Which Law School Grads Have the Most Debt?

March 23, 2017

While law school can be a good investment for some, if you don't land a high-paying job at a BigLaw firm, it could leave you in soul-crushing and life-altering debt. U.S. News & World Report recently released a list of schools that prospective law students may want to avoid--those schools whose graduates leave with the most paralyzing debt. Below are the top ten law schools with the highest average law school debt for their 2016 law graduates:

 

Law School

Average Debt (of those who incurred debt)

Percent of grad with debt

1

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

$182,411

90%

2

Whittier College

$179,056

89%

3

University of San Francisco

$167,671

81%

4

New York University

$167,646

64%

5

Georgetown University

$166,027

74%

6

American University

$164,194

73%

7

Golden Gate University

$161,809

88%

8

Columbia University

$159,769

63%

9

The John Marshall Law School

$158,888

83%

10

Florida Coastal School of Law

$158,878

70%

There's certainly a variety of law schools represented on this list. Graduates of NYU, Georgetown, and Columbia (some of the best firms for BigLaw jobs)) are much more likely to be in a position to pay off that debt than are graduates of Florida Coastal (where only 52% of graduates even pass teh Florida bar). Prospective law students should also keep in mind that due to the glory of compound interest, their debt will continue to grow even as they pay it off, especially if they are taking advantage of income based repayment programs.

by Vault Law Editors

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