of state tuition for last year between $52,000 to $55,000 per year. In the top spots for most expensive public law schools, the University of Michigan comes in second at $60,500 per year, and the University of Virginia wins the top spot at $61,300.
On the private law school side of things, Columbia Law School tops the charts at $62,700, followed by Cornell at $59,900, and NYU at $59,330. Both Harvard and Yale are little lower on that list at $58,000 per year.
If there's a decent public law school in your home state, that will likely be the most affordable option. Out of state and private law school tuition prices can often be out of hand, though sometimes it's only a difference of a couple grand.
Interestingly though, Brigham Young University only charges $12,310 per year for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ... so if you're willing to convert, or are already a member, it should be pretty high on your list. But if you're just looking for cheap, the list compiled by ILRG has more than 20 options under $20K.
Lastly, while tuition prices can vary wildly, if cost is a big concern, you may want to also take a look at the average cost of living for each school, as that can play a significant factor in how much debt a law student will need to take on.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.