At $60K Median Lawyer Salary, ‘It Will Be Very Difficult’ to Repay’ $100K+ in Debt

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As would-be legal eagles try to spread their wings in a difficult economy, it’s important for law schools to provide “total disclosure” about what their graduates can realistically expect in practice, says the president of the American Bar Association.

Unrealistic expectations about the kind of money they likely can make are a huge problem, Stephen N. Zack told the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (sub. req.) last week.

While those at the very top of the starting salary scale might earn $160,000, the median among all lawyers is $60,000. So, for those in the middle of the pack, “if you have debts over $100,000, some reaching $150,000, it will be very difficult to pay that debt,” he says.

David N. Yellen, dean of Loyola University Chicago School of Law and chair of the ABA subcommittee that considers what consumer information law schools should be required to report, tells the Law Bulletin that law schools need to be more transparent about job prospects.

“I believe the time has come to mandate that law schools publicly disclose more information about job outcomes,” Yellen is quoted saying.

Also see:

Chicago Lawyer Makes $75,000, But Worries About Bankruptcy

Was It Worth It? With Debt of Up to $250K, Some Law Grads Are Dubious

Unable to Find Legal Job, Blogger Posts Bah Humbug Tale on YouTube

Lawyer Wins YouTube Fame with Anti-Law School Video

Last updated at 7:15 p.m. to add comments by Yellen.

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