Thursday, April 2, 2015
Financial Hell: Average Law School Indebtedness for the Class of 2014
The List: According to US “News” & World Report, here are the schools with the highest average law school indebtedness, for those members of the JD class of 2014 who incurred debt for law school. Keep in mind that these figures do not take interest that accrues while the student is enrolled into account. The second number on each line represents the percentage of each diploma mill’s class who took on such debt:
1. Thomas Jefferson School of Law: $172,445; 91%
2. New York Law School: $166,622; 83%
3. Northwestern University: $163,065; 80%
4. Florida Coastal School of Law: $162,785; 93%
5. American University (Washington): $159,316; 83%
6. Vermont Law School: $156,713; 84%
7. Touro College (Fuchsberg): $154,855; 85%
8. University of San Francisco: $154,321; 88%
9. Columbia University: $154,076; 76%
10. Whittier College: $151,602; 91%
11. California Western School of Law: $151,197; 91%
12. Georgetown University: $150,529; 79%
13. Barry University: $149,175; 95%
14. Chapman University (Fowler): $148,429; 79%
15. Stetson University: $148,394; 83%
Imagine the type of money you would need to make upon graduation, in order to repay those amounts – and feed yourself, acquire health coverage, have reliable transportation, purchase life insurance, and keep a roof over your head. Here is another problem: of the top 15 offenders, only Northwestern, Columbia, and Georgetown are rated in the first tier. This means that they at least place many JDs in Biglaw positions.
Trail of Tiers: Here is a breakdown of these 15 schools, by tiers – courtesy of US “News.” TTTT: Barry, Cal Western, Florida Coastal, TJSL, Touro, Whittier. TTT: Chapman, 127; NYLS, 127; Stetson, 105; USF, 138; Vermont, 122. Second: American, 71. First: Columbia, 4; Georgetown 14; and Northwestern; 12. Does anyone with an IQ above room temperature think that the average graduate – of the second to fourth commodes listed above – has any expectation of landing federal jobs or Biglaw posts?!?!
Now Including the 13 Cesspools That Didn’t Report to USN&WR: Matt Leichter posted an entry labeled “13 Law Schools Didn’t Report 2014 Graduate Debt to U.S. News, Again” – on March 10, 2015. From his piece:
“Each year U.S. News ranks law schools based on how much debt their graduates take on. The figure excludes accrued interest, but it’s probably the best estimate of the cost of attendance at a particular law school. It’s also, unfortunately, the only source for this information as the ABA does not publicize it in the 509 Information Reports. Here’s this year’s list of absentees and their debt levels in their last reported year:
Arizona Summit – $190,471 (2015, can be found on the school’s Web site [Interestingly, no one took out private loans…])
New England – $132,246 (2014) Faulkner – $122,187 (2014)
Missouri (Kansas City) – $103,038 (2014)
Southern Illinois – $67,966 (2014)
Appalachian – $114,740 (2013)
Atlanta’s John Marshall – $142,515 (2013)
Florida A&M – $96,934 (2012)
La Verne – $112,628 (2013)
Rutgers-Camden – $93,990 (2013)
Southwestern – $147,976 (2013)
Texas Southern – $99,992 (2013)
WMU Cooley – $122,395 (2013)” [Emphasis mine]
Via USN&WR, the following NINE toilets on the list above are rated in the fourth tier: Appalachian, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law Sewer, Arizona Summitt, Faulkner, Florida A&M, New England Law Boston, Southwestern, Texas Southern, WMU Cooley. There are three in the illusTTTrious third tier: Rutgers-Camden, 102; UMKC, 127; SIU, 149. I almost forgot to mention that this table includes one school that is labeled Fifth Tier/Unranked: the University of La Verne. Yes, what “elite” law schools. And what a coincidence that all of these “principled” in$TTTiTTTuTTTions are all in the third tier or lower, huh?!?! What are the odds?
These schools are not refusing to provide these figures to this magazine, out of some sense of integrity. They do so because they want to keep this data from prospective students. Hopefully, those young men and women will view this suspiciously – and decide to avoid these schools/trash pits.
Conclusion: These are backbreaking totals. Also, you still have to pass something called the bar exam – in order to become a lawyer. Plus, you also need people to hire you to represent them on legal issues before you are an actual attorney. For $ome rea$on, the law school swine “forget” to mention this to young people. Otherwise, you merely purchased a graduate degree, for the sake of having a big-ass diploma.
It simply does not make financial sense to incur an additional $150K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a law degree from a low-ranked school. While the ratings may be foolish in many ways, they do reflect hiring practices. Simply put, Biglaw may hire one single graduate from a third tier commode. Do you still want to sign on the dotted line?!
Posted by Nando at 4:46 AM