Law Schools

This law school charges more than $60K; tuition is up 13% in 3 years at top BigLaw feeder schools

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Ten elite law schools charge more than $55,000 in tuition, but one stands out for breaking the $60,000 mark.

That law school is Columbia, which charged $60,274 in tuition last year, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. The school is also No. 1 on the National Law Journal’s list of schools that send the most graduates to the nation’s 250 law firms, with 66.24 percent of its graduates last year going to BigLaw.

In terms of tuition, Cornell “is not far behind” Columbia, the story says. Its tuition was $59,360 last year, according to this National law Journal chart (sub. req.).

Average tuition increased by a higher percentage at the BigLaw feeder schools, the story says. At the 10 schools that send the most grads to BigLaw, average tuition increased nearly 13 percent from 2011 to 2014. Average tuition at those 10 schools in 2014 was $56,292.

At all ABA-approved law schools, the average tuition increase over that time period was lower—just under 10 percent. The average tuition at those schools in 2014 was $35,312.

Tuition is often discounted because of financial aid. But additional scholarship money doesn’t keep pace with increased tuition, according to an analysis of scholarship trends at top 10 schools between 2011 and 2013 by University of St. Thomas School of Law professor Jerry Organ. He believes the situation is similar in 2014 at the National Law Journal’s top 10 feeder schools.

Some of the tuition increases are likely offset by aid “but not dollar-for-dollar,” he told the NLJ.

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