It’s no secret that here at Vault, we love a good law ranking, and we hope that our rankings help job hunters find the best firm for them by emphasizing positive traits. Taking a different approach, U.S. News & World Report recently released a list of schools that prospective law students may want to avoid, a list of law school graduates with the most paralyzing debt. Below are the top ten law schools with the highest average indebted 2013 law graduates who incurred law school debt:
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law—$180,665 (92% of graduates in debt)
- New York Law School —$164,739 (84% of graduates in debt)
- American University (Washington College of Law) —$158,636 (88% of graduates in debt)
- California Western School of Law—$157,748 (90% of graduates in debt)
- Northwestern University—$155,777 (78% of graduates in debt)
- Whittier College—$154,267 (92% of graduates in debt)
- University of Chicago—$153,753 (85% of graduates in debt)
- Florida Coastal School of Law—$150,166 (91% of graduates in debt)
- St. Thomas University—$150,166 (91% of graduates in debt)
- University of Miami—$148,513 (79% of graduates in debt)
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. When faced with sacrificing three years of their youth to law school only to be spit out into a job market where first year associate salaries continue to decline, it is no wonder that more and more prospective law students have decided to pass on taking out over $150,000 in loans.
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