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Cheapest Law School?

joevjoev - Posts: 2,924 Senior Member
edited April 2012 in Law School
What is the cheapest law school in the nation? Furthermore, what is the law school that will accept anyone, and/or takes people with GPAs in the 2.0-2.2 range. (Mine is a lot higher, just curious.)
Post edited by joev on

Replies to: Cheapest Law School?

  • concerneddadconcerneddad Registered User Posts: 1,734 Senior Member
    joev, you might want to check this list of law schools on the State Bar of California's website. It lists all ABA, state accredited, and non-accredited law schools in California. The later class of schools will have an open door policy.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    Generally, look for schools in rural areas - they are much less expensive than city schools. Tuition is a bit lower, and cost of living (most schools don't have cheap dorms, and you won't want to live there anyway) is much lower. I'm saving about $10k/year by going to school in the middle of nowhere.
  • emsibdnemsibdn Registered User Posts: 814 Member
    Cooley. hehehehe
  • Susan777Susan777 Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    Not to be flippant, but the cheapest law school is the one that gives you a full-ride scholarship. If your grades are higher, and you do well on your LSAT, you should be able to get a full-ride from various schools.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    You're missing something though - they are often less-prestigous schools, and, given the salary discrepancies among grads of differnet schools, it could cost a LOT more in the long run to do things that way. And, not to be flippant, but full ride scholarships are rare. Very, very rare.
  • Susan777Susan777 Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    Hi, Aries.

    You are correct, of course, that you'll generally end up getting paid less from lower-ranked schools, depending on how much lower they're ranked, and where you place in your class. This is why I personally would probably not take the scholarship at a lower-ranked school.

    However, the poster wasn't asking about this -- he was simply asking what the cheapest school in the nation was. Since he says he has high grades, I was simply pointing out that scholarships could be more of a determinant of actual cost than sticker price. If he were, for instance, able to get in the high 160's on his LSAT, along with a good GPA, I'm sure he could get most, if not all, of his tutition covered at many schools. (Aside from this, the cheapest schools would generally be public schools in your home state.)

    What's really mind-boggling to me is the fact that many 3rd and 4th tier schools have pretty much the same price-tag as Harvard or Yale. That's one reason I raise the scholarship issue. Many people don't realize that when your numbers are above the medians for most programs, you can usually get at least some scholarship money. If they're signfiicantly above the medians, it's very possible to get full-tuition, and even full-ride scholarships, even at top programs. This is especially true if you get into other equally or higher-ranked programs, and can dangle competing offers in a search for the best financial package.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    Quite a big assumption though - high 160s on the LSATs is, as we both know, statistically abnormal - top 3% or 4% of a self-selecting group of test-takers. Combine that with high grades, and you get an excellent candidate. I do know someone who got some merit aid at top schools, but it was a few thousand dollars a year. Not bad, but certainly not enough to bring the price tag below that of rural schools. For the vast, vast majority of applicants (which I assumed the poster is in), the cheaper schools will be found in cities. You should know that even getting into law school is difficult, with, in 2003/2004, only 1/3 of LSAT takers gaining admittance.

    You are right about sticker price being almost the same - with the largest discrepancy being with urban and rural areas, because the cost of living will add on about $10k/year, sometimes more.

    Let's not forget state schools. Also, if your state doesn't have a law school, you can usually go to a neighbouring state's law school for reduced tuition (not in-state price, but less than out-of-state). Someone said that, unless you go to a top school, it makes sense to do the state route, as it'll get you the same thing in the end. I know that UConn has reciprocity with the other New England states that don't have law schools, so a MA resident can go for in-state + 50%. I would highly recommend that route, especially if you are considering staying in the area. (I did not do that given that I want to move out of New England, and would have a hard time doing that from UConn.)
  • Susan777Susan777 Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    Obviously not everyone has high LSAT's and GPA -- I'm simply pointing out this aspect of admissions. (I make no assumptions or conclusions about the OP's actual stats.) However, it's worth noting that at lower-ranked schools, anything above 160, combind with good grades, can earn major or full scholarships, and this is far more common.

    I know nothing about the rural/urban cost distinction, except as it relates to cost of living. Obviously, expenses will generally be less outside of urban areas. However, some of the best (and equally expensive) schools can also be "rural" schools, like UVa.

    As I noted, state or public schools will usually be your best bet cost-wise, though this is usually dependent on being in-state. (I've never heard about the no-school neighboring state policy, but it's cool if it exists.)
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    Ahem - Susan - it DOES exist. http://www.law.uconn.edu/admissions/admsfin/tuitionfees.html

    My understanding is that other states have similar provisions, for undergrad as well as graduate programmes.
  • Susan777Susan777 Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    Hey, Aries -- Sorry for the misunderstanding -- I meant to say I've never heard about the policy in other areas. I'm sure it does exist in New England. However, again, if it does exist in other areas, that's a nice bonus.
  • Jae JJae J Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Obviously I'm a year late, but hey. BYU is the cheapest law school in the country costing an awe inspiring 3,725 large per semester for LDS Church members and 5,588 for everyone else. Incidentally, it's ranked 35th in the nation. Needless to say, at that price, that's a lot of bang for your buck.
  • taffytaffy - Posts: 2,356 Senior Member
    how much does it cost to become a LDS Church member?
  • Jae JJae J Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    It's free! After that, 10% of your increase.
  • sakkysakky - Posts: 14,759 Senior Member
    I would also point out that another affectively "cheap" law school is one that is part-time, which would therefore allow you to work and make money while you are attending.
  • bball87bball87 - Posts: 2,529 Senior Member
    what is the best ranking of law schools in the professional oppinion of ppl on these boards, US News, what?

    Do you have to go to a top 5, top 10, top 15, top 20 or which one? to be extremely successful.
This discussion has been closed.